Categories: Things To DoActivities

The people of Visit Mourne are known for their love of horses. Many of the local myths and legends feature the majestic animal and their stature and status in society continues to this day. There are several places and several great ways you can take an equestrian adventure of your own while you’re here. So saddle up and get ready to canter.

A pleasant way to see the Mournes

The Mount Pleasant Trekking Centre has taken visitors on horseback through the Mournes and surrounding environs for over thirty-five years. This family run business has a reputation for catering to the needs of riders both young and old and it’s a lovely way to see the countryside. Whether it’s a two-hour pony trek through the forests of Castlewellan Forest Park or a half-day saunter on the strand, they have everything you need for a memorable experience. You can also make a day of it and use their on-site barbecue facilities after your time in the saddle.

Riders who are at a higher level might be more interested in the Mourne Trail Riding Centre in Castlewellan. Owners Tom and Maggie Newsam established the centre in 1984 and aim to help you fulfil your potential as a horse rider with people of a similar level. The school is just a mile from Tollymore Forest Park in the stunning foothills of the Mourne Mountains and caters for experienced or competent novice adult and teenage riders. They’re keen to emphasise that this is not for beginners and they guarantee you a genuine horse riding experience, rather than a simple riding lesson. Most treks last between one to two hours and you’ll be on the back of some top-class hunting horses. 

Take it easy on the back of these gee-gees

St Patrick's Way Stables near Downpatrick offer a really nice half-hour horseback riding session for children and adults. This is a great way to get nervy starters into the saddle at a really nice price. You’ll go horse and pony trekking on quiet country lanes, paths and tracks around the beautiful Lough Money. The routes are made to gently encourage people to enjoy horses and they are suitable for all levels of experiences, including beginners.

Fans of horseracing won’t have far to go to get to the home of national hunt racing in Northern Ireland. Downpatrick Racecourse has seen plenty of thoroughbreds parade around its paddock in over 200 years and is just a mile from the town centre. A day at the races here offers a great day out for fans who fancy a flutter or just want to go and enjoy the craic and the spectacle.

Polo time in Visit Mourne

Not too far from here is the wonderful SeaHorse. This place was established in 2017 by Mary and Jamie to offer polo and beach rides to groups or individuals of all riding abilities. They are passionate about creating a unique equestrian experience that is fun, affordable and welcoming. They understand that getting in the saddle the first time can be daunting and so they will find a horse to suit you best. Whether you want to try out polo for the first time, learn some new moves for the next time you take to the field or you simply want to take a ride out to the nearby sea colony, they will cater to your needs.

If you feel it’s time to get the bit between your teeth, Visit Mourne has equestrian adventures for everyone.  

Mount Pleasant Trekking Centre
Mount Pleasant Trekking Centre

Mount Pleasant Treking Centre offer forest rides through Castlewellan Forest Park with stunning scenery, also extended routes i.e. two hours experienced sessions half day and full day. Beach Rides - experienced only. So if you prefer a gentle trot along the waters edge or an exciting gallop through the sands with the additional bonus of the sea breeze, we will arrange it for you.

Mourne Trail Riding Centre
Mourne Trail Riding Centre

The proprietors Tom and Maggie Newsam would like to provide their customers with a complete overview of their facilities and services. As a "family run business" we pride ourselves in care and attention to detail. We only cater for people ...

St Patrick's Way StablesSt Patrick's Way Stables

Horse & Pony Trekking on quiet country lanes, paths and tracks. * Stunning scenery around the beautiful Lough Money Lake . * Treks suitable for all levels of experiences, including beginners *Horse & Pony £2.00 and £5.00 for half an ...

Downpatrick Racecourse
Horses approaching the finish line at Downpatrick Race Course with spectators in the grand stand.

Downpatrick Racecourse is the oldest racecourse in Ireland, dating back to 1685. Today, we host 10 fixtures each year with our feature being the Ulster National in March. The racecourse is a hub of local life and attracts visitors from far and wide