Trekking firm adds riding school

International riding instructor Suzanne Kolff sits next to the round pen used for horsemanship...
International riding instructor Suzanne Kolff sits next to the round pen used for horsemanship lessons that will border the arena. Photo supplied.
In this week's In business, Christina McDonald talks to Deana Irvine, of High Country Horses.

High Country Horses offers an all-season riding arena and school.

Wakatipu Riding School is due to open on May 4 and High Country Horses, based in Glenorchy, will continue to offer horse trekking, in conjunction with operating the school.

The company's owner and operator, Deana Irvine, said the horse trekking side had been targeting international visitors ''but there has been a lot more Kiwis getting on board''.

''This is just trying to find another market instead of the fluctuation in winter ... just trying to keep a steady income.''

The trekking business operates year-round.

The company had been ''looking at different things with the recession'' and a locally focused riding arena seemed to be the perfect fit.

She said the full-size arena was being built on the company's own property, below Mt Alfred, and though it was all-weather, it was hoped it would eventually be covered.

She hoped the riding school would be able to offer transport from Queenstown to the arena in Glenorchy.

On offer would be basic riding, dressage and horsemanship. Working with cattle and getting competitions under way are on the agenda.

The arena would be open to riders from primary school level through to adults wanting to learn or hone techniques.

Horses will be ''part of the package'' but riders will also be able to bring their own.

Ms Irvine said there had already been strong interest from potential customers. High Country Horses was established in 1987. Ms Irvine has owned it for almost 10 years.

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