Fordsdale Farmstay provide horseback riding adventures in the natural bushland of Queensland. From one-hour trail rides to five-day Jillaroo/Jackaroo experiences, you can truly enjoy this beautiful area. To find out more, we quizzed owner, Susan Renfree, on the adventures she offers and what else there is to do in the area.
What’s a highlight of your 1-2 hour trail rides?
Riding the home breed Arabian horses through the Australian bushland with the opportunity of seeing wildlife like wallabies, kangaroos and goannas. Also lots of bird life.
What speeds do you go on 1-2 hour trail rides?
We ride at the speed and capability of the riders. We walk, trot and canter, and occasionally when we have experienced riders we let them go for a gallop.
What can riders expect as a highlight on the overnight trail?
On the overnight package we ride beautiful horses through Australia, but the evening meal and the camaraderie is the highlight of the package. A few drinks and a few laughs is what our guests can expect.
What speeds do you go on overnight trail rides?
Experienced people would ride at the speed they desire. Trotting, cantering and a gallop if desired.
What wildlife are riders most likely to come across around Fordsdale?
Wallabies, kangaroos and goannas and lots birds!
What’s your most popular tour that people book on to?
Most people book the one or two-hour ride. Our most popular package is the family horse riding holiday.
Are there any opportunities for experienced riders to hack out without an instructor?
No, all rides have to be accompanied by a guide.
How many horses do you have available?
We currently have 12 but more horses are being broken in at this time.
For those who want the Jillaroo/Jackaroo experience, what’s involved with a training ride?
The Jillaroo/Jackaroo experience is targeted at travellers who want a farm experience and would like to work on bigger cattle/sheep stations. The riding will depend on the experience of the guest. I occasionally train horses to compete in endurance rides; if a rider is experienced enough to do a training ride with an endurance horse then that is what they will do. If they have experience in riding dressage I would let them help me train my young horses in some basic riding using aids. If they have no riding experience we will just do basic lessons to learn how to ride a horse.
What’s the best piece of advice you can offer for a complete novice visiting Fordsdale?
Tell the truth about your experience and we will give you the right horse and appropriate lessons in order to learn how to ride.
Are there opportunities for visitors to help out with yard work such as feeding, grooming and tacking up?
We encourage all guests to participate in the daily duties of caring for the horses.
If people are visiting Fordsdale for a week or longer what else does the area offer?
The Darling Downs Zoo, Transport Museum, Cob and Co Trail, hot air ballooning, skydiving, lots of events on a weekly bases: horses shows, garden/flower festivals, antique car rallies, sprint car racing and motorboat racing.
Book your horseback adventure at www.fordsdalefarmstay.com