Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published August 17th 2017
For a unique trail riding experience
The Mornington Peninsula offers a wide range of horse riding experiences that cater for everyone from nervous beginners to experienced riders, with twilight, early bird and full day rides on offer, as well as kid's school holiday programs, winery tours and a great selection of bush and beach trails to choose from...
Gunnamatta Trail Rides is very popular for its stunning ocean beach rides, so last weekend my 11year old daughter and myself decided to venture down to Fingal and check it out for ourselves.
We booked the 2 hour St Andrews beach ride as it was the perfect compromise between beginners and experienced. In fact, it was my daughters first ride due to a dreaded horse allergy that has prevented her from going near horses since she was a toddler, but I, on the other hand, am an experienced rider and still wanted to be able to go for a good canter... so this was the perfect choice for us.
With a ratio of 4 riders per staff member, I was impressed with the individual guidance given to each of the riders and the passion the staff had for their jobs. My daughter received lots of helpful tips along the way and gained confidence quickly.
Experienced riders were given the opportunity to go for a good canter down along the beach. For me, this was the pinnacle of the ride... cantering along the beach into the winter sunshine!
Arthurs Seat Trail Rides, "Where are they?" is the usual response to this recommendation to friends because you won't find much in the form of advertising.
This family owned and operated business has been here for well over 30 years and is well known to locals. It's where people head to for an affordable trail ride with no bells and whistles, though plenty of old fashioned hospitality.
The trail rides start from Purves Rd in Main Ridge and head out towards Greens Bush to do a loop before returning along the same trail.
Cost: $50 for a 1.5 hour trail ride (minimum age 7 years old) Address: 385 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat Vic 3936 Phone: 0438 892 766 Open: Saturday & Sunday 11am & 2pm Public & School Holidays 11am
Please note: Max rider weight 90kg, minimum age 7 years old.
Red Hill Winery Horseback Tours:
If you're after an 'upmarket' trail ridding experience then have a look at Red Hill Horseback Winery Tours. Here you get to experience a beautiful location at a leisurely pace whilst indulging in some local wines and ciders as you go.
I joined a Horseback Winery tour last winter that visited The Green Olive and Mock Orchards in Red Hill. I absolutely loved the equestrian estate, riding through the charming countryside and the apple ciders from Mock Orchards ... but for me personally, I wanted to see more of the countryside.
For kids, there is a great half day school holiday program for 4-8 year olds for $75pp, a full day beginner class for 5-12 year olds for $175 and an intermediate full day program for 8-14 year olds for $175. For more info on the school holiday programs click here.
2 hour discovery winery tour $130 (minimum age is 10y.o)
3 hour discovery winery tour $170 (minimum age is 10y.o)
There is also a Peninsula Hot Springs package deal that includes a FREE bathing pass for discovery tour riders at the moment! Check it out here.
Address: 356 Shands Road, Main Ridge, Victoria Phone: 03 5989 6119 Open: Daily