The WA Horse Trekkers Club (WAHTC) was formed in 1990/91, following the Mundaring to Kalgoorlie Pipeline Trek in 1988. It was incorporated in May 1992. At present, the club has 160 members from areas all over WA.
WAHTC is affiliated with, and operates under the national umbrella of the Australian Trail Horse Riders Association (ATHRA), Australia’s premier representative body for Trail Horse Riders. ATHRA provides the national guidelines under which we operate, and coordinates all insurances for the club. Members receive an ATHRA membership card, which enables them to ride at any other ATHRA club in Australia.
WAHTC organises horse camping treks and day or overnight trail rides for members, and is open to both horse riders and harness drivers. Any breed of horse that is sound and sensible can be used with any comfortable and safe saddle, harness, and any other gear that meets the ATHRA Code of Conduct and the WAHTC Club Rules.
Treks are run from private properties or public places where vehicles and floats left behind are secure. Trails are generally along bush tracks, through private property or along quiet back roads.
What do Trekkers do?
Trekkers get together to enjoy the experience of horse trekking in the Australian bush. Caring for and partnership with our horses, camping out, supporting each other and caretaking the environment as we pass through are our goals.
Here are some videos of some past treks:
Because of the widespread area members come from, day rides and weekend treks are held in different locations in the Perth Regional Area and WA’s South West, with one to three rides/treks each month. We enjoy going further afield when given the opportunity.
Weekend treks usually include a half-day ride (12-20 km) commencing after lunch on the first day, to allow everyone time to arrive and set up. A full day ride (25-35 km) is run on the middle day/s of a long weekend, with a picnic lunch out on the trail. Often, though not always, someone in a support vehicle accompanies the ride to bring along the lunches, gear, etc. On the last day, a morning ride (12-15 km) is held, allowing time for everyone to pack up and travel home after lunch.
Evenings are usually spent around the campfire (in season), camp cooking, telling yarns and relaxing. Members can join in for a shorter period if they aren’t able to stay a full weekend. The pace can be slow and relaxed, mostly walking and trotting (known as Steady Eddy rides), or a bit more active with canters involved (Nimble Neddies rides, for the more experienced trekkers). Depending on numbers, a ride can be divided into two groups to cater for both Steady Eddy and Nimble Neddy riders at the one ride.
At least one longer trek (1-2 weeks) is organised each year. Distances covered can be 200-400km, travelling 15-30km per day with some rest days incorporated. These treks have been held as far north as Mt Augustus/ Gascoyne Junction, east to Kalgoorlie and south around Hopetown and Bremer Bay.
Sometimes these treks are “moving treks”, where participants camp at a different spot each night, supported by a support crew who move all the gear from camp to camp. More recently, the longer treks have involved two to three different camp bases, with cloverleaf style rides out of each base, and a moving day in between each base.
What Will I Need?
Participants need to be self-sufficient on treks. You will need:
- Your horse, of course, although support people without horses are appreciated
- All riding/driving gear, including spares of essentials
- Camping gear, including swag or tent, table, chair, cooking equipment, etc
- Electric or steel yards
- Horse feed and water
- Clean up gear – manure rake, chaff bags, tubs, and a collapsible trolley is helpful
- Tubs for horse feed and water, manure cartage, bathing, plus a few extras, as you’ll always use them
- Spare horse boots/shoes
- Horse nose bags, saddle bags and water bottle holders
- Sun and/or rain protection
- Food for all human meals unless otherwise advised
- No dogs, donkeys or stallions are allowed at rides
Helmets are recommended for adults and are compulsory for Juniors (12-17 years inclusive).
How Much Will It Cost?
Membership fees each year (1st Jan – 31st Dec) are decided at the AGM and are currently;
- $110.00 per year for adults for riding or driving members,
- $110.00 per year for Family Memberships (one adult riding member who is the Parent or Legal Guardian and one Junior/riding child), when registered or renewed at the same time.
- $50.00 for Junior Members (12-17 yo inclusive),
- $40.00 for Social Members, and
- $70 for over 80-year-olds.
These fees include both the ATHRA and club memberships.
Day rides and weekend treks are run at minimal cost, with ride fees calculated so that the club breaks even on costs. More is charged for longer treks or weekends providing accommodation, depending on how they are organised.
A new member joining after 1st October is current until the end of the following financial year. Non-riders can join as Social Members, and are covered by the club insurance when participating in club events. Non-members (non-riders) are also able to participate as visitors.
Please go to New Member Registration, nominating “WA Horse Trekkers Club Inc” as your club in WA.
How Do I Nominate for a Trek?
Members are sent a welcome email once they have joined containing the Club Rules and additional information.
Prior to each trek, members will receive an email containing details about the trek, with the Ride Notes attached. These must be read carefully before entering a trek, as each trek is different and there is always important information pertaining to that trek within the Ride Notes.
To enter a trek, go to Nominate.
Club jackets, vests and shirts are available with the club logo on the front and back, and the option of having your name printed on the front.