The community-run club has a rural outlook and a friendly, warm vibe. Set up in 2006, HRHC helps children learn about horses and how to care for them.
Club member Tracey Lane explains that most families face significant financial barriers to horse ownership. 'We aim to get as many people as possible to experience the joy of being around and working with horses,’ says Tracey.
HRHC is not a pony club or riding school. Instead, Tracey says HRHC is a horse club with both club and privately owned horses. Members of all ages are welcome to join, regardless of whether they own a horse. Alongside horse grooming and feeding duties, members give back to the community through pony rides and educational experiences about horses. The club also provides information and hands-on opportunities about the care and protection of rural pastures, wetlands and native forests.
Currently, HRHC has 97 members and two club-owned horses – the delightful Paddy and Merlin. The ever-popular pony rides are available once a month, with up to 150 excited horse lovers participating.
HRHC keeps its fees as low as possible so more people can get involved. However, looking after the club’s resident horses is an expensive business. Vet fees, saddles, riding gear, and horse feed all add up. ‘It’s been a challenging few years for small community clubs like ours,’ Tracey reports.
However, a successful application to the Your West Support Fund has seen a welcome $5,000 contribution to the club’s coffers. The funding has gone towards horse care expenses, including hay, nutritional supplements and grooming gear.
Tracey advises that getting out into the club’s calming, rural environment and interacting with the horses is good for our mental wellbeing. ‘The look of joy and happiness on kids’ faces as they spend time with Paddy and Merlin says it all,’ declares Tracey.