A maximum of 20 horses (including pack horses and spare horses) is permitted in any horse riding group in Alpine and Sub-alpine (snow gum) zones which are open to horse riding. A maximum of 28 horses per riding group is permitted in other areas open to horse riding. These limits apply to both private horse riding groups and commercial horse riding operations. The recommended number of horse riders per group is between four and eight. This is the optimum number to ensure group safety, as well as minimising impacts on the environment and other park users.
The use of horses is restricted to the period of 1 December to 30 April in Alpine and Sub-alpine zones where horse riding is permitted. During the remainder of the year, horse riding is not permitted as riding in wet areas may cause soil erosion. The riding period commences earlier in Kosciusko National Park (1 November), because riding generally occurs at lower altitudes.
Horses must be easily handled and under control at all times. Don’t take young, inexperienced or recently broken horses unless you are confident you can maintain proper control at all times, particularly when near other park users.
Ensure that your horse is accustomed to the approved holding method you intend to use. Don’t wait until you are setting up camp to find out that your horse can gallop with hobbles on!
If possible, do not shoe a horse before a trip. New shoes tend to cut up the ground more than worn shoes.
Avoid using mares in season or stallions in areas where brumbies are known to run. Horses have been lost from yards due to brumbies.
Avoid yarding horses together which are unfamiliar with each other or run them together prior to a trip. Fighting increases ground damage as well as the risk of injury and lost horses from temporary yards.
Escaped and injured horses
Report lost horses to park staff immediately.
Contact park staff if horses are injured in areas where tracks are closed to vehicles and access for floats is required. If horses have to be destroyed, report the details to park staff.
The use of pack horses for camping is encouraged, even in areas open to vehicles. They allow greater flexibility in routes and campsites, thereby assisting in the dispersal of impacts. The number of pack horses can be kept to a minimum if camping equipment and food requirements are considered carefully.