Darkes Forest Riding Ranch

When I was growing up I loved Horses..was mad about them. Its all I ever talked about, dreamed about and wanted – there wasn’t a time when I wasn’t thinking about horses.

I remember one year that I wanted a “Pony” for Christmas, I think that I was about 10 or 11 at the time?.  We didn’t have any where that I could keep a Pony but that didn’t stop my dream. That year at Xmas I was given “My Little Pony” toys- it was the worst Xmas present ever.  At the time I was so very upset with my parents but looking back on life its all they could afford so I really should have been grateful…funny how “Grateful” I can now “See” I should have been, guess being a kid we take family for granted.

When I was 18 I purchased my own horse, and found a paddock to keep him in. It was the most amazing gift ever, and I loved him with all of my heart. Every weekend I was riding him, every afternoon after work I would ride him. Until I had to gift him to another horse lover because I was getting ready to have my first son and I didn’t think it was fair to have a Horse and no time for him.

A few years passed and I visited where he lived – he was doing fine, and the new owner was really kind to him. Sure missed him but I knew he was in good hands….he would now be gone because he was about 15-16 years of age when I owned him, but I still think of him all the time.

Darkes Forest Riding Ranch ::

While I was a teenager I used to “hitch” a ride with a family friend who owned a horse down at Darkes Forest Riding Ranch. He had his own horse, while I rode the horses that were there – sometimes I would ride for at least 2 hours, or even ride in the Round Yard. I am not sure how much money my parents spent there but gee I am so grateful for all those wonderful weekends.  Not sure I ever send “thank you” to my parents, gosh I must have been such an ungrateful child.

And now I was able to return with two of  my sons and show them a place that held many fond memories….It was such a special day, one I am glad that I made myself do.

Cameron was on “Gary” – his very first time ever riding a horse.

Horse riding at Darkes Forsest Riding Ranch

CAMERON ON “GARY” – HIS FIRST HORSE RIDING EXPERIENCE

You see it was a day organised through a homeschooling group down here in the Wollongong area. And I came so close to pulling out because I was so very scared to ride again.

Horse riding at Darkes Forest

KYLE ON ROCKY – HIS FIRST HORSE RIDING EXPERIENCE

Kyle first time horse riding by himself! He got to ride “Rocky” – a name that is suitable to his nature!!

Horse Riding

CAMERON NOT SURE ABOUT RIDING

Kyle ready to ride

KYLE WAS SO KEEN TO RIDE

Which is so very silly but my back is not as strong as it used to be {Too many heavy babies have been in my belly!!!} and I was embarrassed to think about how I was going to get on a horse. Silly me, nothing to worry about.

Memories ::

The memories of the place lived up to what is there. Darkes Forest Riding Ranch is exactly what I remembered, and yet you can see the new additions – more paddocks, more agistment available, Kiosk, bigger horse sheds. And still has such friendly staff. sure if it has the same owners as when I used to go there?

We went on a 1 hour trail ride – it went far too fast….and I can’t wait to get my “horse Fix” again.

It was the best day ever.

Ready To Ride ::

Trail Ride

READY TO HEAD OFF ON THE TRIAL RIDE

Trial Riding

BEAUTIFUL SCENERY

On the Trail Ride

CAMERON WAS BEHIND ME!

Homeschoolers

HORSE TRAIL RIDING

Kyle was at the front of the trail ride so I couldn’t actually get any photos of him….so like Kyle! He always walks at the front of our bush/beach walks, and he got a horse that liked to be at the front of the pack.

Finished our trail ride

AT THE END OF OUR RIDE

This was the end of the trail ride! And it went far too fast!!. We were able to “Trot” for a bit, but didn’t get a chance to canter. I remember when I went there as a teenager that there was a section of the trail where the horses/riders got to split from the group – and the ones that wanted to canter could go with a leader along another path, and the ones who wanted to keep walking/trotting went along the shorter path way back. Not sure if they still do that?

beautiful horse called dolly

MY HORSE CALLED DOLLY.

I was super excited when I got told that I would be riding a “Clydesdale Horse” because when I was about 18 I visited England for two months and I got to see a “Clydesdale Farm” – they have the biggest horses in England…most of them where over 22 hands high and built so very strong for the cold harsh winters. And something about a Clydesdale touched my heart – they are so very gentle and so very generous in nature.

“Dolly” – this gorgeous horse was a wonderful sweet ride. She was so very gentle, so very kind to let me ride her. I haven’t ridden a horse since I sold mine so I wasn’t sure how I would go…actually I was also very scared because being a “Mum” means that I don’t want any situations where I could be hurt – I don’t have the time to look after my boys with broken bones!

But I didn’t let the fear stop me – between my boys and David {hubby} I faced my fears head on. And I am so glad that I did! Now I want to go for another Horse Ride on a Trail – or even better still I want to own a Horse again!

Horse Bin

HORSE BIN?

Horses ready for riding

ALL THE HORSES WAITING TO BE RIDDEN

Family run business

FAMILY RUN RIDING RANCH

Lots of paddocks

MORE PADDOCKS THAN BEFORE

House at the property

THE BIG HOUSE

While I was there this house was in the stages of being built..now its finished and looks like its part of the property and has the “lived” in look, as if it has always been there!

Gorgeous views

LOVELY HORSE RIDING RANCH

It was so very special to return to a Place I used to visit so very often. It was so very nice to get over my fears and be back on a Horse….when we got home we all looked on line at Horses for Sale, and I even started to check out “Jobs” where I could work with horses. Thanking you Pip {homeschooler} for organising the day. Thank you “Darkes Forest Riding Ranch” for giving my boys a childhood dream come true.

Now I want to own a horse again.

Now I can’t wait to return and ride again.

Now I am looking at more Horse Riding Ranches in the area to go horse riding again!

Darkes Forest Riding Ranch

Have You Been Horse Riding Lately?

Cheers

Lisa

New Life on the Road.

Mentioned in this post
  1. Darkes Forest Riding Ranch
    Attraction in Darkes Forest Australia

    448 Darkes Forest Rd
    Darkes Forest Australia
    (02) 4294 3441
    http://www.horseridingnsw.net.au/
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4 thoughts on “Darkes Forest Riding Ranch

  • August 11, 2014 at 2:29 am
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    I absolutely loved this, Lisa, and so incredibly awesome to relive your childhood memory with your boys!! One thing…where is a picture of YOU on Dolly?!?! I’ve always loved, loved horses and I think Clydesdale’s are some of the most beautiful and majestic in the world! I rode horses here and there (my step sister had a couple) as a kid and I loved it. Eeesh, today I would probably have to saddle up Ol’ Horse Bin to get warmed up 🙂
    Mike recently posted..Phoenix, My Golden Retriever, And Our Stolen Truck Caper

    Reply
    • August 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm
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      Hi Mike,

      It was the best day ever….but I couldn’t get a picture of me on Dolly cause I was the one with the camera! Needed David with me to take pictures….i think there is something special about Clydesdales – they are so gentle yet so tall.
      I reckon that Phoenix would love Darkes Forest Riding School, and you could ride another Clydesdale 🙂

      xxx

      Reply
  • September 27, 2014 at 8:34 pm
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    This is a beautiful place to visit. I wish I could go there.. I love to ride on horse.

    Reply
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