Here at Lios Lara we aim to offer safe, enjoyable equestrian activity all year round. With so many horses and ponies to choose from, Lios Lara Riding Stables can accommodate riders of all ages and abilities. Whether it be a family wanting to pass some time together or a small child having their first pony ride – we have something for everyone.
Who are we:
Born out of a young girl’s childhood passion for horses, Lios Lara Riding Stables is a family-run equestrian centre. Suitably qualified with a BA Hons in Equine Business, Annie O’Neill’s grá for horses, once a hobby, has now evolved into a thriving business. Supported by parents Julie and Mick and partner Tinso, also a keen and experienced horseman, Annie’s Coaching Cert, BHS Stage 2 Teach and BHS Stage 3 Horsemanship with Distinction guarantees her expertise in providing each and every customer with a unique experience with horses tailored to their individual level of riding ability.
What we do:
Lios Lara’s facilities cater for every equine enthusiast from the pleasure rider to the competitive. Providing either long or short term livery, Lios Lara provides riding lessons to both adults and children, in groups or individually, as well as a full trekking service amid the woodlands and hills of the beautiful Beara Peninsula which take in breathtaking views of the area. For younger riders Lios Lara hold pony camps, one day workshops, fun competitions and shows, mini-treks, children birthday parties, breaking and schooling service.
Lios Lara’s mission is to promote and encourage good Horsemanship in a safe and fun atmosphere, allowing students to work at their own pace while achieving individual goals. At Lios Lara we foster a caring and inclusive ethos where all who pass through our yard are respected and treated equally at all times. Annie’s qualifications include an Irish Pony Club B+ Test (Distinction), Occupational First aid, Safe guarding 1 and 2 and Garda vetting. All staff and volunteers over 18 are Garda vetted and hold Safe Guarding 1 as a minimum. Our stables are fully insured for all its activities.
Trek Beara’s woodland and hills while overlooking beautiful Bantry Bay, Bere Island and Ardnakinna Lighthouse.
**** THE STABLES WILL BE CLOSING ON SATURDAY 21ST OF AUGUST TO SUNDAY 29TH AUGUST ****
Us and the ponies will be taking some down time after what has been a very busy season.
We are aware of the few private bookings in this week and a camp which all have been pre booked months ago, these will still go ahead. Apart from these few events the stables will be closed and we will not be taking any bookings during this time.
We are sorry if this will affect any holiday makers wanting to book in, but it has been super busy every single day and a short rest is only necessary.
We would like to hugely thank every single one of you who supported us this summer by booking in, be it treks, day treks, camps, birthday parties, we are beyond appreciative.
We look forward to seeing you all soon, remember we have two weeks left to get the bookings in, might I remind you that next week has very limited availability so please get booking now.
Looking for a great idea for your horse enthusiast child? Look no further than a Lios Lara Pony Party! In the event of a birthday, all you have to do is provide the cake and some goodies – let us do the rest. We offer 3 fun filled hours of pony incorporated fun and games – 1 hour riding lesson, brushing and grooming and decorating the pony. Minimum of 4 children and maximum of 6 (this excludes the birthday child, they are free!) €150 for 3 hours.
Pony parties are not just for kids; we also cater for teenage / adult parties to include trekking etc. Activities can be altered depending on group. To discuss a horsey birthday treat or a random any time gift for yourself or someone you love – just get in touch.
Pony Camps are fantastic learning experiences for all horse enthusiasts and here at Lios Lara our camps offer an added opportunity for any tourist visiting the area to make new friends whilst equine learning and having fun. We run various pony camps during the seasonal holidays, ranging from Beginner/Lead rein camps, Intermediate and Senior Camps, to Adults Camps.
Beginner Camps – average 3.5 to 4 hours for 2 days, usually with a morning and afternoon option.
Intermediate / Senior Camps – 3 full days including an intense 1 full day workshop for adults.
Who thought learning could be so much fun as you’re taught to ride in beautiful Beara by fully qualified instructors! Matched to ponies of suitable standard and size (Camp Riders may also request certain ponies if available) all lessons are geared specifically towards varying groups and standards and held in a fun, relaxed and safe environment.
In Beginners, campers learn safety around horses, controlling their ponies, trotting and pony games. Advanced camp riders learn more technical riding on both flat and jump, all lessons offering the opportunity to play pony games. Trekking factored in during all camps.
Through the morning and afternoon, campers will have an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the care of horses and ponies in a safe environment. Stable management can be so much fun!
Adapted to standards and ages of the group, topics covered include:
• Fun with ponies , horse sense and grooming
• Day to day Care and feeding
• Hoof Care and Shoeing
• Tack & Saddlery
• Horse Health and basic first aid
Plus much more…
What to bring to Camp;
Lios Lara has a selection of hats and boots that campers can borrow. If you have your own, wellies are ideal or any boot/shoe with a flat sole and definite small heel. No runners please.
Riders are more than welcome to bring along their own equipment. A member of staff will check it first to make sure it is up to the latest safety standards.
Wear comfy clothes; jodhpurs, leggings, fitted jeans, or tracksuits bottoms (not too baggy). Warm clothing is a must during winter and spring; in the event of the occasional downpour (!) rain jacket and rain trousers are recommended as well as a change of clothes. During summer months, you might want to pack sun screen.
Bring a packed lunch and don’t forget plenty of drinks as this horse riding can be thirsty work!
Any medication should be reported and given to a member of staff accompanied by detailed instructions written and signed by the guardian.
Here at Lios Lara we offer riding lessons for all ages and abilities in a large outdoor all-weather arena. Lessons are either one-to-one or in small group sessions.
A film of a recent after school lesson.
Private lessons offered range from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Private lessons are great for beginners and newcomers just starting out. One-on-one time with the instructor focuses the rider on getting the basics before joining group lessons. We recommend new riders to get up to 3 private lessons before attending group lessons so we can help them achieve their standards for an appropriate group. Not only for beginners, private tuition can also be very beneficial for advanced riders and horse owners wanting to goal set and achieve higher levels.
We also accommodate semi-private lessons. Children and adults welcome. Prices range from €15 to €30
Group lessons vary in length; 2 hour group sessions for our mini-saddle clubbers and 3 hour group sessions for our intermediate and advanced horse clubbers. Our group lessons are designed to make riders feel part of our club. Riders learn to groom, tack up their own horse, care for their animal, stable management and yard duties. Group lessons have an important social aspect for our riders as the setting encourages the making of new friends and the strengthening of bond between horse and rider. Lessons generate an abundance of confidence and knowledge of horsemanship, invaluable for those that eventually decide to buy their own pony or horse. Children and adults welcome. Prices range from €20 to €25
Connection between a horse and a rider can be very strong, horses proven to have a positive and calming effect on people. Within the positive atmosphere here at Lios Lara stables, we can help de-stress anyone after a tough day by arranging therapeutic pony sessions which cater for everyone’s needs, disabilities and requirements. It can involve brushing and grooming the pony, to taking the pony for walks or some basic riding. Children and adults welcome. Prices range from €15 to €30
Although group lessons include stable management, we also offer one-to-one or group sessions for practical or theory work. This is extremely beneficial for either the horse owner themselves or students preparing for exams in Pony club or BHS. Prices range from €15 to €30
“ We make all our lessons a positive learning experience for horse and rider through a clear and positive teaching style “
If you would like to book any of these lessons, please contact us to make an appointment. Family discounts apply.
Lios Lara Riding Stables, located at Tir na Hilan, near Castletownbere, is tucked into the sides of the Slieve Miskish Mountains which sculpt the beautiful Beara Peninsula. We are situated at the starting point of the Beara Bridle Way and on the route of the famous Beara Way.
On route to Lios Lara, you will pass Derreenasagart stone circle which beholds one of Ireland’s most impressive views onto the harbour’s mouth at Berehaven as well as Tir na Hilan raised ring fort.
You will also enjoy stunning views onto one of Europe’s deepest harbours, Ard na Kinna lighthouse, Dunboy and its Puxley’s mansion.
After your visit to our stables why not ramble through Castletownbere where you can enjoy quality West Cork food in our quaint cafés, restaurants and bars; local seafood and chocolate brownies a must! Beara is home to many art galleries and craft shops; browse to your heart’s content and choose a special item to remind you of your visit to Beara.
Castletownbere is an international fishing port and you are likely to hear Spanish, Portuguese and a host of other languages being spoken in bars and shops mingling alongside the soft West Cork brogue of the locals.
Castletownbere Festival of the Sea occurs during the first week in August. The regatta takes place on the Bank Holiday, and there are many events held during the week, including live music in the town square each evening.
The Beara Arts Festival also takes place each August where art exhibitions, drawing, writing and music workshops, and performances take place.
Some local attractions:
Ferry over to Bere Island; steeped in military history the island was home to four Martello towers and a Signal tower as part of a chain of British coastal defence.
Play golf at the 9 hole Golf Club, Castletownbere.
Fish on land and on sea, or take sightseeing boat trips of the harbour.
Rib it out to the famous nautical landmark, the Bull Rock, from Garnish.
Swim in one of Beara’s many safe inlets or the beach at Ballydonegan, gorgeous Allihies.
Ride over water to Dursey Island on Ireland’s ONLY cable car, and only European cable car that goes over sea water. Visit Dursey Island, popular with bird watchers and nature enthusiasts.
Without disturbing the peace of the Buddhist monks who run the DZOGCHEN BEARA RETREAT CENTRE, have a look at the breathtaking views from their cliff top meditation room.
Kayak with seals in Adrigole.
Learn local history with Beara Baoi Tours.
Ask at Lios Lara for more detailed information.