Horse Riding Information pack
Firstly we would like to thank you for choosing DELS for your English & Riding
Activity holiday. Please find below further information on your stay
As much as we love our green country the weather can be unpredictable so we recommend the following items
- Waterproof jacket
- Three pin plug adaptor
- Riding hat and boots of appropriate standards (see below)*
- One towel. A towel is provided but it is recommended to take an extra towel
- Warm clothes ie jumpers, jackets
- Body protector for cross-country**
*Following changes the EU commission has made to hat standards, from 2016, Hats bearing only the EN1384 or BSEN1384 standard will no longer be accepted. For insurance reasons there can be no exceptions to the rule.
However, hats would be acceptable if they carry EN1384 or BSEN1384 and another standard such as those listed:
- PAS 015 (1998 or 2011)
- VG1 01.040 (2014-12)
- ASTM F1163 (2004a or 04a onwards)
- SNELL E2001
- AS/NZS 3838 (2006 onwards)
For students who don’t have a suitable hat, there are hats available for rent. The fee to rent a hat is €10 per week. This can be paid when here.
**Please note that is compulsory for clients to wear a body protector for all jumping in the field, we also recommend that it is worn for jumping in the arena. Also the field jumping is weather dependent so not always available. Current standard for cross country riding is the level 3 purple label 2000 or 2009. There can be no exceptions to this rule. Anybody bringing air jackets must wear them over a body protector, Unless they have a combination air jacket such as the two point. http://www.point-two.co.uk/
As back protectors need to be professionally fitted, we do not hire back protectors
The students stay in our superior residential Zephyr Lodge accommodation which is situated less than one minutes’ walk from the Atlantic coast, 5 minutes from the language school and 5 minutes’ walk from the town centre. The house has 7en suite rooms with a well equipped kitchen and sitting room.
Continental Breakfast, Lunch and dinner is included on English and Activity programmes. Students are offered a twin/triple room. A private room can also be offered at an additional fee. You can view pictures of the accommodation here.
If opting for host family, a private room, Full board Mon to Fri and Half board Sat and Sun. If you are not within walking distance of the school, your family will bring you each morning or we have bikes on a first come first served basis.
Course books are provided please bring the following:
- A copybook
- Smartphone/notebook – some classes are digital so please bring.
Class start times are generally 9.30 am but these times will be confirmed on your day of arrival.
Laundry facilities are available in the residential centre.
Please arrange a day once a week with your host family for laundry
WIFI is available at the language school, residential centre and is also available in most host families.
It is compulsory to have a European Health Insurance Card/E1 11. This is free for all European countries and will cover any doctor or hospital appointments in the case of any medical issues. It is also compulsory for all clients to have travel insurance. For all non European Citizens please take out private medical and travel insurance.
If opting for collection from airport
On entrance of arrivals in Terminal 1 please make your way over to the right. You will see a sign saying Meeting point. Under or around this sign will be a Donegal Language School representative waiting to meet you with a Donegal Language School Sign(see below).
If you are flying into Terminal 2 (Aer Lingus) please make your way to the right towards the Spar shop and one of our representatives will be there to meet you.
If opting for public bus from Dublin airport
There is a direct bus from Dublin airport to Ballyshannon every two hours. To arrive at the bus stop walk out of arrivals from terminal 1 and cross the road, go through the tunnel and you will see a spar shop on your left, walk outside and to the left is the bus stop. Please go to bus stop number 7.
To view the bus times please click here.
We then offer free transfers from Ballyshannon to Bundoran between 10am and 8.00 pm daily.
For transfers outside of these times we can arrange a taxi for you. The taxi fee is around €10.
If we are collecting you, please text 00353876008205 when you are on the bus and also when the bus reaches Enniskillen. This lets us know if the bus is arriving on time. The arrival destination is Ballyshannon.
If opting for collection from Knock airport
Collection: On entrance of arrivals, the terminal is small so you will see the driver waiting for you with a Donegal English Language School sign.
If opting for public bus from Knock airport
There is a direct bus from Knock airport to Bundoran 6 times a day. To view the bus times please click here. We then offer free transfers from West End bus station, Bundoran daily.
If travelling by car
Below are directions Donegal English Language School. Please phone on 00353876008205 when you arrive in Sligo (30 minutes before your arrival in Bundoran) so we can arrange for someone to meet you at the centre and
show you the accommodation.
The address of Donegal English Language School, West End, Bundoran.
You can find GPS directions here
What to expect when you arrive at the stables
- Students are offered basic instruction in riding and outdoor activities.
- While jumping and cross country are one of the riding activities provided. We do not offer training courses in jumping, dressage or eventing.
- The horses provided are leisure horses & ponies, flexible and appropriate for activities offered.
- Goals of a student’s riding week is to have fun on horseback, discover Ireland and improve English speaking.
Horse management in Ireland is often very different to other countries.
Our horses live in a natural environment in the fields. This system gives them the opportunity to live in herds, walk around, eat a natural diet and remain happy in their work. The grass grows for longer here due to the mild climate and rainfall. Grass is the horse’s natural food it is what they would eat in the wild. The horse’s natural life style is as a herd animal walking and looking for food, eating little and often. When living out the horses keep a lot of their natural protection against the weather e.g long manes, feathers and hairy legs. The horses also roll in the mud to give them extra protection from the wind and rain.
As our horses live outside, grooming a grass kept horse is very different from grooming a stabled horse. Grooming is kept to a minimum so as not to remove the natural oils from the coat which help to keep the horse warm and dry, there is no strapping (full groom). The horse’s just having the main parts of the mud taken off with a dandy brush with attention being paid to saddle and bridle areas. At the end of the day all horses are hosed off (water) to remove any sweat & sand. They are then fed and turned out to enjoy a good roll.
A lot of our horses do no road work at all so the need for shoes is kept to a minimum. Most of our horses are only shod in front as this reduces any injuries in the field from kicking.
Tacking Up (Saddle & Bridle)
A lot of the time your ponies/horses will be ready for you to ride. This is to ensure that you get the maximum amount of time riding. Morning groups help groom and tack up (put on saddle and bridle). Afternoon groups untack (take saddle and bridle off, hose the horses (wash them), feed them and bring them to the field.
At the start of each day the horse’s are caught up from the fields, fed, groomed and then tacked up. The horses are tied to the hitching rail or in the stalls ready for use.
Our horse’s live a fairly stress free life and you will rarely see any of our horses with vices such as weaving, cribbing and wind sucking.
For insurance reasons, a hat and gloves has to be worn at all times when leading your horse. Please come and talk to your instructor if you need any help or advice.
Looking forward to meeting you.
Kind regards Gina and all the staff