Choosing a horse riding holiday

Many people are considering a riding holiday as spring beckons, and lots of us enjoy topping up our horse riding skills in a new location, as well as relaxing and unwinding on a riding trip. But if you’re planning a riding holiday, do you want a beach ride, a trek, or a training break like the fabulous ones on offer here at Castle Leslie Estate?


Winter fitness for riders!

by Jenny Richardson, BHSAI

In our last blog we discussed the importance of enjoying some indoor show jumping training and competition over the winter. Here, our head instructor Jenny Richardson BHSAI shares her top tips for maintaining rider fitness this winter…

Yes, Christmas is over, and many of us may have over-indulged! But now’s the time to regain health ahead of spring, as it is key that horse riders maintain fitness, especially if they compete. Being at optimum fitness and on top of your game will give you a huge advantage in the competition ring, as your thought processes and your reactions will Read more

Winter Show Jumping

by Jenny Richardson, BHSAI

It is time for many equestrian enthusiasts to enjoy some indoor show jumping training and competition. Our head instructor Jenny Richardson BHSAI shares her top tips!

Jumping indoors for some horse and rider combinations can provide somewhat of a challenge! The space is often much tighter, and often, spooky horses find the indoor environment more intimidating. It almost always takes riders by surprise, when they first compete or even attend a clinic indoors, and have to contend with smaller warm-up spaces, and tighter turns.

Learning to jump well in at an indoor venue is all about making the most of Read more

Fast & Furious!

by Jenny Richardson, BHSAI

Here’s my tips on speeding up your showjumping round.

It seems that as we climb the showjumping ranks, e.g. by jumping higher fences or progressing from unaffiliated to affiliated shows, there’s more at stake. The class numbers get higher, as do our expectations. Initially, we entered for the experience – then we were hoping for a clear-round, and maybe a placing – and now we’re perhaps wanting a first place!

Accuracy is key, but time will of course play an important part in our success. The time allowed in any class should be viewed as a reminder not to go Read more

‘Winding Down’ a horse’s routine

by Jenny Richardson, BHSAI

Our head trainer Jenny Richardson BHSIA teaches many guests and clients here at Castle Leslie Estate’s wonderful Equestrian Centre. She says that, just like the horses at the Estate’s world-leading riding centre, many of us are winding our own horses down for winter now.

Our hard-working horses at the Castle Leslie Estate Equestrian Centre will shortly be enjoying a well-earned break from holiday visitors. As autumn continues, many horses will be wound down for the season, as competitions become more scarce, and the nights draw in. Here in Ireland, our eventing calendar is now fairly quiet, until Ballindenisk and Read more

‘Common mis-understandings between horse and rider’

by Jenny Richardson, BHSAI

Our head trainer Jenny Richardson teaches many guests and clients here at Castle Leslie Estate’s wonderful Equestrian Centre. She says that of all the common mis-understandings between horse and rider, there are four that stand out, detailed below…


A rider who loses his own balance will compromise the balance of the horse which in turn will affect the horse’s way of going. Whether it be riding a simple upward or downward transition or over jumps it may create one or more of the following problems: hollowing, wobbling, wrong bend, wrong canter lead, running or leaning. Ensure your position is Read more

Tips on Saddle Fitting

by Jenny Richardson, BHSAI

As a trainer here at Castle Leslie Estate, I see plenty of horse and rider combos that are imbalanced. Optimal saddle fit for both horse and rider is a key factor for being balanced in the saddle. This is important, as the rider needs to be in balance in order to enhance the horse’s way of going. A balanced saddle gives a good bearing surface, and distributes the rider’s weight over the largest possible area. For horse riding holidays at Castle Leslie, we have our riding horse’s saddles checked regularly. Not only for our horses’ welfare, but also Read more

All About Accuracy

by Jenny Richardson, BHSAI

I am Equestrian Centre Business Manager here at Ireland’s Castle Leslie Estate. Read on to discover my top tips for show-jumping accuracy. Or, visit our main site,, to see what we have to offer for horse riding vacations, Ireland!

We know from speaking with the many visitors and guests that experience our own XC course at Castle Leslie Estate that most event riders are very confident in the cross-country phase. Most are also established in the dressage section, but when it comes to the show jumping round, this is where mistakes are made; partly because this is the final Read more

Hacking Spooky or Young Horses

by Jenny Richardson, BHSAI

In our latest blog, our head equestrian trainer Jenny Richardson takes a look at hacking a spooky or inexperienced horse safely; perfect timing, as we all enjoy the beautiful summer weather in the countryside!

Jenny says: “The warmer weather and longer evenings in Ireland and the UK have inspired many equestrian enthusiasts get out hacking and enjoying the beautiful countryside! However in order to enjoy hacking to the full, it is important that we are up to speed with our riding and road safety knowledge. This will ensure we are as safe and confident as possible whilst riding out Read more

The importance of accurate dressage tests

by Jenny Richardson, BHSAI

Many pupils here at the equestrian centre at our world-leading riding facility often ask me for tips in the area of honing their dressage tests, and increasing marks. The accuracy of riding and the horse’s movements is critical in the dressage score received for any combination, and when it comes to riding a polished dressage test, preparation is the key to success. Accuracy is a dynamic which often gets lost when riders simply focus on the horse’s way of going – which in turn often leads to increases in their own stress levels, and those of their horses. Read more


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