For some people taking their horse out on the weekend for a free ride is the best way to see local places around them and enjoy a day out as well. Here in Gippsland, we have so many beautiful trail rides for horse and their riders. Places to ride your horse in Wellington Shire Gippsland are diverse and beautiful.
Horse riding in Gippsland
There are so many special places to horse ride in Wellington Shire from beach rides to bush rides. There are even some places that are fully dedicated to horse enthusiast as they are also used by local pony clubs during their meets. In this post we will cover all of those so you can pick the best place to go horse riding in Gippsland.
Beach locations for horse riding in Gippsland
There are so many epic scenes of people horse riding on the beach on the back of their favourite horse and there are places in the Wellington Shire where you can do that too.
One thing about horse riding on the beach is it is a great work out for the horse and a great way to have a swim too on a hot day. Just remember to respect any landowners around the area and don’t go into places that you are not allowed or invited into.
Seaspray & McGauren’s Beach
There is some horse access to Seaspray but it is only South-West of Merrimens Creek. It can be tricky to access unless you know someone with property adjoining to the beach. If you do cross at the creek, be sure to clean up all manure from the car park and avoid busy times, Locals can be less than friendly to horse riders crossing the creek.
We love the beach. It is great fun cantering the horses along in the heavy sand, the kids enjoy playing on the hummocks. Getting horses used to the ocean can be tricky. We always recommend taking an experienced horse as it makes getting new horses into the ocean easier.
Tips for beach horse riding in Gippsland
I would recommend using McGaurens Beach, access via Gifford road and onto McGaurens beach road. This is more user-friendly.
You do need to be aware of the possibility of quicksand, especially on some of the tracks behind the sand dunes.
Bush locations for horse riding in Gippsland
If listening to the waves crash while you ride your horse in Gippsland or your horse is not a beach lover you may find the perfect place in the bush. Bush horse riding in Gippsland is amazing. You will find horse riding for beginners in Gippsland and even for the expert rider too.
The Pines plantation in Longford Gippsland
We love Gippsland trail riding in the pines. Longford is easy to access and there is a nice long blowout hill that we use regularly. We enter via the Archery Rd off Longford – Rosedale Rd and park behind the trees opposite the white fence. Others park at the base of the blowout hill.
Longford Pines is mainly made up of square blocks, so you can ride for as little as half an hour or for hours. You do need to be aware of where is being logged and steer clear of the area and the roads the trucks are using. Bike tracks are fun to explore with the kids.
Top tips for horse riding in the Longford Pine Plantations
Motorbike riders also use the pines and have created some handy tracks through the centre of some of the blocks.
The main tracks are all gravel, with some blue stone in places. Though you can usually ride to the side of the track or find bike tracks and half block tracks which are usually sandy.
The Knob Reserve Stratford
The Knob Reserve Stratford is home to the Stratford Pony Club and is a favourite spot for dog walkers, walkers, Joggers and horse riders. There is a gravel road that circles most of the knob which is great for an easy horse ride or a good gallop. There is also a dirt track up the middle that is great for all levels.
Horse riding facilities at the Knob Reserve Stratford
Horse riding at the Knob Reserve Stratford is fantastic. For riders, there are a range of cross country jumps from Grade 5 (50cm) up to Grade 2 (95cm) Up the top of the grounds at the Pony Club area there is also 2 menage’s, 1 is a 20mx40m post and rail fenced arena, which is free to use.
The other menage is 60mx20m which can be hired off the Stratford Pony Club. If jumping is not your forte, you can enjoy a leisurely ride around the grounds.
Other facilities at the Knob Reserve Stratford
Most of the other facilities you will find down the bottom of the Knob Reserve near the old footy oval.
Open wood fire
Tie up station
Open seating areas
For walkers, there is also a lookout overlooking the Avon River and farmland. There is no access to this area with horses as it is an important historical gathering site for the local Gunaikurnai people and must be protected.
Briagolong Red Gum Reserve
The Briagolong Recreation Reserve adjoins the Red Gum Reserve and is a great place for a bush horse ride in Gippsland. There are a few kilometres of dirt tracks you can ride through the reserve that cater to all expereince levels.
There are also a range of cross country jumps here to play on as well, including a ditch jump. These are all grouped together up the hill above the menage. There is also a 60mx20m fenced sand arena to ride on also and some basic yards.
If you would like to know more about what is at the Briagolong Red Gum Reserve have a look at the Red Gum Reserve Facebook page
Bush and beach horse rides in Gippsland
If you like a little bit of water on your ride and then a good gallop through the bush then this one may be for you. All experience levels are catered for and it may be the best way to train your horse to love the water as well without it being an overload for it.
Roseneath Caravan Park
Roseneath is on the far side of Lake Wellington off the road into Hollands Landing. There used to be access to the lake at the end of the road, but now access is only through the caravan park. This would be a great place to stay in Gippsland to horse ride if you are looking for an overnight stay.
Horse riding facilities at Roseneath caravan park
There is a paddock available for horses to graze in. You can build your own yards inside the paddock also. There are bush tracks to ride along as well as a 2km strip of sand along the edge of the water. The water is nice and shallow for the kids to play in or if you go out far enough you can swim the horses.
Is there a horse riding experience in Gippsland?
If you do not have your own horse or you are unable to transport your horse there are some places that you can go to and have a horse riding experience. These are normally fanmtsatic for a weekend getaway in Gipplsand or a treat for the younger ones of the family who have always wanted to experiebce horse riding.
Coonawarra Trail Rides
At the Coonawarra Trail rides you can go on a 1 hour ride all the way up to an overnight horse ride. Everything is organised for you and you will be taken into the bush on horseback with an experienced guide.
Address for the Coonawarra trail rides is 3545 Bairnsdale-Dargo Rd, Glenaladale VIC 3864
Ryders Horse riding tours
The experienced guides at the Ryders horse riding tours will take you for a magical ride through the Bunyip State forest.
Address for the Ryders horse riding tours is 350 Forest Rd, Labertouche VIC 3816
Where are some trail riding groups in Gippsland I can join?
The best way to see the different places in Gippsland where you can ride your horse is to join a local Trail Riding Club. These Gippsland based clubs who usually run a ride each month in a different location are a fantastic way to meet new people and discover a new place for horse riding in Gippsland. We are lucky in Gippsland as we have a few clubs to choose from in the area.
We are lucky in Gippsland as we have a few clubs to choose from in the area. You can contact the horse riding club in Gippsland and see when their next ride is.
Rosedale Heritage Trail Riding Club
Toongabbie Trail Riding Club
Tambo Upper Trail Riding Club.
Rosedale heritage trail riding club also runs a yearly fundraising trail ride, previously it has been from Port Albert to Rosedale. Visitors are welcome.
Is there a cost to join a trail riding club?
There is a small cost to join the Australia Trail Horse Riding Association. Their early membership is $100 or you can purchase a day membership for around $15. There are sometimes extra costs per ride, which may include lunches and camping etc
Protective gear worth considering when horse riding
Make sure you have the appropriate safety gear when out horse riding. Accidents do happen, horses can sometimes rear up and shy away causing riders to fall. Here is a list of some safety equipment worth considering
Horse riding helmet
Protecting your head is the most import thing. make sure you get a well-fitted helmet that does up tightly. Browse helmets > Here <
Horse riding boots
Your selection will need a one-inch heel to prevent your foot sliding through the stirrup and getting caught.
Use these safety cages on your stirrups to prevent a foot from getting caught up the stirrup in the case of a fall.
Horse riding gloves
You’ll have a better grip on the reins and most importantly it will protect your hands from rein burns and blisters. Buy gloves > HERE <
Sports in Gippsland like horse riding are very important. There are many great places to ride your horse in Gippsland and on your travels in Gippsland you will see many people out enjoying a ride. We have only covered a handful of locations in a small area of Gippsland here. We would love to hear any more suggestions for more Gippsland locations for horse riding.
Our good friend Cat Mowbray wrote this of this article for us here at Travels in Gippsland from her extensive knowledge for horse riding in the Wellington Shire. We just added some padding to it. Thanks, Cat for your brilliant insider knowledge!
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About the Author
Mark has grown up and lived in the Gippsland area all his life. Being born and raised in Gippsland he knows a thing or 2 about this amazing region. When Mark is not working he is out exploring the best of Gippsland with his wife and kids