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Published October 11th 2018
A special childhood memory - your first horseride (by sharonj / CC0)
Melbourne is heaven for horses, with the majestic animals celebrated during the annual Spring Carnival. The Melbourne Cup, one of the world's great races, stops a nation with Australia's top thoroughbreds. Join the fun, choosing from the local ponies, quarterhorses, clydesdales and stockhorses to ride around our trails and parks.
Before shouting 'Giddy Up' or 'Hi-Yo Silver!', you'll need a helmet, long pants and closed shoes. When you arrive at the stable, introduce yourself with the horse's handshake – placing the back of your hand near the horse's nose. It's a great way to break the ice and it works with many other animals (not recommended for lions or sharks).
Before convincing your parents to buy a pony, try beginner courses or chat with a friendly guide or coach to receive the basics on horse riding technique.
Most clubs offer casual pricing for trail and park rides or private and group lessons to master your horse whispering.
At every club, safety is the top priority.
Find a four-legged friend (by pexels / CC0)
Experience equestrian joy with these top horse rides in Melbourne:
Mornington Peninsula - Gunnamatta Trail Rides
Take a a scenic drive south to Gunnamatta for beach and bush rides Choose from 75 horses, led by guides with decades of experience.
The beach tours, from 2-5 hours, dip along the coastline at St. Andrews to see the sun dip over the horizon.
Bush rides are an ideal intro, starting at 50 minutes, continuing for 3-hour sessions for seasoned riders. It's plenty of time to immerse yourself in a natural escape, on these outback adventures.
For a birthday or anniversary treat, there are packages with spa, bath and dining options.
Hone your skills with the clinics and lessons. Riding at Gunnamatta is suitable younger riders too, with safe choices for children as young as 6.
To the north east, Valley Park focuses on our next generation of jockeys. The young equestrians are guided by internationally qualified instructors, but adults aren't forced to walk. There are lessons for all ages on weekday afternoons and all day on the weekend.
For children with special needs, Katie Page is the perfect instructor. She has over 20 years of experience guiding people with a disability with tailored riding lessons.
For a treat, try the birthday and school holiday packages.
Instead of cycling, swimming or canoeing, ride horses and ponies through the Yarra Valley. With over 20 years as a horse stables, Beltrain has led beginners onto the trails, easing the anxiety of every first-timers.
The trainers take care of all ages, with the placid horses and ponies riding indoor and outside, rain or shine.
Lessons cover a range of handling skills, including grooming and saddling your mount.
The sessions can be either one-on-one or in small groups.
During the holidays, children earn badges for their achievements and win prizes and ribbons in novelty games.
A big oversight in this article is "Uncle Nevs" at Upper Plenty. Many different guided rides that ensure all ages and abilities have a great time. Varied terrain, plentiful wildlife and 80 horses to ensure you get an appropriate mount. Highly recommended.
Equestrian activities are very popular in the City of Casey and particularly in Narre Warren North. There are over 80kms of equestrian trails in the Casey with some pretty good ones at lake Lysterfield. Some o fthe businesses catering to horse riding are Cranbourne Pony Club, Cranbourne South Riding Club, Hallam Valley Pony Club, Lysterfield Adult Riding Club, and South Eastern Standardbred Riding Group. I recently went for a walk (I don;t have a horse) on the 2km equestgrian loop trail on the rehabilitated Narre Wareen North landfill, a nice spot with fantastic views.https://www.weekendnotes.com/old-landfill-equestrian-trail-walking-track/