I might be moving to Ireland (Cork, specifically) for four years and I need some information. Literally ANYTHING you can tell me about owning horses in Ireland will be helpful, but here are some of my main questions/concerns:
- Boarding stables. Are they mostly big show barns, backyard trail riding barns, training barns, or is there a good mixture? Are there any near big cities, or are they all out in the country? If you have any websites for boarding stables in Cork, I'd love to see them.
- Are there any western barns? Any reining barns?
- How much land is available for trail riding? How much of it is rural and how much of it is urban?
- Average (or a range) for board per month? I'd like to know the cost of full board and partial board.
- What's the turnout situation like? Do most barns have huge grass pastures for turnout, or is it more like the southern California 24x24 pipe corrals?
- Any price estimates you can give me on feed, hay, vet services, farriers, etc.
- I don't want to sound snobby, but I was extremely unimpressed with the horse care and safety I saw while I was there in the spring. I saw a LOT of horses standing in mud, turned out in wet and freezing weather with no shelter and no blankets, skinny horses, wormy horses, horses who needed their feet trimmed months ago, horses turned out in nylon halters, horses turned out in barbed wire, etc. Is that the norm, or did I just happen to see the few bad places?
Thanks in advance : ]