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Experience rural life in lovely Leitrim in the North West of Ireland

  • Ireland
  • Favourited 285 times
  • Last activity: 06/02/2023

Availability

  2023 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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Details

  • Description

    Description

    I have a small equestrian property in 'Lovely Leitrim' in the North West of Ireland. Just two horses, both rescues - one being ridden and one just backed, for which help is needed.

    It is a farm so all the help is physical, but you do not need to be a weight lifter. Do not apply if you cannot keep up with a 5 foot, 68 year old woman with serious arthritis! I do not expect people to do anything I have not done myself.

    I have a full sized riding arena, 2 stables, an all weather paddock and grazing. The area is very rural, wonderfully peaceful, fabulous in good weather and largely unspoiled. It is idyllic for those who like peace and quiet and wildlife. It is not suitable for townies who cannot live without cappuccino!

    Birdsong is constant here, even in winter when everyone says they do not sing. This area still has red squirrels and pine martens as well as foxes, badgers etc. My land is deliberately wildlife friendly, but does need some tidying up. My husband died four years ago and I have arthritis, so it is easy for things to get out of hand.

    NB: Horses need to be mucked out and fed in the evenings, so the last tasks usually start at 8pm. It normally takes only half an hour with two people. The morning takes much longer. It is a rural area, so not the ideal place to meet other young people. You need to be quite self sufficient.

    I need help all year around but accommodation is in a caravan and Ireland is very wet, so you need to be hardy types to come in winter. The caravan does have heating, so you won't freeze! If you want to come and help you will need sturdy boots (horses are careless about where they put their feet) and waterproof clothing! I can provide boots in size 8 - 9 (UK size) and have some spare waterproof coats.

    I also have 4 cats (one with only 3 legs) so I'm afraid dogs are not welcome. I love dogs but the cats don't and there would not be enough space in the caravan.

    I am vegetarian and a lifelong non smoker. I am tolerant of smokers, but not indoors.

    I have an electric bike which visitors are welcome to use for exploring the countryside, and I would be delighted if people would use it to accompany me so I can hack out safely. My aim is to train both horses so experienced riders can join me in hacking out.

    Wi-fi. I have 'unlimited' satellite broadband but it is only available in the house (or standing just outside). Computers sometimes pick up a signal in the caravan, but you can't rely on it. The speed is not great but it is fine for basic things. Not ideal for video calls, too much use slows it down.

    IMPORTANT If you are not from the EU or UK please check Visa requirements. If you do not have the correct Visa for working here (even unpaid) you will be stopped at the airport! Only certain charities count as sponsors for volunteering in this country. Workaway does not count.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    This would be ideal for people who want to experience rural life and enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of towns. Anyone suffering from stress will be totally chilled out after a few days here. Leitrim is the least populated county in Ireland and even driving to the shops is a pleasant experience.

    I would be delighted to help people to improve their English, either verbal or written.

    If you love horses but have little experience of caring for them, this is an ideal opportunity to learn. I cannot guarantee riding yet, it depends on how the training goes.

    You can also learn basic land management and DIY skills.

  • Help

    Help

    I need help with horse care and training which is a 365 day a year job for me, and with land maintenance which is very weather dependent. I need people who will be flexible about helping - i.e. help out like crazy when the weather is right and chill out when it is not.

    You can take 2 days off a week, or 1 full day plus some afternoons. Please let me know what you prefer for your time off, I am happy to be flexible. Some people just look after themselves all day, chilling out in the caravan or going off exploring, others help me in the morning, then I take them in the car sightseeing once the horses are done.

    The main help is looking after the ponies, cutting grass, collecting droppings, repairing fences, trimming hedges and brambles, controlling weeds, leveling the riding arena, treating and repairing fences (horses are vandals). Also some exterior painting / fence treatment. There is a lot of DIY work around farms!

    I like to do the mucking out myself (need to keep my muscles) but am allergic to hay, so really appreciate help with filling up the hay feeders. My ankle is very painful, so I am trying to limit the amount of walking I do at present.

    Anyone who loves horses can help with grooming etc. Mine are easy to handle, so no problem for beginners. Experienced riders would be great as I need help with training my ponies. One is the world's cutest pony but full of mischief - and a bossy madam, the other is a gentleman, but can get nippy when excited. He has just been backed and needs a lot of gentle handling and training.

    I have lots of equipment to make the tasks easier - an elderly tractor, new Quad, mini dumper, scythe mower, strimmer/brushcutter, hedge trimmer etc. and I can show you how to use everything. When possible, I like to do the tasks with people because it makes the chores easier and I love a good chat, but do understand if some people prefer to be left alone to get on with things.

    If you love birds and wildlife, you will have a fabulous time here.

    NB You do need to be able to get up in the morning. If you can't be ready to work by 9am, please do not apply. There is always time to snooze later. Also, the work is physically demanding so you need to be reasonably fit.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Visitors will sleep and breakfast in a caravan behind the horses' paddock which gives privacy and chance to chill out. I rise early, go to bed late and have a small house! The caravan has a single bunk bed and a table area that converts to a double. I took out the top bunk to make it less claustrophobic.

    NB The caravan is small so you need to be tidy. I have only one house rule... keep it clean! It will be spotless when you arrive and I would appreciate it being left that way. It makes it quicker to prepare for the next helper.

    The caravan has gas, electricity and running water from a small tank inside, which needs filling regularly. It has an electric heater with a timer so it will be warm when you get up. There is a tap beside the caravan with mains water and the stable block also has hot and cold mains water, electricity and a toilet. Basic cooking can be done in the caravan (no oven, just a two burner hob) but tasty vegetarian food will be provided in the house. I don't buy or cook meat. There is a small fridge for milk etc and a kettle and toaster. I put whatever food you like for breakfast in the caravan, plus snacks.

    Just tell me what you like to eat (apart from meat or fish) and I will make sure you don't go hungry. Help with cooking and washing up is always appreciated.

    There is a cassette toilet (i.e. you have to empty it) and a sink but no shower in the caravan. Visitors can use the shower in the house and I will provide main meals in the kitchen. I will wash and dry clothes as needed and provide towels, bedding etc.

    For those who enjoy films I have hundreds of DVDs and a home cinema (projector and screen).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Public transport is limited here but I can take people reasonable distances for sightseeing if you do not have your own transport. Manorhamilton (10 miles away) has a theatre, cafes, pubs, and grocery shops and Sligo with it's lovely beaches and great surfing is only 17 miles away.

    I can collect travellers from Knock airport or Collooney railway station (just before Sligo) but not from Dublin.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    I have space beside my arena for a campervan. There is also room on my yard for a small van but it is not totally level.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    average 5 hours a day but it varies (max 25 hrs/week, 2 days off)

Host ref number: 364678823342

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