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Australia Dressage Riding Program

This package is designed to develop riders' understanding of the classical way to train and ride Dressage. You will have two lessons per day. You will also work in liberty with the horses plus some horsemanship as well. Avoca Park has been created over the last 28 years as an educational facility in all facets of horses.

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 school horses have been trained in the way of the School of Légèreté and are suitable for all levels of riders.

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
Read more


  • *2 Dressage lessons per day
  • *A tourist outing each day over lunchtime
  • *Lessons in Cavesson, In Hand, and Ridden
  • *Dressage with the basis being developed from good horsemanship skills
  • *Horsemanship lessons in Liberty and Groundwork
  • *All daily meals provided by a qualified chef
  • *Social activities in the evening
  • *6 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


7 days with instruction
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: Sunday (Afternoon Arrival)

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

Day 2: Monday

A little sleep-in will be allowed on your first morning, you can follow this with your first working introduction to the horses. You will then be taken on an outing to a beautiful, local sparkling wine winery for some wine tasting and lunch. Come back in the afternoon for your first private lesson with Leanne where you will get to discuss your goals for the week. Following your lessons, there will be a happy hour and you can have your prepared dinner.

Day 3: Tuesday

Tuesday morning will have you arising and preparing for your second lesson in In-hand work, this will be a group session, this way, the conversations will run a little deeper. Avoca Park will then take you off to the local native sanctuary for the afternoon with one of their homemade picnic lunches.

Upon returning to Avoca Park, your horses will be saddled for you and be ready for your private lesson with Leanne, this is 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 4: Wednesday

Wednesday morning will have you up and at it early enough to take over your already prepared horses for your semi or group-ridden lesson. There will be an outing for lunch at a beautiful local restaurant, Elevation, followed by a rejuvenation session of your choice at the 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 to develop your riding skills. 6 p.m. will bring on happy hour followed by another wonderfully prepared dinner.

Day 5: Thursday

Thursday morning 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 Lake. Picnic lunch at Emerald Lake will be supplied and you can ride the paddle boats if you so desired. Once you return home from your fun afternoon, you will have your first 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.

Day 6: Friday

Friday morning you will have again have a lesson with Jason, this time, using those newly learned connection skills and putting them into the ridden work. The outing this day will be to one of the local national parks where you can have a walk up the 1000 steps where there is a chance of meeting an Australian Lyre Bird. Alternatively, you can have a quiet look around the park while Avoca Park prepares your picnic lunch.

Your final afternoon's private lesson will be with Leanne where you will consolidate all the information you have received of the days you have been with Avoca Park. For your final dinner, Avoca Park will take you to a local winery called Wild Cattle Creek, where you can sit on the deck amongst the grapevines and watch the sunset with a cocktail, this will be followed by a wonderful dinner to remember in the main restaurant.

Day 7: Saturday

Saturday can be a sleep-in followed by your last breakfast with Avoca Park, then, it will be time to pack up and they 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.


Avoca Park has helmets of all sizes available for use. All horses have their own handmade leather dressage saddles fitted to them; their individual bridles are all fitted and maintained.


Leanne Williams

Jason McInnes


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



  • Garden
  • Kitchen


  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access


All meals on site and picnics are included in the package. Please let us know any dietary requirements and we will let you know if we can cater to your needs.

Please note meals bought when we visit restaurants or wineries, are not included in the package, (Monday's lunch at a local winery, Wednesday lunch at Elevation Restaurant and final dinner at Wild Cattle Creek Winery).


  • 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
  • Wraps: Egg, lettuce with mayonnaise
  • Local bakery-fresh rolls with your choice of topping
  • Chocolates
  • Muesli bars
  • Fruit


Each evening, Avoca Park supplies an array of pre-dinner cheese, crackers, and antipasto


  • Australian welcome barbecue with salad
  • Homemade banana cake with seasonal fruit and yogurt
  • NIGHT 2
  • Salmon or chicken schnitzel with roast pumpkin and salad
  • Homemade chocolate cake with cream and icecream
  • 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
  • NIGHT 5
  • Perfect Australian spaghetti Bolognese with salad and garlic bread
  • Homemade cheesecake with seasonal fruit and cream
  • NIGHT 6
  • On your last night, Avoca Park will take you out to a beautiful local winery for your final dinner at Wild Cattle Creek Winery.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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.

What's included

  • *Daily lessons
  • *All meals daily
  • *All daily activities
  • *Pick up from the local bus stop
  • *6 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers (Available at an additional 150 AUD)
  • Additional activities
  • Alcoholic beverages

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.
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Saturday October 30, 2021
(7 days / 6 nights)

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