Yarra Brumby Experience, Australia

5 NightsBeginner to AdvancedFrom $6,490 AUD

If your spine tingles at the thought of dancing with a wild alpine Brumby…then our Yarra Brumby Experience is the ride you’ve been waiting for.

If your spine tingles at the thought of dancing with a wild alpine Brumby…

If your heart soars at the prospect of earning his trust…

And if you LOVE the idea of embarking on this journey under the guidance of a team of experts, with gorgeous accommodation, gourmet catering, magnificent scenery and a team of trusty trail horses at your disposal…

Then the Yarra Brumby Experience is the ride you’ve been waiting for.

Based on the popular Desert Brumby Safari, we’ve masterminded the ultimate Brumby starting, bush riding experience that’s more accessible in terms of location.

For five days, you’ll work with your chosen horse in the yards, guided by real life ‘Man from Snowy River’ Wayne Ryan, and Clancy, our much-loved Yarra Valley guide and host. Thanks to the vast knowledge and experience of these incredible horsemen, NO prior horse training experience is necessary. This holiday is for all globetrotters who are keen to learn how to gentle an untouched horse.

OH and the best part? If you wish to, you can KEEP your Brumby at no extra cost! PINCH ME NOW!

When you’re not in the yards, Clancy and his horses will show you the best of the Yarra Valley, from forests of eucalypts and giant tree ferns to sweeping vistas and secluded gullies.

Believe us, globetrotters, this is a ride you will remember forever.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:There will be a selection of Alpine National Park Brumbies available - typically these horses are smaller set, no bigger than 14.2hh. Alternatively, there will be a selection of hand-picked, unbranded, unbroken domestic horses for those wanting horses that will mature a little taller. For the trail rides, the herd includes Quarter Horse cross, Percheron cross, Standardbred, Arab cross, Clydie cross and Brumbies.
  • Pace:When out on a trail, the pace is variable, depending on the nature of the terrain. Guests need to ensure they are fit enough to post to the trot for minutes at a time.
  • Weight Limit:A maximum of 90kg /200lbs.
  • Type of tack:Australian stock saddles and rope halters/bridles will be provided.
  • Seasons:May, August, October & November
  • Group size:A minimum of 5 guests, with no more than 6.
  • Time in Saddle:Each guest will receive 90 minutes of one-on-one tuition daily with their brumby. You will also have the opportunity to watch fellow globetrotters start their horses as part of your learning experience.
    On days 3, 4 & 5 you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a trail ride through the surrounding region (on trained, trail horses) of approximately 2-3 hours in length.
    *There is the option of additional tuition with your brumby on the days you’re not trail riding.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for all abilities, and no prior horse starting experience is necessary.
    *If you are a beginner rider, you are expected to be capable of riding your horse at a walk, posting/rising to the trot, and be willing to try cantering.
     Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:On nights 1, 2, 3 and 5, guests will stay at the well-appointed ‘Chum Creek Huts’ located at the base of your hosts’ beautiful property in the Yarra Valley. Each of these two huts has a fireplace and private deck overlooking the tranquil countryside. Queen sized bedrooms are available, with shared bathrooms. And for those in a hurry, there are additional shower facilities nearby.
    On night 4, guests will have exclusive and private use of the rustic Yarra Valley Mountain Hut that has sweeping views of the Yarra Valley and Great Dividing Range. Set beside this hut are four separate bunkhouses, each with two double bed bunk beds with amazing views to wake up to (no single supplement available this night). There are cold running water facilities available at this hut, but no hot showers. A standalone toilet is available.
    *There is also the option to sleep under the stars in a cosy double swag (provided) if preferred on night 4.
  • Ride Length:6 days, 5 nights with three 2-3 hour trail rides and five days working with your brumby.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes meals (from dinner on day 1 through to lunch on the final day), twin share accommodation, 90mins private tuition per day, your very own brumby you can take home should you wish, and three trail riding days throughout the itinerary.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include flights, travel insurance (compulsory), alcohol, transportation of your brumby should you wish to take them home, or transfers to/from the ride location.

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

Departing FinishingAvailabilityTotal
May 15, 2022May 20, 20225 spots left
$6,490 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBook
May 22, 2022May 27, 20225 spots left
$6,490 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBook
August 22, 2022August 27, 2022SOLD OUT!
$6,490 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
August 28, 2022September 2, 2022SOLD OUT!
$6,490 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
October 23, 2022October 28, 2022SOLD OUT!
$6,490 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
November 13, 2022November 18, 2022SOLD OUT!
$6,490 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
November 20, 2022November 25, 20222 spots left
$6,490 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBook

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

The price includes meals (from dinner on day 1 through to lunch on the final day), single room accommodation (with shared bathrooms), 90mins private tuition per day, your very own brumby you can take home should you wish, and three trail riding days throughout the itinerary.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

The price does not include flights, travel insurance (compulsory), alcohol, transportation of your brumby should you wish to take them home, or transfers to/from the ride location.

**There is no single accommodation available on night 4 of this ride, although you are welcome to sleep out under the stars in a swag (which can be provided) should you wish.

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.

WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN AUD?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

**Brumby expert, Brian Hampson from our Desert Brumby Safari, will be in attendance if possible, but being based in Qld this will depend on travel restrictions and other factors.

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  • Day 1

    Yippee, your Yarra Brumby Experience is finally here! Arriving at your host’s property, Chum Creek, by 5pm, you’ll check into your accommodation in the gorgeous Chum Creek Huts. A welcome dinner will be served in front of a big, beautiful fireplace and over this meal you’ll meet the dream team: Clancy Lewis, Wayne Ryan and Brian Hampson** (more information on the team below). They’ll share a bit of background and an overview of what to expect for the week ahead – and maybe even a peek at the untouched young horses you’ll be able to choose from tomorrow!

    After dinner, Brian will share an introduction to the world of Brumbies, and the starting process. Starting a brumby is managed through a multi-step program, which is achieved sequentially in order to gradually build the horse and handler’s trust, skills and confidence with the goal of creating a team relationship between the horse and handler. The stages are:

    1. Getting the brumby relaxed in the round yard, then controlling horse movement by free lunging (no ropes); walk, trot, canter and stop are taught in both directions.

    2. Join up: teaching the horse to follow the handler and accept the handler being at close range through a series of approach/retreat, pressure on/pressure off situations.

    3. Catch and desensitise; no roping.

    4. Desensitise horse to all gear, noises and contact.

    5. Teach movement of all feet and body parts using the light halter.

    6. Desensitise horse to the saddle and rider.

    7. Ride the horse in the halter using voice commands and light reins (if time permits).

    8. Teach the brumby to float load, lay down and other more advanced skills (if time permits).

    Brian’s method could best be summarised by the words: firm but gentle. He teaches people to develop a close relationship with their brumbies and a trust that allows the handler to achieve things with their horses that they could never imagine achieving in such a short time. You will come away from the experience with a much better understanding of how horses learn and of the best ways for us to teach them.

    Your head buzzing with information and excitement of the next few days that lie ahead, it will then be time to rest up ahead of your first day in the horse yards.

  • Day 2

    Waking up to birdsong in your cosy, well-appointed hut, you’ll be presented with a hearty cooked breakfast on the front porch overlooking the valley. Then it’s time to heed the call of the horse yards! Clancy will brief you on the day’s plan, then comes a moment you’ll remember for years to come: the moment you choose your Brumby. The team have ensured there are more horses than guests, so you can take your pick from the selection of young Brumbies and young domesticated horses (which are still unbroken and unbranded). Once everyone has chosen their equine partner, Brian, Wayne and the team will guide you through the first steps in your journey together.

    You’ll break for lunch at the Chum Creek Huts, where everyone will be absolutely buzzing as you dig into a smorgasbord of gourmet delights. Then it’s back to the horse yards for more spine-tingling experiences in the afternoon. Another delicious dinner awaits at the Huts this evening, then it’s time to hit the hay.

  • Day 3

    Blinking away the sleep dust and chowing down on another delicious cooked breakfast this morning, you’ll head back to the horse yards, where your hosts will discuss what to expect from today. Again, you’ll be under the careful guidance and supervision of Brian & Wayne as you work with your fresh-faced horse.

    After lunch at the huts, you head out for a trail ride on one of Clancy’s fit, responsive horses. Your guides will lead you up over Paul’s Range and through the majestic eucalypts and tree ferns of Toolangi State Forest. Expect to see an incredible array of birds flying and calling from the canopy, and maybe even wildlife such as wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, goannas and deer.

    Tonight, once everyone’s bellies are full, Brian will give a fascinating lecture on Brumbies that will help inform your experience tomorrow.

  • Day 4

    Another big day in the horse yards awaits, globetrotters. By now you’ll be forging a real connection with your young horse and this will only deepen with today’s progress. The morning’s work is rewarded with an excursion to a local Yarra Valley winery and restaurant for lunch, where you’ll savour the best produce the Yarra Valley has to offer.

    This afternoon you can either continue gentling your horse in the yards or take some free time to enjoy another 2-3 hour trail ride, sit back with a book, or enjoy a spa bath. In the evening, Clancy will take you to the exclusive Yarra Valley Mountain Hut for a campfire dinner under the stars. Sitting back by the fire, drink in hand, stories flowing, taking in the phenomenal view across the valley, you’ll feel a profound sense of ease. Does life get any better, globetrotters?

    When you’re ready, your cosy double swag (or double bed in the bunkhouse, if you so choose) will be waiting.

  • Day 5

    A beautiful sunrise is all but guaranteed this morning thanks to the lofty outlook of the Mountain Hut. Your hosts will cook up a fantastic breakfast to enjoy around the campfire, then you’ll head back down to the horse yards to pick up where you left off. The team will work with you as always to help you and your new equine friend progress together.

    After another tasty lunch at the Chum Creek Huts, you head out for a ride, you’ll follow a different track in Toolangi State Forest, riding deeper into the bushland. There will be plenty of opportunities to canter should you feel the urge. From temperate rainforests to craggy ridge lines, the scenery will blow you away. Don’t forget your camera!

    Tonight you and your fellow globetrotters will hit the town for a fantastic dinner at a trendy venue in Healesville to celebrate how far you’ve come (you can purchase your own alcohol at the restaurant tonight should you wish).

  • Day 6

    It’s your last day today, boo! One last filling breakfast will be served up this morning, after which you’ll spend another deeply rewarding morning connecting with your young horse. Brian and Wayne will provide a debriefing session over lunch, answering any lingering questions and discussing next steps. Everyone will have progressed to different points in the training process, and whilst further training of your brumby will be required should you opt to take them home with you, your hosts can offer some recommendations of horse trainers whom you can continue to work with should you desire.

    Then you’re free to say a fond farewell to your guides and fellow guests and head home, heart brimming with the indescribable elation that comes from earning the trust and partnership of a wild horse.

  • The Team

    Dr Brian Hampson has a PhD in feral horse ecology and studies feral and wild horses in several places throughout the world. He has 20 years of horse starting experience and 10 years experience in gentling and starting brumbies to saddle. Brian uses natural horsemanship methods to gentle, train and ride freshly caught brumbies.

    **Brian will be in attendance if possible, but being based in Qld this will depend on travel restrictions and other influencing factors.

    Wayne Ryan works full time as a professional horseman, farrier, breaker and stockman, having caught hundreds of Brumbies in the Victorian High Country over the last 40 years.

    And last but certainly not least, your host, Clancy Lewis, is the owner of Chum Creek Horse Rides and the property you’ll be staying on. Clancy has operated trail rides over the last 32 years (you may know him as the host of our Yarra Valley Ride) and has personally guided more than 8000 guests on rides in the Australian bush and High Country.

    It’s safe to say, you’re working with the Dream Team globetrotters!

  • Your Brumby

    As part of the package rate, you’ll have ownership of your very own brumby (or young domesticated horse). The team will endeavour to have a wide variety of horses on offer, all aged 2-4. Some will be brumbies from the Victorian High Country that average around 14 to 14.2hh once mature. Brumbies are mostly very quiet and brave once well handled, are surefooted and rugged, good doers, quick learners, and they have great feet. They are easier to train than domestic horses due to their natural socialisation in the wild.

    To provide maximum choice for guests, there will also be some more domesticated horses in the mix that average around 14.2hh to 15.3hh once mature. All horses will be unbroken and unbranded.

    Keep in mind, the package price does NOT include transport of your horse back to your home. Clancy can offer up to two weeks’ agistment after the ride, and assistance with organising transport to NSW or VIC. Should you choose not to keep your horse, Chum Creek will make sure they find their forever home.

  • Transfer Information

    There are no transfers available for this ride. It is recommended that you either self-drive, or arrange your own transfer from a provider based in Melbourne or the Yarra Valley (our ride partner recommends either Felix Chow – 0468 476 755, or Michael Glasson – 0418 994 586).

    You’ll need to arrive at Chum Creek Huts (221 Heath Road, Chum Creek – go to the end of Heath Road) by 5pm on day 1 of the itinerary. On the last day you’ll finish after lunch and are free to depart from about 2pm onwards.

    If you’re looking for accommodation options in the area either before or after your ride, we recommend the RACV Country Club in Healesville (only 5mins from Chum Creek Huts), or Balgownie Estate in Yarra Glen (approx 20mins away).

  • Additional Activities

    Should you wish to enjoy a massage during your ride, these can be arranged on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoon. Bookings are essential – please contact us to arrange. The price (subject to change) is $66 for 30mins, $88 for 45mins or $110 for 60mins, payable in cash direct to the masseur.

STORIES FROM THE SADDLE

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