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Colin and I are a semi-retired English couple. We left the UK 5 years ago to achieve a more meaningful lifestyle living on a small farm in the West of Ireland. We live in a cosy farmhouse overlooking the stunning Ox Mountains and share our home with 3 Flatcoated Retrievers, a hyperactive cross Collie and a singing Dalmatian!
On the farm we keep horses, sheep, hens, ducks and a few geese. We grow some of our own vegetables under cover and looking to become more self-sufficient over time. We have been successfully hosting for 4 years and hopefully our feedback speaks for itself.
The ideal person will ideally know how to care for horses, be able to ride well and be able to school and hack out horses. There is an opportunity to join me on long distance rides organised by the Irish Long Distance Riding Assn and Riding Club events. Lots of fun to be had!
Whilst what we offer is a cultural exchange, we do have a small business making show jumps and there is an opportunity to observe and participate voluntarily if this is a skill you would like to learn. There is no paid work unfortunately.
We offer very comfortable bedrooms in our house and provide for our volunteers well. We ask for consideration in the house and to muck in with a bit of housework, to clear up after yourself and if you enjoy cooking to prepare meals. In return we offer plenty of riding and time off to explore this beautiful country. Ireland can be very wet but it is also very colouful and we are blessed to live in such tranquility where rainbows light up our sky.
If you have any questions please get in touch and we look forward to hearing from you. Most importantly please include details of your riding experience, weight and height.
Thank you for reading our profile.
Alayne and Colin
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We will share our lifestyle with our guests who will help us to achieve the jobs we have planned to improve the welfare of our animals and allow us to enjoy a little more leisure time. When the jobs are done we can down tools and enjoy this wonderful area where there is so much natural beauty to celebrate. Spending time with us will help improve your English and also teach the skills needed to run a smallholding. Workawayers will learn that the needs of a lifestyle like this are 24/7 but that with organisation, planning and mutual respect the experience can be life changing for everyone.
Ideally we would like to welcome a volunteer who is an all-round animal lover and who loves dogs - that's absolutely essential as they share our home. A person with lots of enthusiasm is more important than experience.
We mostly invite workawayers who are experienced riders, capable of helping me to train my horses. You must be able to handle horses competently, muck out, groom, tack up. Please do not apply if you can’t as our horses are not suitable for complete novices. I compete at dressage and jumping at riding club level and hunt over the winter. An opportunity to join me depending on competence is possible but a willingness to help, be enthusiastic and totally reliable is more important. The horses we keep are for private use only. This is not a commercial stable.
You will be asked to assist with other tasks as required. For example our hen houses need attending to daily with nest boxes cleaned, chickens fed and watered and the eggs have to be collected and washed. Work may be needed in the polytunnels where we grow our own produce.
The hours we work are determined by the work that needs to be done. This is a small residential farm and we would want you to enjoy being part of what we do. This is not a 9-5 job but a way of life. Workaways should want to embrace our lifestyle and not be clock watchers. The more you put into this experience the more you will get out of it. We are very flexible with time off but we like our workawayers to appreciate the needs of the animals and to understand that they come first. There are jobs that are done everyday and will soon become second nature. The rest of the day will be spent according to what is needed and can be very varied.
It is essential that you bring a pair of Crocs or similar for the house as floors can get wet, a comfortable pair of wellingtons and a good waterproof coat. We can supply waterproof overtrousers and work gloves.
We offer a comfortable double bedroom in our home with views over open countryside towards the Ox Mountains. Bathroom with shower is shared with us. Sofas are shared with the dogs. We have reasonable Wi-fi, TV and can offer you a good hearty cooked meal at the end of each day and free range eggs for breakfast or lunch of course! We have 17 acres so although no formal garden area as such, we have a stunning landscape to enjoy when weather permits us to sit outside, and an abundance of Swallows who return each Springtime who put on a great stage show at dusk and dawn.
Our farm is situated in a stunning rural area where cycling, walking and fishing is very popular. We are about half an hours drive from the surf beaches of the Wild Atlantic way and just 10 minutes to beautiful Lough Talt. There are some nice local pubs and we are only about 10 minutes drive from the nearest Town. Further afield are Sligo and Ballina where there are plenty of shops, cinemas and cultural places of interest to visit. The Moy is considered one of the best Salmon rivers in Europe and is just a short walk away. Where we live is quite remote so being a car driver could be an advantage to you as there is very limited public transport. Someone who is experienced enough would have the opportunity to hack out plus we have an all-weather arena and show-jumps. We do have cycles that our guests are welcome to use and also use of a car if the insurance criteria meets. Colin is a keen fisherman so with some extra help hopefully will have more time to share this experience with like-minded guests.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Flexible please max 25 hours a week, 5 days a week
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