I am writing in regards to the new proposed permits that will affect horse riders using Corinella Beach.
I have read all the permit rules and beach access regulations and understand why this has been put into motion.
I have been taking my horse to Corinella beach for several years now. During this time I have spoken to local residents who have approached me and who I have approached.
I have had several incidents where I’ve had angry local residents yelling at me whilst I have been abiding by the rules and not putting a foot wrong. Their approach to me was aggressive and bullying and unnecessary to say the least.
I am a friendly laid back person who loves nature and animals and I’m always happy to talk to people where ever I go.
In this instance I’m more than happy to talk to the locals to try to problem solve and find a solution that keeps everyone happy and safe.
I’m also keen to find a solution that doesn’t prevent any one person from the beautiful beach at Corinella as it should be available for everyone to enjoy.
Things I think that could be done to ensure safety and harmony between everyone on the beach are:
• An additional track onto the beach – one track for pedestrians and one track for horses. This would ensure the safety of everyone and minimise possible accidents as people are usually carrying umbrellas, inflatable pool toys etc which can spook the horses.
• An area boxed off to place horse manure in. This would give horse riders a place to put the manure and could also be ‘free manure’ for the locals who want it for their garden.
• Dogs should be banned on the horse riding section of the beach. This will minimise accidents of dogs spooking, chasing and attacking horses. If a dog spooks a horse and the rider falls off, you have a loose horse on the beach. I have been riding my horse on the beach when a dog off its leash spooked my horse, which caused me to fall off. My friend caught my horse and I sustained concussion.
• Place a simple wooden split rail fence that clearly sections off the horse section to the non-horse section on the beach. This would do two things. It would make it clearly visible to everyone where the boundary is and it would also stop a runaway horse from getting amongst the people and families on the section where horses are banned.
• Have clear signage that states no parking of floats anywhere other than the car park. This will keep numbers at any one time to a minimum. It will also give locals peace of mind that floats won’t be on their nature strip.
• Have clear signage that states horse rules and etiquette. Have a contact number on this sign so people can send footage or photos to this number if horse riders are disobeying the rules. This will make locals feel they are being respected and give every horse rider no excuse to do the wrong thing if every rule is on the sign, eg pick up manure, park only in car park, no dogs on horse section, horses only in horse section etc.
If you implement a rule that floats can only be parked in the car park this will keep the number of horses on the beach to a minimum at all times as the car park isn’t huge. A sign would need to be placed that says no float parking past this point.
I think smaller amounts of horses on the beach at any one time is key as I’ve been there on the weekends in summer and it’s mayhem.
I think less people will come from far away if they know there’s a chance they won’t get a car park.
As you have been made aware already the benefits for horses at the beach (in the water) is so beneficial to their physical and mental health.
This particular beach I think is the last beach we have where you can ride all day and enjoy the beauty, health benefits etc with friends and other people.
As a horse owner it’s extremely hard to find safe and nice places to ride horses.
It’s a very social and healthy hobby to have and so much better than watching tv etc. It’s so lovely to see kids having fun with their ponies in summer as it’s such a rare thing for many horse owners to be able to do with their horses.
I’m happy to pay $75 a year if it means I can continue to take my horse their whenever I want to. But I’m not happy with the restrictions you place on the permit. The weather already places restrictions on when we can go so we don’t need further restrictions!
To imply everyone has to have public liability insurance is also crazy and unfair as a lot of people won’t be able to do that.
It’s not fair to make horses the target for all problems on the beach and it certainly isn’t fair to make only horse owners pay for it.
Dog owners should be made equally accountable as horses. Dogs chase, attack and scare the horses which results in injuries. Horses don’t do any of these things to dogs!
This is the last beach we have to enjoy our horses on a beautiful Australian beach.
It would be devastating if you took this away from our kids and our grandchildren so on.
We drive 70 minutes to enjoy the beach with our horses and most of us have enough decency to respect the locals and the rules.
Please don’t make harsh penalties for the horses because of a few inconsiderate horse owners.
Sophie Tate.

 

More letters on this issue in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times
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