Horse Riding and Training in Australia, Part 2

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Horse Riding and Training in Australia, Part 2

Key Insights:

  • Ranch Byron Bay's revenue streams include horseback riding experiences, overnight/lodging experiences, dining experiences, socializing experiences, and photo opportunities.
  • The Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat is a family-owned horse riding school that aims to help riders safely develop their riding skills. The school specializes in beginner lessons and places a heavy emphasis on safe riding etiquette.
  • The Gold Coast Equestrian Centre's revenue streams include the following: lessons, memberships, horse boarding, uniforms and gear, horsemanship programs, special needs programs, trail rides, holiday camps, birthday parties, young rider programs, competitions, horse and pony leasing and selling, and agistment.

Introduction

This research provides business model profiles for a range of horse training and riding operators in the Gold Coast region of Australia. This analysis provides profiles for the following companies: Ranch Byron Bay, Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat, Red Gum Riding, and Gold Coast Equestrian Centre (GCEC).

Ranch Byron Bay

  • Business Model: The company's revenue streams include horseback riding experiences, overnight/lodging experiences, dining experiences, socializing experiences, and photo opportunities. These experiences are combined and sold as packages. Experiences have to be booked in advance via the company's website. Booked rides are 100% non-refundable. The ranch caters to both locals and travelers. Some available experiences offered take place at the Ranch itself, while others are off-site experiences that require customers to rely on their own transportation. The ranch is responsible for cleaning up all horse droppings that occur off-site, as these off-site experiences take place on public lands, wherein the ranch has obtained permits to operate in. Some available experiences require riders to be intermediate to experienced and there is a maximum rider weight allowance of 95kgs. The ranch's value proposition is to offer unique riding experiences that are open, freeing, and help the riders feel connected to nature with a backdrop of incredible views. The horses used in the riding experiences are raised from their foulhood to be gentle, reliable, well-trained, and only experience love. The ranch is the "only approved horse-riding company in the Shire to take people on horseback tours to Minyon Falls." The compay markets itself on social media, including on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. In doing so, they rely on high-quality and professionally produced photos and videos, such as this one, as well as consumer-generated content. The ranch's website also notes that they are available for weddings and birthday parties, although they don't provide any specific details about these events.
  • Services Offered: 1-2 hour beach rides, 1-day wilderness horse trek, photoshoots, mountain lodging 3-night experience, 2 hour forest ride, 1-night camping experience, gourmet picnic experience. The beach rides are available on weekdays (non-holidays) during low-tide and includes in-season whale and dolphin watching from the saddle. The two-hour beach ride option may also include swim-riding the horses bareback in the ocean (weather permitting). The wilderness horse trek features a full-day of riding through miles of pristine wilderness and includes a chance to swim in mountain streams, visit escarpments and waterfalls, and includes a picnic. The ranch offers custom photoshoots that include horses and a variety of scenery options. The ranch's website does not provide many specifics about the photoshoot opportunity. The 3-night mountain lodging experience is a weekend getaway which includes horse rides through farmland and wilderness, expert guides, horsemanship in the stables, and include full catering using local produce. The getaway is a shared/communal experience and includes access to a pool/spa, fishing, soccer, nature picnics, massages, campfires, stargazing and more. The camping night experience includes an appetizer hour and dinner, campfire and night hike, tea and dessert, breakfast, mountain horseride, waterfall swim, and lunch. The picnic experience includes a gourmet picnic at the ranch and spending one-on-one time with the horses (care taking, yard riding basics, groundwork, etc.)
  • Available Pricing Information: 1-2 hour beach rides ($190-$250), 1-day wilderness horse trek ($440), photoshoots ($330), mountain lodging 3-night experience ($2,100), 2 hour forest ride ($220), 1-night camping experience ($550), gourmet picnic experience ($450). *All prices in AUD.
  • Nearest Large City: Byron Bay, Ewingsdale, Hayters Hill, Mullumbimby
  • Number of Visitors: Not available.

Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat

  • Business Model: The Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat is a family-owned horse riding school that aims to help riders safely develop their riding skills. The school specializes in beginner lessons and places a heavy emphasis on safe riding etiquette. The company generates revenue from lessons, trail riding experiences, group experiences, sporting experiences, sale of gift certificates, horse riding gear, and educational materials and packages. Lessons and riding experiences are booked online via the company's website. All lessons and experiences have limited participation availability. A booking calendar on the company's website lets customers know how much room is left for each activity and on which specific dates certain activities are currently available. The company markets itself on local news channels, on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube), on activity finder websites such as Trip Advisor, and through a variety of industry partners, such as the International Horse College, and the City of Goldcoast. The company is owned and lead by a oach with 40+ years of riding experience. It appears the company targets local customers, based on the fact that their primary target audience is children who want to learn to ride and the company does not seem to offer any touristy types of services. The company employs a cancellation policy (a 100% cancellation fee for cancellations that occur within 7 days of the scheduled lesson). The company also offers discounts for shared lessons (i.e. when all scheduled lesson dates are matched up with another learner).
  • Services Offered: 30-minute riding lesson, 45-minute riding lesson, kids horse intro class, horse connection classes (riding and non-riding), horse play day, after school group horse riding, 60-minute riding lesson and horse connection, Hinterland trail riding and pony rides, horseback riding children's books, horse-riding gear, riding education pack, group development lessons in horsemanship and riding skills, 30 minute mechanical horse lesson, gift vouchers, ladies groups, horse sports (horse archery, polocrosse, freedom of horses), and school groups. The 30 and 45 minute lessons are introductory riding lessons designed for children and first-time riders. The kids horse intro class is designed to help children become independent with horses from the ground (horse care, handling, riding preparation) and includes a pony ride. Horse connection classes help riders learn how to communicate with horses to become a better rider and handler. The horse play day is a children's activity designed to provide horse interaction, learning about horse care, and includes handling activities (available on school holidays). The after school group horse riding option is for children who have a minimum riding level (good trot competency) and helps them move into cantering and jumping. The Hinterland trail riding experience features scenic treks and views and is designed for all experience levels. The company also sells children's books that help children learn more about horseback riding while teaching about safety. The company also sells various pieces of horse riding gear such as horse grooming kits and reins. There is a riding education pack available as well, which includes educational books, lesson discounts, bonus gear, and other valuable membership-only goods. The group development lesson is for kids over age 10, teens, and adults, which includes an hour of horse bonding experiences. The mechanical horse lesson is for beginners to help them fast track their riding skills and/or refresh skills that have been unused for a while using a fake horse. The company also provides digital gift cards which can be used for online booking. The ladies groups are women-only groups that are tailored to socializing and connecting with horses. The company also provides horse sports opportunities which include ground skill techniques and exercises that are then re-created on horseback. Lastly, the company provides certificate learning programs for teenagers based around vocational education and trailing.
  • Available Pricing Information: 30-minute riding lesson ($85), 45-minute riding lesson ($120), kids horse intro class ($47), horse connection classes ($90+), horse play day ($145), after school group horse riding ($65), 60-minute riding lesson and horse connection ($180), Hinterland trail riding and pony rides ($60), horseback riding children's books ($80), horse-riding gear pack ($54), riding education pack ($175), group development lessons in horsemanship and riding skills ($90+), 30 minute mechanical horse lesson ($65), gift vouchers ($50/$100/$200/Custom), ladies groups ($120), horse sports ($120+), and school groups ($120). *All prices in AUD.
  • Number of Visitors: Not Available.
  • Nearest Large City: Bonogin, Austinville, Neranwood.

Red Gum Riding

  • Business Model: Read Gum Riding provides horse riding classes, and focuses specifically on children aged 5 and up. The company provides lessons suited to all riding abilities. The company was also previously providing lessons for beginner adults, however, they have stopped doing so since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The company only gives private lessons, no group lessons. The company allows customers to pay online or in-person at the start of the lesson. Lessons can be booked online using a calendar which features open availability. The company's target market appears to be local individuals, as it offers only private lessons tailored to children and no touristy types of services. The company does not appear to have any other revenue streams outside of private lessons.
  • Services Offered: 30-minute and 1-hour private lessons. The lessons focus on introductory training, basic horsemanship, basic horse care, and lead line rides. Additionally, the company provides horse connection opportunities for children who have developmental difficulties or minor disabilities. All the lessons take place in a horse arena. The 30-minute lesson includes 10 minutes of tack preparation, and 20 minutes of riding including a brief break. The 1-hour lesson includes 15 minutes of horse grooming, 40 minutes of riding, and a 5-minute break.
  • Available Pricing Information: A 30-minute private lesson is $45, a 1-hour lesson is $70. *All prices in AUD.
  • Number of Visitors: Not available.
  • Nearest Large City: Bonogin, Mudgeeraba.

Gold Coast Equestrian Centre (GCEC)

  • Business Model: This company's revenue streams include the following: lessons, memberships, horse boarding, uniforms and gear, horsemanship programs, special needs programs, trail rides, holiday camps, birthday parties, young rider programs, competitions, horse and pony leasing and selling, and agistment. The company also accepts donations of goods and money. The company caters mostly to locals who want to ride on a regular basis, but caters a little bit to tourists as well via trail rides. The company markets itself on social media (Facebook and Instagram). The company accepts volunteers to work for them, including shop and canteen workers, paddock clean-up crews, and handypersons.
  • Services Offered: Trial lessons, private lessons, paired lessons, group lessons, holiday camps, and trail rides. Trial lessons are 30 minute lessons that allow a prospective rider to get familiar with the people and horses at GCEC, have their riding level assessed, and discuss which available lessons would be the best fit for them. Private lessons are designed to meet the rider at their minimum riding level and work with them to progress from there. Riders who meet a minimum standard of riding ability can sign up for lessons that include another rider. Group lessons allow children to ride with other children, allowing them to formulate friendships. Group lessons are split up based on riding levels. During public school holidays in the Gold Coast, the company offers 3 day camps that have two lessons per day. These lessons cover the theoretical components of riding and include picnic lunches. Trail rides are leisure experiences that include a 15-minute lesson in horse control and a 45-minute ride through 60 acres of Hinterland nature.
  • Available Pricing Information: Trial lessons ($30), private lessons ($85+ depending on length), paired lessons/group lessons ($70 per rider), holiday camps ($560), and trail rides ($100 adult/$90 children under 13). The company offers memberships which provide price discounts. *All prices in AUD.
  • Number of Visitors: Not available.
  • Nearest Large City: Clagiraba, Guanaba, Maudsland

Research Strategy

To conduct this research, we began by analyzing the specific company requested, Ranch Byron Bay and then continued looking to find other horse riding and training companies in the Gold Coast region of Australia. In doing so, we looked specifically for companies for which it can be logically assumed are catering primarily to frequent local customers, based on the types of services they are providing and their target demographic. We tried to avoid the inclusion of companies that cater specifically to tourists or those that require professional dressage. Once identified, we analyzed the business model for each company, including things like their revenue streams, target market, marketing tactics, value proposition, and other insights about their operations. Next, we made a list and description of their services and provided the pricing for these services. Nearly all this information was available via the company's websites. Maps were used to identify the nearest large cities. We were unable to locate any data about any of the companies' visitor counts. In doing so, we attempted to find this information on company websites, travel and activity profiles, social media accounts, and in media mentions. Because these are small, privately owned businesses, this information was unavailable. We attempted to triangulate a ballpark estimate of visitors by analyzing the web traffic of these companies and factoring in an average standard conversion rate, however, because these companies are so small, sites such as SimilarWeb do not have enough data available to achieve this triangulation. It may be possible to obtain this data by contacting the companies directly, although Wonder does not currently provide this direct-contact type of research.





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