Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living

Horsing around: North Shore riding activities for all ages

Written by Matthew Bourn
Horse fever is always at an all-time high during Melbourne Cup season. But if you, or someone in your family, is keen to get up close and personal with these four-legged beauties on a more regular basis, here are some options for getting involved with horses on Sydney’s North Shore, no matter your age.

Children 10 years and under

When it comes to this age group, it is usually best to start out with riding lessons at a centre that already has horses on site. This means your child can interact with and learn the basics about horses with a good temperament, understand the care and time involved and decide if it is something they want to get into long term (which is when it could be time for them to have their own pony or horse).

There are several centres that offer this including Sydney Hills Horse Riding Centre in Dural, Palomino Riding in School in Belrose and Sydney Riding School in Duffys Forest. If you’re looking for a really soft introduction to horses for the little ones (without committing to a whole school term), you can also take them to Glenworth Valley who offer lead ponies for one hour at a time.

Many riding centres also host ‘pony parties’, where children can get acquainted with horses in a fun, social learning environment.

Teenagers, clubs and summer schools

If you have a teen who’s extremely keen to get into horse riding then the North Shore has plenty of options on its doorstep. From the schools mentioned above, which offer a learning environment without having to BYOH (bring your own horse), there are many clubs that provide that next step of experience and opportunity to advance if you decide to lease or buy a pony.

Both the Avondale Pony Club and Northside Riding Club are located in St Ives and have a rich history of eventing, training days and horsemanship. Riders of all levels can become members of these clubs and have access to their facilities and competition show days. And of course, this is a fantastic way for teenagers to meet other like-minded people, mingle and feel a part of something special.

Most clubs and riding schools also provide school holiday programs where participants can get involved in more intensive riding and training clinics.

Adults with or without experience

As an adult, it can be daunting trying something new ‒ or getting back into a hobby we haven’t done for many years. But as the saying goes, there’s never a better time than now to ‘get back on the horse’ (even if it is for the first time).

Plenty of riding schools offer lessons for adults ‒ no matter their level of experience. Sydney Riding School offers both group classes and private lessons, as well as teaching horse management for those looking to lease or buy a horse.

For those with a few years of riding under their belt and who are looking to get involved in more competitive activities, AKL German Riding Ponies in Arcadia (and many of the other centres mentioned above) provide experienced coaching services.

Glenworth Valley also has a number of exciting one-off adventures if you’re just looking for a fun weekend activity to try.

Retirees: ideas for getting involved

For those who feel they might have passed their time to get on a horse, there is no reason you can’t still spend quality time with these beautiful animals.

Riding for the Disabled at the Ryde Centre is the perfect place to get involved with the day-to-day care of some very special horses, creating positive experiences in the lives of those with disabilities. From helping to lead horses during lessons to grooming and taking them out to graze, there is always a need for volunteers here.

A little further inland, in North Richmond, is Horse Rescue Australia who holds volunteer days throughout the year where you can help with cleaning up paddocks and giving the horses some care and attention.

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