Q: Do you cater for adults or children who have never ridden before?
A: Absolutely, we have taken thousands of clients from all over the world both adults and children, who have never ridden before. Our horses are calm and well trained and love taking out beginner riders. And our guides are there to comfort and help you.
Q: Is there a bus service to the riding centre?
A: The closest bus stops at the Belfast Tavern (The Peg) on the Main North Road. This is a Blue line bus; click this link for a timetable. We are a 20 minute walk from this stop.
Q: How can we find you?
A: If driving, please follow the directions found on our website (bottom corner of every page) or use your GPS. Our physical address is 219 Coutts Island Road, Belfast, Christchurch.
Q: Are you open on Public Holidays?
A: Yes – we are open MOST public holidays except Christmas, Boxing and newyears Day!
Q: What type of payments do you accept?
A: Our booking system on our website allows for credit and debit card payments only. We can take Visa and Mastercard only and will accept bank transfers using your device. Cash payment is also accepted. Prior payment when booking will secure your ride. Unless otherwise agreed with management.
Q: How much notice do you need for cancellations?
A: 24 hours or at the discretion of the Management.
Q: Do you provide riding clothes, boots, and helmets?
A: We definitely provide NZ and Australian Approved Safety helmets, and although it is NOT a legal requirement in NZ to wear a helmet whilst riding (over 14 years of age), we strongly encourage their use. You only have one head! Although we do not offer riding clothes or boots, we may be able to provide appropriate footwear on request. We understand that when you are travelling you can’t pack for every possibility, so if you need something more suitable please let us know using the special requirements section of our booking form. Wet weather gear and warm gloves are available when appropriate.
Q: Is there a weight limit?
A: Yes :
95kg – 1hr Fantail trek
90kg – 2hr Falcon Extended River Ride
80kg – Riding School Lessons
Horses in our riding centre work hard day after day and even with regular breaks and good tack, one of the most difficult challenges for us is ensuring horses don’t develop sore backs.
However, a tall, experienced rider, who may exceed the weight limit, may ride very light on the horse’s back. So, please do check with us first.
Sometimes there is a limit on the number of heavier riders which can be accepted on any given date, so please email or call to check availability when there are more riders just under or over the weight limit.
Q: Why do you need to know our height/weight/level of riding ability?
A: This will assist us greatly in determining the most suitable horse for you. Not every horse is going to suit each persons height, weight or level of riding ability
Q: What is the age limit?
A: We do not have an age limit as such, it all depends on each individuals level of physical ability and health. Our oldest horse trek client was 81 years old. Children under the age of 10 years will always be lead for safety reasons unless they can demonstrate effective control of the pony. Very young children ( 1 to 3 year olds can have pony rides as long as an adult is holding onto them for safety reasons).
Q: Are children allowed to ride on the same horse as an adult?
A: Because we care about your safety, this is not permitted. However we are happy to put children on appropriate sized ponies and lead them for all rides under 2 hours.
Q: Do you cater to people with disabilities?
A: We have regularly had groups from Autism New Zealand come for pony rides also groups from Van Ash School for the Deaf as well as a group of blind and partially blind people for a 1 hour trek. We have also taken out a lovely American woman who mostly dependent on a wheel chair. People are required to be able to balance independently whilst sitting on the horse. So depending on the type of disability, we are happy to try and accommodate most. Please provide details in the special requirements section of the booking form and/or feel free to call us to discuss requirements.
Q: Do your treks still run if it is raining?
A: It is important to call us if you have concerns about the weather on the day. It is not uncommon for it to be raining in the city but not at our place. If clients still want to go we can usually oblige however, if we feel that the weather will compromise the safety of the trek, we will contact you to cancel in which case refunds are available if you are unable to reschedule. Please make sure you give us a contact number. If you don’t have a NZ capable mobile, then the number of your accommodation provider would be helpful.
Q: Do your treks go through the river?
A: This is always a highlight, however we must be sure we have a safe place to cross. If the river is in flood crossings are not possible and may not be for several days at a time. All treks from one hour and above have this possibility, unless the guides feel that the riders do not have enough control over their horses or the riders require walkers or leaders.
Q: Can we do more than just a walk on a trek?
A: We always try to cater for all levels of riding ability. Please see the definitions on our booking page. We understand many people want to experience the exhilaration of going fast on a horse, but this requires both fitness and skill. Please let your guide know if you wish to try going faster. Our experienced guides will assess how safe it is likely to be for you and others in the group and have the right to decide what pace to take. However for safety reasons we will have to adjust the level to the lowest level rider in a group. If you have booked as intermediate or any higher level of experience we will do our best to ensure you have a ride that reflects this. Or you can book a private trek to ensure that you will get the ride to reflect your level. Please remember to try not to over-estimate your riding ability as this may disadvantage you and others in the group.