ellaslist Goes Horse Riding in Centennial Park

By: explorer team, ellaslist

I grew up in Paddington during the late 70’s and early 80’s, moments from Centennial Park, and my brothers and I were of probably the last generation of inner city children to be given ‘free rein’ of their neighbourhoods. So Centennial Park was our childhood playground, mostly on foot and certainly by bike and skateboard. But never on horseback!

So it was with much excitement and anticipation that this weekend, my 10yo daughter Layla and I were treated to a horseback ride in the spectacular Winter sunshine by Papillon Riding Stables, one of five stables based at the Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre which offer a variety of riding experiences to the public.

Hello Jerry J & Max!

We were greeted warmly by stablehand Leslie and fitted with riding boots and helmets, before being introduced to our steeds – Jerry J and Max – both of which (to my great relief) she reassured us were highly experienced, friendly hosts.

I think sensing our nerves, Leslie encouraged us into the horses’ individual stables to give them a rub and a brush down before she saddled and bridled them for us.  And off we went, both lead by Leslie, clip clopping our way across four lanes of Saturday Moore Park traffic and into the park!

Amazing Views From The Saddle

What a view! It really is something else taking in arguably one of the world’s most spectacular urban parks from on top of a saddle. Weekend sports, cyclists whizzing by, mums pushing prams, families picnicking, happy-go-lucky-dogs, and the huge resident gaggle of geese all melded together over the next half hour into the perfect screen-free Saturday morning.


There are lots of exciting equestrian activities for children of all ages to choose from, including:

  • Recreational park rides

  • Birthday parties

  • Pony rides for tots as young as 2yrs

  • Term-time riding programs

  • School holiday camps

ellaslist Top Tips

  • Book online before you go – the Equestrian Centre is a busy place, especially during school holidays, so do your research and book your preferred day and time online before you go
  • There is ample on-site parking, so make sure you enter the Centre via Lang Rd (between Cook Rd and the entrance to EQ) and follow the signs to the public carpark.
  • Dress warmly! Even in the sunshine, you’re not moving around much once you’re in the saddle, so it can get pretty chilly during the Winter.
  • Take a few carrots or halved apples to share with the residents (look out for stables marked ‘Please don’t feed’)
  • Combine your ride with a visit to the fantastic Growers’ Markets at EQ (Wednesdays & Saturdays)

This review was brought to you by Centennial Parklands.