Magdalena is a Study Melbourne Ambassador. Study Melbourne has 22 international student and alumni ambassadors for 2018. During their time as ambassadors, they regularly share insights and experiences to help international students have a great experience while studying here in Victoria. Check out our Facebook, Instagram and website for their wonderful stories!


Horse riding in the Dandenong Ranges

By Magdalena Opalinska

Are you tired of studying or looking to get out of the city? Or perhaps, you haven’t done anything exciting for a while?

We all have been there! Step out of your comfort zone, do something new and reward yourself for all your hard work and the endless studying. Most importantly get out of the city and take advantage of the uniqueness of one of Victoria’s most scenic places – the Dandenong Ranges.

Dandenong Ranges is one of Victoria’s popular destinations for weekend getaways or day trips. Less than an hour away from Melbourne, it offers many different attractions and experiences, but did you know that the Dandenong Ranges has one of the best horse riding trails in Victoria? Yes, you read that correctly, you can discover amazing views and lush greenery while horse riding. What a perfect combination of nature and animals - and a great escape from your life in the city!

How to prepare for the experience

Start by searching for a qualified place that organises and runs horse riding experiences. Give them a call and book your spot. You might want to go by yourself for an escape or gather a few friends and make a day of it. When you are booking, be sure to tell them your level of horse riding experience so they can prepare everything for you accordingly. Take notes of all the requirements regarding what to wear or bring with you, the price and how to get there so that you are prepared for the day. Whether you are planning the activity with a friend, a date or as a getaway just for you, make sure you discuss everything with the instructor first.

On the day

Once you reach your destination, it is important to listen to your instructor very carefully, no matter what your level of your horse riding experience is. Your safety while horse riding is the most important thing, so it is important that you understand and follow the rules carefully. If you are unsure what to do, don’t be shy to ask a question. Your instructor will want to make sure you feel comfortable so that you can enjoy the views and experience in a safe way. Also, a stretch before and after horse riding is recommended!

Tips for the horse riding for beginners

Horse riding for the first time can be nerve-racking. However, your instructor will take you through everything you need to know. Try to stay calm and after the first 15 minutes you will start to feel more comfortable. Your first instinct might be to take your phone out and take photos of the beautiful views or even a few selfies. But, remember that you will need two hands to ride and control the horse. A good tip is to put your phone in a case on a lanyard and put it around your neck, that way you won’t drop it on the ground and it can be easily accessed. There will be plenty of times during your horse riding experience where you can stop and take photos. You can also ask you instructor to take memorable photos of you as well.

Perfect for gift ideas

This experience can be a great gift idea for any type of occasion. The most beautiful part of giving a horse riding experience as a gift is the fact that you are giving them a unique experience and an opportunity to make lifetime memories.

Magdalena Opalinska horse riding

Study Melbourne Ambassador Magdalena Opalinska enjoyed meeting her horse Clancy before the ride. Photo by Michał Zarzycki

About the author

With a keen eye for photography and a passion for travelling, Magdalena enjoys spending her weekend exploring Victoria, taking photos and meeting new people. She is also passionate about using social media to create and share unique stories with the wider community. Meet all the Study Melbourne Student Ambassadors.

Magdalena Opalinska