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Australia Dressage Riding Program

Come and have a Dressage riding holiday at the beautiful Avoca Park! The teachers have a variety of qualifications, up to and including Level 3 Equestrian Australia and Level 1 Licensed Teacher of the School of Légèreté. Leanne also has competition experience up to and including Grand Prix, all with horsemanship depth. All the school horses have been trained in the way of the School of Légèreté and are suitable for all levels of riders. This five-day package is designed to develop riders' understanding of the classical way to train and ride Dressage with the basis being developed from good horsemanship skills.

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 198 pounds / 90 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: 12 to 17.3 hands
  • Tack Type: Snaffle bridles on all the horses with leather Peter Horobin saddles or leather dressage saddles. The ponies have little pony saddles.
  • Horse Breed: Three Ponies, Five Cross-Bred Performance Horses, and Warmbloods

Meet the instructors

Leanne, Jason, & Jodie
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  • 2 Dressage lessons per day
  • Approximate daily riding time: 6 hours
  • A tourist outing each day over lunchtime
  • Lessons in Caveson, In Hand, and Ridden
  • Horsemanship lessons in Liberty and Groundwork
  • All daily meals provided by a qualified chef
  • Social activities in the evening
  • 4 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


3 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
Airport transfer available:
Melbourne Airport (US$112 per person)
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  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Wireless internet

Surrounded by manicured gardens all year round, Avoca Park has something to offer everyone.


The apartment, which is situated within the covered arena, gives couples a perfect view of the day to day Classical training activities of the horses at Avoca Park. You will also have the opportunity to sit in on many lessons, if you would like, outside your own. This peaceful environment enables guests to prepare for their own training sessions.

Within the apartment, you will find an extraordinarily comfortable double bed with a flat-screen TV and a DVD player, all supplied with DVDs. This room has a recently renovated en-suite bathroom with a shower and hand basin but a communal toilet is outside the room.


The bunkhouse is fully self-contained and has everything you may need like a kitchen, lounge with a flat-screen TV and DVD player, and a variety of DVDs supplied. It has a single bedroom with a double bed and a bunk room with four bunk beds (8 beds all set up with amazing mattresses, doonas, and pillows). This option is perfect for families or groups of friends.


Day 1: Monday (Arrival Day)

Settle in and have a wander around the property, this is an opportunity to meet all the horses, dogs, cats, cocky, and, of course, their beloved donkey. There will be a fully catered Australian welcome barbecue dinner.

Day 2: Tuesday

In the morning, Avoca Park will have you arising and preparing for your first lesson in In-Hand work, this will be a group session, this way, the conversations run a little deeper. You will then be taken off to the local native sanctuary for the afternoon with a homemade picnic lunch. Upon returning to Avoca Park, your horses will be saddled for you and be ready for your private lesson with Leanne.

Afterward, this will be followed up with a lovely local glass of wine with matching cheese and crackers. Dinner will be prepared for you by the in-house chef.

Day 3: Wednesday

In the morning, Avoca Park will have you up and at it, early enough to take over your already prepared horses for your second In-Hand session. There will be an outing for lunch** at a beautiful local restaurant, Elevation; followed by a rejuvenation session of your choice at a local day spa, Skin Renaissance.

Alternatively, you may choose to have an outing to the local chocolaterie for lunch where you can experience anything and everything chocolate! Full of food and relaxation, you will come home for your private riding lesson to continue developing your riding skills. At 6 p.m., Avoca Park will bring on the happy hour followed by another wonderfully prepared dinner.

Day 4: Thursday

In the morning, Avoca Park will have you out and about for your group/semi-lesson, then the activity of the day is a trip on Puffing Billy from Belgrave to Emerald. A picnic lunch at Emerald lake will be supplied and you can ride the paddle boats if you desire. Once you return home from your fun afternoon, you will have your final private lesson with Jason.

This will be a Liberty Session where you will discover the beauty of connection. Wine and snacks will be waiting for you when you finish this amazing experience. Your final dinner with Avoca Park will be beautifully prepared and there will be a time to discuss your future riding plans.

Day 5:Friday

You can sleep all morning followed by your final breakfast with Avoca Park; it will be time to pack up and Avoca Park will wave you goodbye to take on the next part of your journey.

Riding Sessions

Once Leanne has made an assessment of your skills, she will design a program that will rapidly aid you in the development of the proper grounding necessary to educate your horse through the training process. Avoca Park will talk of what you would like to achieve during the days you are with them and they will customize an individual program for your riding objectives.

There will be a combination of semi-private/group and private riding lessons each day with all the amazing instructors and their combined talents. The topics that can/will be covered are:

  • Cavesson work
  • In-hand work
  • Ridden work
  • Liberty
  • Horsemanship groundwork
  • Trail rides

Group classes are conducted when it is beneficial for the riders or if riders come in pairs or groups. Group lessons are tailored to the goals of each rider just as with an individual lesson. Even though a rider is part of a group, each rider is still treated as an individual and will experience individual instruction during the program.

** Meals at Restaurants or Wineries are not included in the package and will need to be purchased on the day.**


Leanne Williams

Jason McInnes

Jodie Frewin


Avoca Park is situated between the beautiful Yarra Valley, the wine district of Victoria and the Dandenong Ranges, with beautiful bush and tree-fern surroundings. It has a huge variety of tourist sites such as:

  • Puffing Billy - The only running steam train in Victoria.
  • A walk up the 1000 steps in Ferntree Gully National Park where you can often see the Lyre Birds.
  • A huge variety of wineries offering red, white, and amazing Champagne options
  • Gin distilleries
  • Local Chocolaterie with all things chocolate!
  • Amazing gardens
  • Local lakes
  • A lovely local town with award-winning cafes and restaurants


** Meals at Restaurants or Wineries are not included in the package and will need to be purchased on the day at the venue (Wednesday Lunch)**

All daily meals and drinks are included, there are plenty of snacks to go as well.


  • Cereals
  • Muesli
  • Raisin bread
  • Crumpets
  • Sourdough
  • Spreads
  • Yogurt
  • Seasonal fruits
  • Juices

Picnic Lunch

  • Focaccias
  • Salmon, cream cheese with rocket
  • Chicken, avocado with cheese, and mayonnaise
  • Ham and salad or plain salad
  • Chocolates
  • Muesli bars
  • Fruit


  • An array of pre-dinner cheese, crackers, and antipasto with a wine of your choice

Night 1

  • Australian barbecue with salad
  • Homemade banana cake with cream

Night 2

  • Salmon or chicken schnitzel with roast pumpkin and salad
  • Homemade chocolate cake with cream and ice cream

Night 3

  • Mexican night with burritos
  • Fruit platter with cream or ice cream

Night 4

  • Marinated pork ribs with mashed potato and salad
  • Homemade apple pie with ice cream

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

Things to do (optional)

Avoca Park has amazing local experiences, some of the things they can offer you are:

Puffing Billy

This is Australia’s favorite steam train and is one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. This century-old steam train is still running on its original 24-kilometer mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook, through the beautiful forests and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges.

Healesville Sanctuary

Wander through the tranquil tracks and meet over 200 species of Australian animals, including the iconic koalas, kangaroos, platypus, dingoes, wombats, and emus, in their natural surrounds. It is internationally renowned for its work saving endangered Australian species at the Australian Wildlife Center. Visit the center, which treats more than 2000 sick and injured native animals every year.

Skin Renaissance

Situated in the heart of Emerald, Victoria, nestled in the forests of the Dandenong Ranges, it offers complete health, wellness, anti-aging, and beauty experience combining natural treatments with the latest cutting-edge therapies from Europe. Relax, refresh, and rejuvenate as you experience their luxurious facial, body, and massage therapies in a tranquil environment.

Be revived and replenished with one of their pamper packages or they can tailor a package to suit your individual needs. This a place to immerse yourself and indulge in treatments that are therapeutic and restorative for your total well being.

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Ice Creamery

Set on 16 hectares, it combines striking architecture with a unique food experience amidst picturesque valley views. The Chocolaterie welcomes you with free entry and abundant free chocolate tastings, displays of thousands of premium chocolates, and large viewing windows where you can see European chocolatiers at work handcrafting creations.

Other Activities

  • Wineries
  • Walks
  • Trails
  • Cafes
  • Hot air ballooning

What's included

  • Twice daily Dressage lessons (1 individual and 1 group lessons per day)
  • All meals, drinks, and snacks
  • All daily activities
  • Pick up from the local bus stop

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers (Available at an additional 150 AUD)
  • Alcoholic drinks outside Avoca Park and at restaurants
  • Additional activities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Melbourne Airport (MEL). Transfers are not yet included in the package but are available at an additional cost of 150 AUD. If you're coming via public transport:

  • Get a skybus to Southern Cross Station
  • Get a train to Belgrave Station
  • Get a 362 Bus to Avonsleigh
  • From there, Avoca Park can pick you up at no charge.

Driving directions

  • If you're hiring a car, travel on the Tullamarine Freeway into Melbourne then get on the M1.
  • Get off at Wellington Road and travel all the way to the end.
  • Turn right at the roundabout at the top.
  • Travel through 3 more roundabouts in Emerald.
  • Continue driving to Avonsleigh.
  • Turn left at a general store.
  • Turn second right onto Avon Road.
  • Continue driving till you reach a roundabout.
  • Drive straight through, this turns into Kennedy Road.
  • Drive to the end and turn right. This is Avoca Park's road, they are three kilometers on the right.
Airport: Melbourne Airport Airport transfer available: Melbourne Airport (US$112 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.
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