An Introduction To The National Equestrian Centre

The Centre

Welcome to the National Equestrian Centre at “Kerrabee”, an equestrian sporting complex set on 1500 acres of beautiful rural landscape 15 minutes from the centre of Canberra. We offer Canberra’s best-integrated equestrian facilities both in terms of agistment as well as educationally based instruction programs suitable for all ages and levels of achievement. We offer individual and group instruction with resident and visiting qualified instructors. Australia’s best competitors and coaches provide regular clinics at the centre. The centre offers all recreational aspects of equestrian activity including trail riding as well as regular competitions in all disciplines.

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We teach basic horsemanship both theory and practical – horse grooming and handling, general riding, dressage, showjumping, cross country (eventing) and vaulting (gymnastics on the moving horse). We also provide opportunities for clients in regular instruction to participate in competitions in each of these disciplines as well as in our gymkhanas on NEqC horses. The centre regularly runs holiday programs and an extensive internal and external competition program. All our coaches are accredited or training to become accredited with the Equestrian Federation of Australia’s (EFA) National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) Level 1 or 2 in both vaulting and riding. We believe that in the equestrian field there is no end to learning. Our emphasis is always with safety in mind both for the rider and for the horse.

The Sport

Equestrian sports are unique in that they offer fitness and coordination in combination with the development of a partnership with a fellow athlete – the horse. The development of this partnership is both intellectually and physically challenging and develops sensitivity because achievement is based on harmony between horse and rider. Within this partnership there can be individual or team sport achievement. In addition to partnership, other skills that are gained include: confidence, social skills, responsibility, physical coordination, challenge and determination and patience.

Lessons

Your lesson program will cover all the skills required to manage and ride a horse. The lessons start with ground handling and safety. We teach you to catch and tie up a horse, how to groom, pick out feet, how to saddle, bridle and rug. A lot of this learning happens on the ground so lessons will not be entirely in the saddle.

Lessons are on an hourly basis and begin and end five minutes either side of the hour. Please ensure your arrival time is 15 minutes before the lesson to enable you to book in, pay for the lesson, rebook for your next lesson and locate your coach and horse and to ensure that your horse is ready for the lesson. For safety reasons all riders commence with private lessons. Once a student can demonstrate basic skills and control the student is able to move into group lessons if they wish. We also offer shared lessons. A group consists of between 3 and 8 riders and cater for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders of all ages. Group, shared and private lessons are available during the weekdays, evenings and on Saturday and Sunday.

All lessons are divided into varying stages based on riding skills. The required skills and knowledge for each stage is set out in the “Riders Guide”. The riders guide should be taken to each lesson where competencies will be signed off before moving to the next stage. If only one person arrives for a prebooked group lesson then this will be converted to a half hour private lesson at no extra cost or may, if the student wishes, be extended to a full hour private lesson. We recommend that children under the age of 8 begin riding in our “Junior Rider” program. These are a great introduction to safety around horses and riding, and run for half an hour. Children over the age of 12 who are riding regularly in a S3 or above lesson are able to join our voluntary junior staff program.

The centre is open 6 days a week; the office is open 10 am to 6pm Tuesday to Friday, 8.00am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Riding Attire

Essential riding apparel is based on safety and comfort. All riders must wear an ASA approved helmet. For best fit and hygiene a helmet should be purchased as soon as possible. Sneakers are not suitable footwear around horses, as they do not have a heel. Sturdy shoes with a heel and a small tread are suggested for initial lessons. Riding boots should be purchased as soon as possible. Riding gloves and a riding crop are also essential. We recommend that riders begin with a “Starter Pack” which includes riding boots and a riding crop, with the option of a helmet.

The choice of jodhpurs or jeans is a matter of comfort for the rider; for safety reasons shorts are not acceptable attire. These essential items are available for purchase from the centre along with our popular NEqC logo t-shirts, sweat shirts and jackets.

Prepurchased Lesson Discount

Payment can be made either for individual lessons or through our e-voucher system which offers discount lesson purchases. Discount vouchers are not transferable outside the immediate family, are non refundable and are valid for three months. Outside that period vouchers will be honoured with the purchase of a new voucher. Once a lesson is booked we expect attendance and the normal charge will apply unless 24hrs notice is given. Our facilities enable us to operate in all weather conditions. Theory instruction is available in our air conditioned and heated training room.

Your Horse

The matching of rider to horse is a complex choice as not only do people differ in their skills and capabilities particularly as they learn but also horses vary individually in their behaviour, responsiveness and tolerance to different levels of riding ability. Hence the choice of horse is always the prerogative of the centre and the instructor. Where there is a personal preference we will try to accommodate this if possible. For the cost of a one hour private lesson NEqC horses are available for clients in regular instruction to gain competitive experience at NEqC gymkhanas and events.

Lesson Venues

Lessons are conducted both indoors and outdoors and include regular trail rides. Currently there are four arenas in operation. There are international rules for riding in arenas and you will be taught these as part of your lessons.

Specialist Clinics

Specialist Clinics are available with Australia’s leading coaches and competitors, which can be attended on your own horse or on one of the centres horses.

Safety

hat we have said already will indicate how concerned we are with safety and safe procedures; as a result we are pleased to say that we have very few incidents. However, it is important to remember that horses are large and sometimes unpredictable animals. In the process of learning to ride and develop horse handling skills it is possible that an incident may occur, such as falling off. Whilst we take every care in teaching you to ride we remind you that all activities with horses on Kerrabee are always at your own risk.

Kiosk And Toilets

The kiosk is located in the office and has a range of hot and cold drinks, ice creams, confectionary and hot food. The toilets are located at the rear of the office building.

Information And Assistance

If you need any further information please don’t hesitate to ask. If you need assistance when you are at the centre see us in the office or ask one of our senior staff (in blue) or one of the junior staff (in green). We aim to offer you the best and we welcome both positive and negative feedback. We hope you will enjoy your association with us at the National Equestrian Centre. If you like what we do please tell your friends, if you don’t then please tell us.