Australia, the sunburnt country and land of sweeping plains, has a strong history and affinity with horses and horse riding. The Man From Snowy River, Clancy Of The Overflow and various other bushmen have left their mark on Australian culture; names like Phar Lap and Archer are part of our nation's folklore; and every four years we tune into the Olympics to find out just who our latest equestrian gold medallist is.
In a country with such agreeable weather, and with the open space needed for both breeding and riding, it's natural that horse riding participation levels are far higher here than the average nation. If you've never ridden and are keen to learn then fear not, it's never too late to learn, and there is no shortage of riding schools across the country that will have you graduating from a trot to a gallop before you know it!
Equestrian Australia is the national body, and oversees everything from elite national teams right down to the accreditation of the horse riding instructors who'll have you on your way. If you want to know where to get lessons, they're a great place to start.
Every state and territory has its own EA affiliate which works on a smaller scale with the schools in the various regions, and whether you're a complete novice or an intermediate rider looking to improve your skills you'll easily find a program to match.
Horse riding camps are a fantastic way to learn a lot about riding in a hurry and cover everything from caring for your horse to looking after your equipment, safety and first aid, as well as all the riding basics. Camps for more advanced riders can often incorporate sleeping out on the trail; and adult camps, while not as common as the abundance of kids’ school holiday options, are often tailored to incorporate other activities such as sightseeing and fine dining experiences.
All of the major cities boast riding schools within close reach of the centre of town, while equestrian centres can be found everywhere once out in the country. Whatever your level of riding, from rank beginner to confident and keen to improve, there's something for everyone in Australia's great outdoors.