The Canberra Times today carried a report of the official opening of the horse yard at the National Arboretum. Given the foreboding skies luck held and the sun actually shone at times. Six horses modeled the yard and about 40 horse riders, media and Arboretum and Ministerial staff braved the weather to listened to Minister Rattenbury officially do the opening. There are some additional pictures available from the Canberra Times at http://consumer.fairfaxsyndication.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&VBID=2ITP1GS6XILF&SMLS=1&RW=1536&RH=770. None of these are of the actual yard!
The Horse Yard is in Forest # 13 on the map of the Arboretum at http://www.nationalarboretum.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/463472/FINAL-FOREST-MAP-AND-LIST-12-MAY-2013.pdf and includes a water trough and very nice mounting block. This is a short walk from the visitors’ centre.
To coincide with the opening the Arboretum have updated their website rules for riding horses in the Arboretum:
“The Arboretum is a valued venue for recreational horse riding and horse riding is permitted on designated trails which include unsealed roads (fire trails), alleys between forests and along the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT). Horses are not permitted in forest areas other than those along the BNT route, and are not permitted on other constructed trails or pathways including the Events Terrace area and the Ceremonial Pathway (also known as the zig zag path) in Central Valley. Horses may be tethered to, or within, the horse holding yard provided in Forest 13, across Forest Drive from the Pod Playground. Horses may not be tethered to young trees. Horse floats may not be unloaded within Arboretum grounds unless as part of an approved event or function.”
The two key rules to remember if horses want to remain welcome in the Arboretum:
1. Ride around and NOT among the individual forest plantations – you can spread earth born tree diseases that are difficult to control. Use the fire trails or the wide green alleys.
2. Don’t leave horses unattended in the yard. Someone must stay with horses at all time – for their safety and that of the general public.
Some pics taken by ACTEA Committee member Jude Matusiewicz