Tim and Chooi Yoke at Countryside Stables Penang (3 May, 2015)
Countryside Stables Penang (GPS: 5.3395, 100.19797) is a place in Sungai Burong where visitors can enjoy riding horses and get close to nature. It is nestled in the midst of Sungai Burung agriculture area in Balik Pulau. It is opened by a couple of horse lovers, Wan and Doris, who decided to create a place in the countryside where children and adults alike can get a chance at horse riding.
Countryside Stables was established in 2012 and to date, is home to 30 horses of various breeds and types. They include miniatures horses, Pure Bred Arabian Horses, Polo Pony, Thai, Myanmar and Malaysian ponies. Also at the stables are donkeys and deer.
My wife and I visited Wan and Doris at their stables on 4 May, 2015. It happened to be a replacement public holiday that day. When we arrived, we saw that the car park was already full of cars. There was an attendant around to help us find a parking spot.
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Tim and Chooi Yoke at Countryside Stables Penang (3 May, 2015)
Here I am with Wan and Doris with some of their miniature horses (3 May, 2015)
Wan came out to greet us and showed us around. We were each given a bucket of hay to feed the horses. The stables were lined up in two neat rows. There were miniature horses which are no more than three feet in height. They are so cute, like huge puppies, and are also quite playful.
In addition to the miniature horses, we also saw ponies and full-grown horse. There are signages informing that some of these horses bite, so we have to exercise caution when we feed them. As far as possible, I tried to keep my fingers away from their teeth when I fed them the hay. Not very easy when you are trying to get your photo taken at the same time!
My wife feeding the miniature horse at Countryside Stables Penang (3 May, 2015)
Here I am feeding the miniature horse at Countryside Stables Penang (3 May, 2015)
My wife feeding the pony at Countryside Stables Penang (3 May, 2015)
My wife feeding the stallion at Countryside Stables Penang (3 May, 2015)
On top of the horses, we also saw a few donkeys. This is I think the first time that I have ever seen donkeys this close. They have such big heads compared to the rest of their bodies.
As I looked around the stables, I can't help noticing how well kept it is. The grounds are immaculately kept and the stables do not smell as much as some others that I have visited before. We saw children and adults riding ponies. There is also a horse carriage where whole families can take a ride together.
Child going on a joy ride at Countryside Stables Penang (3 May, 2015)
Here I am with my wife at Countryside Stables Penang (3 May, 2015)
I noticed that most of the visitors to Countryside Stables are families with children. Indeed I think this is a wonderful outing for children to see horses up close and get a chance to ride on them.
We met up with Doris, who is also very much into cooking like my wife, and has been following my wife's cooking on our Masa Masak Facebook Group. If not for all the time taken to run the stables, she would have more time cooking.
Here I am on the white horse chosen for me (3 May, 2015)
Enjoying our rides at Countryside Stables (3 May, 2015)
Wan then invited my wife and me to go on a horse back joy ride, and we were game for it. First we were given a head covering, for hygiene purposes, over which we put on our riding helmets. I was given a white stallion while my wife a chestnut one. We had our photos taken in front of the fountain, and then we paraded around the grounds. It is already a few years since my last horse back ride, and it was quite fun to do it again.
As we bid our goodbyes to Wan and Doris, I hope that families with children will check out this place, so that the kids get to enjoy something outdoors and not having to spend their whole time cooped up with indoor activities. Also, the whole journey to Countryside Stables is gorgeous. We passed by a number of breathtaking sceneries which I believe even the adults would appreciate.
Sungai Burong scenery (3 May, 2015)
To be honest, both my wife and I were awed by the amount of time and energy that our friends Wan and Doris have to put in to operate the stables. This is truly a labour of love, of a couple who have grown-up children who are finally able to work together on something of mutual passion.
The coach for transporting the horses, at Countryside Stables Penang (4 May, 2015)
Equine activities that visitors may enjoy at Countryside Stables are:
Joy ride / Guided ride for children (RM17) & Adult (RM20), toddler sharing ride with parents additional RM10, combined weight not exceeding 80 kg
Hay for feeding horses is RM5 per pack
Horse carriage ride is RM5 for children and RM10 for adults within the area (400 meters) and RM10 for children, RM30 for adults within the farm area (1.5 km, 30 minutes)
Horseback Riding (for experienced riders only): RM80 (1 hour, within area); RM230 (2 hours, on outdoor 8-km trail, by appointment Monday - Friday)
Photo Shoot: RM350 per hour per horse within stable area, for wedding photo shoot and special events
Private events can be arranged for school outing, team building, family day, birthday party and others.
* Upon request and availability
In addition to the above activities, Countryside Stables Penang also conduct regular outings, school trips and educational tours for kindergarten children as well as for the disabled.
Countryside Stables is open daily from 2:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Entry fees are RM5 for adults and RM3 for children aged 12 years and below. The fees are deductible when visitors take part in joy ride or guided ride.
Caution: We are not liable for any loss,damage or accident that takes place within our premise.Also,rates published are subject to change without prior notice.
Countryside Stables Penang
Lot 603 Jalan Hilir Sungai Burung
Kampong Jalan Baru
11000 Balik Pulau, Penang
012 408 0678
Countryside Stables Penang has to be reached by private vehicle, as the nearest bus stop, which is on Jalan Bahru Balik Pulau, is some half an hours' walk away. The stables are in fact very easy to find. Before we arrived, I had wondered if we could find it.
As it turned out, there are signages all along Jalan Bahru, the main road towards the stables. Look out for "Pony Ride & Horse Riding" on the main road from Batu Ferringhi, Bayan Lepas and Jalan Tun Sardon that point you to Jalan Bharu. As you drive down Jalan Bharu, look out for further signboards pointing the way to the place. The turning in is next to Sungai Burong. This is how the turning in looks like:
You will see the signage:
Countryside Stables Penang signage (3 May, 2015)
Just follow the lane beside the river and eventually you will arrive at Countryside Stables. The stables are located close to the sea, about 200 meters from the fishermen's port of Kuala Sungai Burung. The coast is also known as Pantai Malindo.
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