Come ride with us! 

Learn to ride in a safe and supportive environment. We cater for all levels and have options for children and adult riders. 

Sonshine Ranch have a range of equine activities from pony leads to treks, to lessons and pony club.
What makes the horses a successful part of the Ranch is their versatility and abilities to adapt to the riding programs and riders.
Over the years the Ranch has found the breed of Connemara-cross ponies to be strong and reliable for the many disciplines the ponies are asked to perform in.

At present there are around 25 horses on the Ranch which are used in the variety of programs on offer.

The riding staff also participate outside Sonshine Ranch in a varying range of disciplines from Dressage and Eventing to Mounted Games. Engaging in their own passion for riding, staff transfer their passion to their teaching which inspires and motivates those who ride in lessons.

For more information on the different equine activities on offer, click the links to find one that suits you.

” Quality programs in an environment of fun and faith where confidence can bloom.”

Group Lessons

Term Group lessons for Children and youth 8-18 years

Sonshine Ranch offers a uniquely run riding lesson programme suitable for riders from eight years of age. Our goal is to provide a safe and engaging learning experience, giving all ages the opportunity to develop their riding skills and to be challenged in a fun environment.

Term lessons are run in groups according to riding abilities, this ensures each rider gets the attention needed and progresses at the level they are comfortable.

In group lessons we focus on things like:

  • horse management
  • grooming, tacking up, general handling of the horse
  • establish balance, control, and confidence
  • Specific lesson objectives are tailored to groups ability

We pride ourselves in offering variety during our lessons both inside and out of the arena due to the nature and contour of our land and diverse riding facilities.

COSTS
$64 per lesson – If a 10 week term, the total fee is $640.
Sibling discount applies where there are 2 or more riders from the same family.

We require the full term fee to be prepaid at the beginning of each term.

Currently all our term one lessons are full but please fill out a waiting list application

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LESSON STRUCTURE

The lessons run for one hour (riding time), although we like the riders to arrive at least 15 minutes beforehand in order to prepare their horse for riding, and it may take 10 – 15 minutes after the lesson for the riders to put their gear and horse away. Groups consist of a minimum of four and usually a maximum of seven riders of similar ability.

CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT

Due to our safety policies long sleeves and long pants are a requirement. Singlets are not permitted. The footwear best suited to horse riding consist of a heel and a smooth sole. We will provide helmets and back protectors which are both mandatory items. If you wish to purchase any riding gear for your child you will find them available from any equestrian retailer.

WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS

Due to the nature of the riding programmes for treks, lessons and camps and the availability of suitable horses the rider weight limit is 90kg.

DAYS & TIMES (arrival time at least 15 mins prior)

Tuesday 4:30 – 5:30pm
Wednesday 4:30 – 5:30pm
Thursday 4:30 – 5:30pm
Friday 4:30 – 5:30pm
Saturday 8:45 – 9:45am
Saturday 10:15 – 11:15am

Private Lessons

Not running private lessons until further notice

Private lessons are offered for those who wish to fine tune their riding skills in a one-on-one environment. Suitable for children and adults.

Private lessons run for 45 minutes and are arranged by special appointment. Private lessons are usually only available during the week and during school hours due to our busy weekend and after school programmes.

Lessons are tailor made to the rider’s needs and preference of discipline.

COST:
Private Lesson – $90 (45 mins)
Shared Lesson 2 people – $70 each (1hr)

Trekking

anyone who is wanting to try something different during their weekends or fill a gap for those needing their horsey fix.

We can cater for all range of abilities, from complete beginners to experienced riders. Please note that Saturday treks are more suitable for beginner riders.

Horse Treks make the best birthday gifts or birthday parties as well as a family outing or even friends get together. If this sounds like something for you, be sure to contact the office and book in today.

Cost:
Saturday Trek $70 p/p
Weekday Trek: 1-2 people $75 p/p & 3 or more $70 p/p
Minimum age is 8+ years.

We are unable to offer treks and casual bookings during any NZ school holiday period due to our busy holiday programs. Please ensure your enquiry is related to a date during the NZ school term.

We are currently taking Saturday bookings approx 4-6 weeks in advance.

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WHAT TO EXPECT

When people arrive for a Horse Trek they are introduced to their horses and given a short introduction on how to ride. Groups spend the first 10-15 minutes in the arena getting use to their horses before heading out on a trek around the farm. The Farm Trek involves trekking over the hillside and through native bush situated at different points around the farm. Depending on the size and ability of the group part of the time may be spent in another one of the riding arenas.

WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS

Due to the nature of the riding programmes for treks, lessons and camps and the availability of suitable horses the rider weight limit is 90kg.

Pony Lead

This is a great way for riders under 8 years to grow their skills and confidence.

Pony leads are also a fun day out with the family or booked as a birthday treat with a small group of friends. These rides help instill confidence on and around horses so when your child reaches the minimum age they can enjoy Trekking or Lessons.

Pony Leads involve the younger children riding the pony with assistance of a parent or adult. The parent is required to lead the child around in one of the arenas, on a shorter trek or following behind the main Trekking Group if the instructor permits. Parents need to ensure they have adequate footwear to wear around the horses and over the terrain.

Pony Leads are popular and it is possible for the time to be shared between two children but this needs to be specially arranged at time of booking.

Price: $50 per pony for up to one hour.

We are unable to offer treks, pony leads and casual bookings during any NZ school holiday period due to our busy holiday programs. Please ensure your enquiry is related to a date during the NZ school term.

Ardmore Pony Club

Ardmore Pony Club make use of the riding facilities at the Ranch and is unique to other pony clubs because of its close relationship to Sonshine Ranch who make a small number of pony’s available to existing lesson riders who aim to purchase their own pony. The hire programme aims to prepare riders and their families for this next stage.

Sonshine Ranch pony’s are primarily suitable for levels D, D+ & C certificates. Beyond this riders would be expected to purchase their own pony.

The Sonshine Ranch Pony hire programme is by application only, and existing hire riders must re-apply annually.

For more information visit Ardmore Pony Club

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