The Irish have a legendary passion for horses. So it’s perhaps no surprise that fox hunting is alive and well across the Irish Sea. Irish hunts are happy to take on guests for the day and arrange the rental of a horse, as long as you phone ahead.
The County Clare hound and harrier hunt in the west of Ireland has a good reputation for craic and devilment. A local farmers’ hunt, it rides on Sundays and Thursdays from Loop Head on the Atlantic coast across to Cratloe on the border with Limerick and up to Doolin in the North. Guests can ride with the pack for €100 a day.
Pat and Loreto Hannon run a 120 acre farm from their 300-year-old farmhouse. This is near the grounds of Dromoland Castle, the ancient seat of the Earls of Thomond. (See www.ardsollus-farm.com.) It has four B&B guest rooms and two self-catering apart ments. In addition, they can arrange riding trips or lessons with one of the two stables near the house. Both of which rent horses for the Clare hunt. Prices from €45 per person sharing. Or you could stay in the castle itself, now a fivestar hotel. The Easter package from 9 to 13 April is €530 per adult for three nights (www.dromoland.ie).
One for the cowboy
If you fancy donning a boina, the beretlike hat worn on the Pampas, and riding gaucho-style through Argentina, then you should stay at an estancia. It’s a traditional Argentinean ranch in Sierra Chicas, a region hugging the Andes in the heart of Cordoba. While, resting in rooms heated by wood-burning stoves, you’ll also spend the day riding into 15,000 acres of estate, and beyond into “isolated villages, stunning waterfalls and ancient churches. Furthermore, eating asados (Argentinean barbecues) and sampling local wines”, says Samantha Warwick in The Guardian. A ranchbased Activity Week fully inclusive of all meals and drinks, riding and accommodation costs from a day (www.farandride.com).
African safari on horseback
From this spring, Ernest Hemingway wannabees can trek on horseback across the 350,000 acre private Tanzanian estate of US billionaire Paul Tudor Jones. Choosing from 18 horses, you can ride across Sasakwa Lodge, at the Singita Grumeti Reserves, which borders the Serengeti. This means that you’ll get a fantastic view of the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra and other animals. In the dry season, those who feel especially daring can also traverse riverbeds, which lion prides regard as home, says Charles Starmer-Smith in The Daily Telegraph.