Unicorn Agility Park offers something different for horse riders

At 8 Sawpit Gully Road there is a facility available for those who love horses.

The Unicorn Agility Park offers so much it is hoped that in 2022 local pony clubs from the Fleurieu Peninsula will utilise its services.

What is a Horse Agility Course? It is series of obstacles or challenges that test the relationship and training of your horse - from walking backwards through a maze, walking over logs, through water, flapping things, noisy things, testing and demonstrating, accuracy, training, connection, communication and good horsemanship.

The list of challenges is endless and only limited to the imagination. It can be done by a horse handler on the ground or while riding the horse.

Horse Agility (or obstacle) courses are rapidly gaining in popularity because they are so versatile. They are suitable for a wide range of ages and experience, both horse and human.

They increase safety and build confidence. They can be competitive or non competitive, can be done as a group activity or by yourself, can be done on the ground or riding and great alternative from regular activities.

It complements a wide range of disciplines and is good physical exercise, increasing suppleness and strength and of course fun.

Owner Mandy Smith said the Unicorn Equine Services Agility Course was totally unique to the Fleurieu Peninsula.

"We believe we are a great addition to the area, offering local residents a fantastic horse facility to use.

"Our region has a strong horse community. We are easily accessible from Adelaide and the Adelaide hills region and would both complement and encourage visitation to the area, both as a day trip or short holiday stay, bringing increased revenue to our local tourism industry, as it offers something quite unique.

"It offers the possibility of camping overnight, or using local accommodation to enjoy other aspects of the area surrounding Victor Harbor,' Mandy said.

"With fantastic riding beaches and local forestry areas nearby, it is all here. Victor Harbor and the surrounding areas offer a wide diversity in food/wine and accommodation options."

The Unicorn Equine Services Agility Course currently has a series of 16 challenges, which can be set up in a multiple of ways that will keep the course exciting and new.

"We run two hour 'Come and Try' sessions called Play Practice and can hire to private groups, or clubs and larger groups. We will be also focusing very much on instruction and education - with regular day and weekend clinics," Mandy said.

"Agility/obstacle courses have a broad appeal across all disciplines (dressage, jumping, cross country) and offers opportunities for cross training, keeping the horse motivated, fit and supple both mentally and physically. It also offers those who are not competitive something fun to do with their horse and a safe alternative to riding on roads, as the areas available to ride are shrinking.

"While it is fun, it also serves an important function of increasing confidence and competence of horse handling across all ages, thereby also increasing safety and there is an ongoing benefit of improving communication. The benefits are numerous."

Unicorn Equine Services has built state of the art facility, one that is flexible enough to provide ongoing challenges for visitors to progress at their own pace, whether they are just starting out with a young horse, don't ride at all, or are very experienced.

It will also offer educational opportunities to ensure all are set up to succeed - ensuring safety for both horse and handler and good horse welfare outcomes.

Mandy Smith (Zoo keeper for over 30 years and been working with horses for even longer) is passionate about education, safety, and enjoyment for both horse and human.

"Animal welfare is extremely important and we strive for best outcomes for horse and human," she said. For more information contact Mandy Smith on 0413 799 599.