Horse riding has always been something I loved. Peru, Canada, Iceland, England – no matter what country I’m in I always try to find time to fit in an equestrian activity. Now I can add Australia to the list.
Horse riding on the beach is the one thing I’d always wanted to do but had never gotten the chance. Unless, of course, you count the donkey’s at Weston Supermare…….. but it’s not really the same.
Now, thanks to Pegasus Park Equestrian Centre I’ve finally had the chance to do some horse riding in Byron Bay.
Pegasus offers a pick up service from outside Cheeky Monkey’s in Byron which I happily availed of. For all of you late risers, don’t worry, the pick up was just before 10.30am. Not too early!
Ramona, the manager, picked myself and two others up. Meeting the woman in charge from the offset was a nice touch. It was obvious she loved what she did and had grown up around horses. Her relaxed and friendly manner would set even the most nervous rider at ease.
If you have hired a car then you can, of course, drive straight to a pre arranged meeting point, depending on which ride you’re undertaking, rather than waiting for a pick up.
What To Wear
Well, this was tricky for me. Having just come from four months in Asia I had a backpack full of shorts and sandals. I hadn’t really prepared for horse riding in Byron Bay. Luckily, I did have one pair of runners and some leggings. That would suffice.
Of course, if you have suitable boots then definitely wear them, but runners are fine. Personally, I wouldn’t wear shorts but other girls did. I can’t speak for how chaffed their inner thighs were from the combination of sea salt, perspiration and saddle friction but they seemed happy enough.
When we arrived at Lennox beach we had to fill in a few forms. One about our previous riding experience and another for insurance purposes. Then it was time to slap on some sunscreen and grab a helmet.
Then, the moment we’d been waiting for, we were introduced to our horses. Mine was a magnificent buck skinned beauty called Cody. I’d had my eye on him from the moment we arrived and I was delighted.
He was a quirky thing, nipping at me when he got a chance. I stuck my foot in the stirrups and swung myself up onto his back. It was so good to be back on a horse.
Originally the plan had been to go “horse surfing”, but due to a couple of recent shark attacks we settled for a ride along the beach, venturing into the shallow surf.
Once we were all up, girths tightened and ready to go we headed down to the beach. If you’ve never ridden before or don’t have much experience DON’T WORRY, the beginners were led by Ramona and her husband.
Lennox beach was BEAUTIFUL. It was deserted. The only other creatures around were some unfortunate jelly fish that had lost the battle with the storm the previous night.
Cody was reluctant to get his hooves wet in the beginning but eventually I managed to get him wading in to midway up his legs. Stubborn horses are my favourite.
We stopped several times for some wonderful photo opps. Ramona was great at taking photos with everyone’s various cameras or phones so that everyone had a souvenir of horse riding in Byron Bay.
On the way back it was clear the horses were eager to get back. Trots were breaking out everywhere and even the occasional short canter.
Part of me would have loved to canter or gallop the whole way back but it wasn’t that kind of group and I was quite enjoying wading through the shallows at a slow pace, breathing in the fresh ocean air and appreciating the wonderful experience.
Once we got back it was time to dismount and rid the horses of their saddles and bridles. Then it was back in the van and we were on our way back to Byron Bay.
What Did I Think?
I LOVED it! The horses were beautiful. Ramona was amazing. The beach was pristine.
Pegasus caters for all levels of riders. They do lessons. They also offer hinterland rides and accommodation at their farm. For a full list of activities and prices check out their website below.
In fact, I’m heading back to Byron in April and I think I’ll have to go visit Cody for another adventure.
Check out the Pegasus Website for more info, packages and prices.