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31 Jul 2017
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PAW

How to get your equine fix when you haven’t got a horse

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Don’t let your lack of a horse stop you enjoying some equine fun. Here are five ways to get up close and personal with these wonderful creatures.

If you love horses but don’t have one of your own, don’t despair. There are any number of ways to get your equine fix without forking out the huge sums for a paddock, a stable and a saddle. It will also allow you to tap into the therapeutic benefits that being around horses brings to humans.

All you need to do is grab your wish by the reins (pun intended) and book in your next horse experience.

1. Take riding lessons
Even if you don’t live on a farm it’s hard to argue against horse riding being one of life’s great joys. But if you’ve ever dreamed of riding along the beach at sunset or taking off into the bush with a new equine friend, you’ll need to start with the basics first.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or you want to improve your skills, finding lessons is not generally all that difficult, though they may be expensive. Most cities and towns have a pony club or riding schools. There are city-based experiences, such as in the Centennial Parklands in Sydney  and at the Perth Royal Showgrounds  or scenic riding in bushland in the Blue Mountains. Group lessons are a good way to ease yourself in before deciding whether you want to spend more for individual guidance.   

2. Trail ride the weekend away
There’s nothing like some time in nature to clear the mind and escape the stress of the working week. If you’re yearning for a weekend away and some horse time, try combining the two on a trail ride. There are all sorts of great trail-riding experiences available, involving food and wine, luxury day spas after the ride or a more pared-back style.

You could head to Victoria’s high country, take in the expansive Margaret River countryside  or your favourite coastal region for the experience of a lifetime. There’s beach riding just 40 minutes from Adelaide and bush-to-beach rides around Noosa.

3. The big muster trip
Want your horse experience to be even bigger and better? An outback cattle muster in the amazing Kimberley region is a bucket-list item for the most fervent horse enthusiast. Not only will you get to see an incredible outback property, you’ll be learning mustering skills that are part and parcel of living in more remote parts of the country.

4. Get fancy in a carriage
There’s nothing that says romance like a date in a horse-drawn carriage. It feels like the ultimate in luxury transport and takes you back to a simpler time when there wasn’t a care in the world.

You’re most likely to find old-fashioned carriage experiences amidst the bright lights of Melbourne  or in country tourist hotspots, like the Hunter Valley. And all you need to do is sit back and hold hands, while someone else does the work.

5. Ready, set… go to the races
If your love affair with horses knows no bounds, but you’re also in the mood for a good time, you might want to get dressed up for the races. Whether you want to see the harness racing or head to one of the famous spring carnivals in Melbourne or Sydney, the races are one way of sating that equine desire while sipping champagne.

No matter which way you do it, spending time around or on a horse is an age-old pursuit that doesn’t need to be out reach even for the most city-bound among us. So saddle up, flare the nostrils and enjoy the feeling of true horsepower.


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