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Welcome to our FAQ page!

Hopefully we can answer any questions you may have below.

We love what we do here and we want you to know everything you need to know about our centre. Below arethe answers to our frequently asked questions; if you would like to know additional reasons on why you should choose Avoca Park Equestrian over our competitors- please click here to see why we are better!

How to pick the right instructor for your child?

What a question!!

As we all know there are horses for courses, everyone is different but what I do know is that whether you are an adult or a child, a competition rider or a leisure rider, horse riding is your hobby….

AND it should be FUN!!

Teachers will come from all different backgrounds with different experiences, but what is a must is the way the information is delivered.

A teacher must never make a rider feel inadequate whilst learning to ride, this can be sometimes difficult as the teacher’s job is to make constant corrections.

BUT

It should be termed in such a way that gives confidence at the same time as giving direction.

It is the teacher’s responsibility to recognize how hard to push and when, we do want to continually develop the students but always within their capabilities and confidence.

For these reasons we truly believe that ALL riding instructors should have a teaching qualification. Sometimes the level of the instructor is not the most important thing, qualified Introductory coaches can be wonderful teachers for the lower level riders as they still remember what it is to learn the more basic movements.

One of the most important things about teaching is remembering all the stages it takes to learn a new skill and keeping in touch with your students regarding that, no matter what the age.

There may be a little experimentation at first in finding the best suit for yourself or your child but do your homework and ask some questions.

The teacher should always be to put clarity around the information being delivered whilst maintaining the confidence of the student.

A lot of the time this comes down to values.

 What everyone needs to remember is to ENJOY the journey!

What are the benefits of EA (Equestrian Australia) qualified instructors?

The interesting thing about horse riding education/instruction in Australia is that there is no compulsory governing body for qualifications.

Instructors DO NOT need a qualification to teach.

Instructors DO NOT need insurance to teach.

There is no compulsory, safety guidelines to follow.

BUT

What we do have available is our performance governing body, Equestrian Australia.

Within this organisation (EA) there is an in-depth coaching education process which enables future coaches to work through 4 levels in 5 areas…

*General

*Dressage

*Show jumping

*Eventing

*Carriage Driving

The 4 levels to work through are Introductory – Level 1 – Level 2 and Level 3.

Each Level has 3 components –

*Horse Management

*Riding

*Coaching

The Horse Management and Riding needing to be passed prior to the commencement of the Coaching at each level.

Within each component there are 3 parts for assessment –

*Theory

*Practical

*Oral

Before commencing the Coaching components, candidates must have completed their Working with Children check, completed their Level 2 First Aid and completed a ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) online exam.

On a yearly basis when registrations are due it is compulsory that each coach produces evidence of self-education which is based on a points system and to have also taken part in bi-yearly EA Coaching update. These updates are for any new information necessary for Equine coaches to know including insurance updates, Equestrian Australia or Equestrian Victoria rule changes.

Overall, it is a very in-depth education process that produces Coaches/Teachers of the highest standard.

At Avoca Park we feel it is particularly important for us to only use EA qualified coaches for our teaching. The SAFETY and WELL-BEING of our non-horse owner and horse owner students is paramount to us.

We also encourage all our Team members starting at Junior level to take part in our courses, this enables us to have the whole Team on the same page regarding any information given for horse or rider.

For us here at Avoca Park enjoyment is in the education and the way it is delivered.

And for you, our clients, the safety of you and your families whilst taking part in one of, what we all feel here, one of the most wonderful hobbies there is.

“Working with Horses”

How to decide on the best riding school fit?

Every riding school has something different to offer whether it be the types of arenas, level of qualifications of the instructors, the types of riding done, age of their instructors.

So, there are a few questions that needed to be asked.

What is it you are looking for? For yourself or for your child(ren)?

Why having lessons on a school horse is beneficial?

The first question you should ask is what does the school horses have that can benefit you?

People come to Avoca Park for many different reasons –

*To regain confidence after an incident with their own horse.

*To learn to ride for the first time (often an adults bucket list)

*To get back into riding after a break… Sometimes one year, sometimes 20 years.

*To learn some different exercises on a more educated horse.

How are Avoca Park’s school horses trained?

Here at Avoca Park we pride ourselves on the quality of school horses we have available for our riders.

We believe that for our riders to continue to learn, it is advantageous for the horses to continue to learn too.

So, on a weekly basis our school horses get ridden and continually trained by our teachers.

WHY IS THIS BENEFICIAL?

This is beneficial for a number of reasons….

  1. Our teachers are very familiar with our horses from a riding perspective so they can help our students better understand the aids needed.
  2. Our school horses continue to be educated between lessons to aid their development and their education.
  3. The training we do with the horses continues to develop their symmetry which gives a more educated ride.
  4. We are able to keep their responses to the aids very similar so it aids us with our teaching.

How much are riding lessons?

$120 per hour or $90 per half hour on one of our school horses with Leanne Williams

$90 per hour or $70 per half hour on one of our school horses with our other EA credited coaches.

Why are some lessons more expensive?

Leanne Williams has achieved her Equestrian Australia National Coaching Levels 1-3 in Dressage, as well as becoming a Level 2 Jumping Equitation Judge and a Level 1 licensed teacher in Philippe Karl’s School of Légèreté. Her skills and knowledge in the bio-mechanics and the development of her riding with the School of Légèreté helps maintain and improve all riders and their horses well-being and her riders leave feeling impressed. Not only can Leanne talk the talk she has walked the walk, so to speak- competing at Grand Prix level and representing Australia on Avoca Black Saint.

Our EA Coaches have all got a wealth of experience and knowledge, accredited through a nationally recognised establishment of Equestrian Australia. These lesson costs are the going rate for a riding lesson in the area.

Do you have an age, height or weight limit?

We don’t have a limit on height or age, but we do recommend riders to be about 5 or older to really enjoy and be able to engage in their lessons. Saying that we have had some amazing little riders from 3yrs old and up.

Unfortunately, we do have a maximum weight limit of 90kg. This is to ensure the health of our horses. We do not make exceptions on the weight limit- sorry!

When can I book a lesson?

Our EA Coaches get booked by term commitments, either weekly, fortnightly and on occasion we can organise monthly. Our EA Coaches are available on Saturdays and Sundays throughout a term.

If you are interested in private lessons for a term, please find out more information here: Private Lesson Term Booking

If you would like a casual booking Leanne Williams is available normally on the weekends and throughout the week 12-5pm (if booking a school horse), slightly later if booking on your own mount. Leanne does travel to teach clinics around Australia so her availability depends on her schedule.

If you would like to organise a lesson with Leanne click here: Lessons with Leanne

Your website says I need to book a term of lessons? Can I get a one off?

We generally take term bookings for weekends but we can take casual bookings during the week and we welcome riders/families to come in for a trial lesson first.

Leanne Williams is normally available during the week for all casual bookings. If we have the staff available we are always happy to accommodate our rider’s needs. If we are between terms we are happy to book in casual lessons for our EA coaches.

I don’t have a helmet or boots, do you provide these?

Yes, we normally provide these for all customers that wish to use them. However due to the current lockdown we are not to allow the communal use of our equipment. It is unsafe to have our clients share helmets so it is prohibited until further notice.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

I have no riding experience; can I still have a lesson?

Yes of course, we accept riders of all abilities and have a small but wonderful team of ponies and horses that suit all abilities.

I have my own horse, can I get a lesson?

Yes, Leanne offers lessons at Avoca Park to all riders. She charges $90 per hour on your own horse.

Will Leanne travel to teach me at my own agistment?

During Stage 3 lock down restrictions, Leanne will travel to her riders for $120 per hour, but there does need to be multiple riders in your same area to make the opportunity viable for her to be spared from the running of Avoca Park.

Do you train horses?

Yes, we do offer training services. For more information please click here: Training at Avoca Park

Do you do trail rides?

No, I’m afraid we don’t offer trail rides from our facilities. You are able to ride down the road from our facilities but it is not something we offer on our school horses.

Do you do group lessons?

We offer group lessons for beginners and intermediate riders on Tuesday evenings (Kids & Adults) and every other Friday evening (Cavalletti & Jumping) At the moment, due to the rules and regulations of stage 3 lockdown, our maximum group size is 2 unless group members are from the same household. We accept beginners into these groups but they must be able to walk and trot independently. You can bring your own horse to these group lessons (providing you are following the guidelines set in place by the DHHS).

We also provide Pony Club Australia group lessons on a weekend where our riders (adults welcome) work through the PCA Accredited Course to earn their Certificates. These groups involve learning horsemanship, equine theory and a horseriding lesson. For more information click here: PCA Accredited Course

I have ridden before but never ridden with you, can I join your groups?

We do allow new riders into our groups BUT they do need to have an assessment lesson first. This is so we know the rider is at the ability they believe they are, can cope and enjoy the group level and be matched with a suitable horse before being in a group setting.

I would, or my child would love to learn more about horses and how to look after them. Do you provide lessons for this?

We do provide a Pony Club Australia accredited course, aimed at teaching anyone from ages 5 and up (adults included) how to look after horses correctly and safely. It provides the same syllabus that it does for horse owners except riders are able to use our horses as if they were their own. Its an incredible incentive set by the PCA and we are incredibly honoured we are one of just a few accredited centres in Victoria. For more information click here: PCA Accredited Course

If you are an experienced rider looking to improve their skills and experience in the equine industry we offer the EA Introduction to Horse Management and the EA Introductory Riding Courses. Both are pre-requisites modules to earn your coaching qualifications. The information learnt in these courses are vital for any potential horse owner.

Do you offer accommodation? Or Riding holidays?

Yes! We do. Here is a link to the accommodation we provide at Avoca Park and here is a link to find out more about our Equine holidays.

For kids we do provide kids camps for both Horse owners and non-horse owners during the school holidays.

What do you have available for kids during the school holidays?

We are very happy that we are able to offer quite a few options for our kids during the school holidays.

Our school holiday clinics are aimed at horse owners and non-horse owners. We welcome beginners and new customers into our school holiday programs. We provide a safe an educational atmosphere for them, for more information click here

We usually have kids camps for both horse owners and non-horse owners during the school holidays, but they are currently on hold due to Covid-19 and the related restrictions.

What does HO or NHO stand for?

HO = Horse Owner- So the rider would bring their own horse to the lesson.

NHO = Non-Horse Owner- We provide the ponies & horses for these lessons or activities.

Can you still be open with the lockdown in place?

We have been very careful to follow all rules in place by the DHHS for the stage 3 restrictions. We take our clients and staff’s health seriously and are following all precautions asked of us.

I have more questions but they weren’t answered here, how do I find out what I need to know?

Please email us at info@avocapark.com.au or call us on 0422 561 126 and we’d be happy to help you further 😊