We are open every day of the year. On weekends, we’re open from 8am to 6pm and on weekdays, it’s 6am to 8pm. On major public holidays, like Christmas or New Year, we operate weekend hours. Our busiest times for children’s activities are weekdays after school (4pm to 6pm especially) and on weekends. In holiday times, we’re really busy on weekdays and quieter on weekends.
As most of our riders are regulars who ride at the same time every week, we have limited spots available for new riders, especially during popular times. We will do our best to accommodate you. We can also put you on a waiting list until your ideal time becomes available. We manage our waiting lists very actively, so if you’re on a list, then you will receive a follow up call as soon as we have something suitable for you.
Pony Prep runs for 90 minutes each week for beginners or near beginners who are 5 years and over. We spend time with Belle the mechanical horse, Bonnie the electronic horse, we learn to groom a horse, work around the Stables and each child has a private 15 minute lesson. We take a maximum of three children per session. Pony Prep runs for nine weeks each school term and is $770 per term. We offer classes based on demand and offer weekend and sometimes after school classes. We recommend that children do a single session as a trial ($120), before committing to a term.
Perfect for young children (5yo+). Little Lessons mix things up, depending on the child’s interest, attention levels or energy. We do a 15 minute private riding lesson and spend another 15 minutes doing fun things like learning to groom, taking our horse for a walk or practising on the mechanical and electronic horses. $85 per session/$750 for ten pack.
A one-on-one lesson with an instructor, in an arena. Lessons are suitable for children who would like to learn to ride a horse by themselves and whose parents can commit to fortnightly or weekly lessons. For children who can only have occasional lessons, it might be best to work towards the child doing several lessons over a week or fortnight each year or two – they will retain far more than having a single lesson here and there.
A 30 minute lesson ($85 or $750 for ten) is perfect for most children who are at least 6 years old, understand their left and their right and who can concentrate for at least 20 minutes. When a child can ride confidently by themselves in walk and rising trot, can safely steer themselves around the arena, change rein and ride a variety of figures, all in rising trot, for at least twenty minutes, then they may be ready to learn canter and move onto a 45 minute lesson ($115 or $990 for ten).
Our Riding Intensive Package ($550) is a popular choice for children learning to ride. The package comprises eight x 30 minute private sessions. These include seven x 30 minute private riding lessons, at least one of which is on our electronic horse Bonnie plus a half hour escorted ride in Centennial Park, a saving of $105. We also have a package of ten x 30 minute lessons for $750, a saving of $100.
We strongly recommend and prefer that children have a single lesson initially, to make sure that they enjoy the lesson and Sydney Horse. If they do enjoy their lesson, you can use the $85 payment as a deposit for a package, provided you buy the package on the same day as the lesson. This way, you haven’t made a large commitment if they turn out not to be so keen on the reality of lessons, which does happen sometimes.
Once a child can ride confidently by themselves in walk and rising trot and can safely steer themselves around the arena in rising trot, for at least twenty minutes, they can also consider sharing a lesson. They can share either with someone they know or with someone we suggest who is at the same riding level. Shared lessons go for one hour and are $110 per person (or $990 for a block of ten).
Shared lessons can be more social and therefore more fun for some children. Others prefer the one-on-one relationship with their coach.
Groom and Lesson
For children who are interested in learning how to handle and look after horses, as well as how to ride. Children spend half an hour learning how to get a horse ready for riding (grooming and tacking up), then half an hour learning to ride. Once they are confident getting their horse ready, they can do this by themselves under supervision, then have their lesson and then learn how to take care of their horse after riding. Over time, as children become more competent, the horse management component can include learning how to walk a horse correctly, how to give a horse a bath, how to recognise and describe your horse, some horse first aid, learning how to feed, water and muck out a horse. Each session is $135 or $1200 for a block of ten. Children can also alternate between Groom and Lesson sessions and one hour riding lessons.
Young Riders’ Program
Two and a half hours each week, for children 8yo+ who can already walk and rise trot independently on a number of different horses. Children should also be able to canter off a lunge lead, although canter doesn’t have to be as well-established.
Young Riders’ runs 2pm to 4.30pm on Saturday or Sunday afternoons and from 8am to 10.30am on Sunday mornings. Children spend one hour in a group riding lesson. In addition, they learn to handle, groom, tack up their horses and take care of them after riding. They also learn some of the jobs in a stable, including feeding, mucking out, cleaning tack, walking horses, doing hays and watering.
Young Riders runs for nine weeks each school term. It gives children a good overall grounding in riding and horse care, as well as the opportunity to make new friends. We take a maximum of eight children per session, with riding lessons split into smaller groups, each with their own instructor. Entry is by assessment.
The Program is full, however, we maintain a waitlist, as spaces do come up from time to time. We recommend that children do a single session as a trial ($150), before committing to a term. The Young Riders’ Program is $990 per term.
We run Senior Camp days during school holidays, based on demand, for a maximum of four children. Entry is by assessment and is based on ability, rather than age. Children must be able to confidently walk, trot and canter.
Senior Camp is a good way of your child gaining more riding and horse care experience, in a social setting with other children. The group works together all day, with a dedicated qualified instructor. There are two riding sessions: a one hour independent ride to Centennial Park plus a one hour group riding lesson, either in the Equestrian Centre or in the Park.
In addition, children learn to get their own horses ready (grooming and tacking up) and how to take care of horses after riding. Other activities during the day can include learning to make up hays and feeds, mucking out, walking horses, giving them a bath, rugging and unrugging, learning about tack and how to take care of it. Children can also observe more specialist horse care, depending on what cases we have at any one time. This can include wound care, carrot stretches, hamstring stretches, lungeing and long reining work, shoeing.
Senior Camp is $350 per day.