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Connemara Pony, Draught Horse, Hunting Horse

There are some horse breeds native to Ireland, but there are of course many other horse breeds that have now also become native to Ireland. The three horse breeds that are probably best known from Ireland are the Connemara pony, the Irish Draft Horse, and the Irish Hunter. The most famous horse is the Connemara pony, in Irish the region is known as "Conamara". The riding pony originated in County Glaway in the west of Ireland.


Horse riding and horse riding holidays in Ireland are best known for the great experience you can have in Irland and not only in Dublin. We show you as a horse lover where to go, what you can do in Ireland, where to find a riding school and horseback riding holidays. As we do not offer horses or horseback riding lessons or horse riding vacations, we stay neutral and unbiased.

Irish Horses

Horse riding has a long tradition in Ireland, but horse breeding on the island also has a lot to offer. The most famous breed, which is of purely Irish origin, is certainly the Connemara pony, a riding pony of a special kind. But other horse breeds from Ireland are also well known and some breeds are also of Irish origin, but not only - for example, but Tinkers also come from Great Britain and Ireland. The two countries have a lot in common when it comes to horses and riding because the tradition of horse racing is lived in Ireland and not only in Great Britain (and especially in England).

Horse Breeds in Ireland

As is usual with Nordic horse breeds, a characteristic also applies to Irish horses that are typical of the horses in Scandinavia and other northern regions. They are consistently robust and very sure-footed, which may make the horses look less elegant than typical warmblood horses from the south, but they are loyal companions over hill and dale and often find their way very well in rough terrain. Apart from the Irish sport horse, the Irish horse breeds are also rather smaller in terms of height (i.e. the measurement from the ground to the withers at the end of the horse's neck on the upper side.

Connemara-Pony / Conamara-Pony

With a height of 128 to 148 centimeters, the Connemara pony is the smallest of the horse breeds known to be purely Irish. In Irish, the region of origin in County Galway in the west of Ireland is called "Conamara". Reliability, surefootedness, and the frugality of these riding ponies have always been valued. The Connemara pony / Conamara pony can now be found all over Europe. In the area of origin in Ireland, the horse was used both for riding and as a work aid in agriculture. It is actually a cross between very different breeds, which is why the appearance of the Connemara pony / Conamara pony cannot be clearly determined. Experts differentiate between three types of the Connemara pony.

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Horse Riding Ireland

Irish Draft Horse

Known under the actual name "Irish Draft Horse", the Irish draft horse is a classic breed originating from the island of Ireland. It is used for carriage rides, also as a draft horse in agriculture and occasionally the Irish Draft Horse is also used as a riding horse. With a height of 153 to 173 centimeters, it is more likely to be one of the larger horses of Irish origin. As for the breed and origin of the breed, it can be said that this is due in part to acts of war. The local Irish horses have always been mixed with Spanish or Andalusian blood. The Irish draft horse has also developed into a large horse with strong bones and a lot of basic substance due to the chalky pastures in Ireland.

Draft Horse: Also used in Hunting

Hunting is of course a special tradition in horse riding in both Ireland and Great Britain. The Irish draft horse was also used here, the horse was refined with British thoroughbred, so it had more frame and could also pick up more speed. Nevertheless, the breed did not lose its original character in terms of robustness and surefootedness.

Irish Sport Horse

The "Irish Sport Horse" is a cross between the above-mentioned Irish draft horse and English thoroughbred. The relatively new targeted breeding aims to breed a sport horse that can be used primarily in show jumping. With a height of 165 to 170 centimeters, the horse is one of the larger breeds from Ireland. The Irish Sport Horse has a relatively long neck and a broad and deep burst. The upper arms and forearms of the Irish Sport Horse, like the shoulder areas, are extremely muscular.

Irish Hunter

The height of the Irish hunting horse ("Irish Hunter") is 158 to 175 centimeters high. The Irish hunting horse is used for hunting but also as a showjumping horse and as a recreational riding horse. In terms of character, it would be described as hardworking, courageous, and balanced. Like the Irish sport horse, it is actually a cross between the Irish draft horse and the English thoroughbred. This cross goes back to the 18th century, with Cleveland Bay mares even being used to breed the Irish hunting horse.

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