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Caring For A Horse | Horse Riding In Schools

Posted By: JR

Many independent boarding schools enjoy the luxury of being able to provide equestrian facilities for their pupils. These schools are a great opportunity for children with an interest in horses, whether wishing to begin learning or continue they lessons in horse riding. These facilities and equestrian centres are usually kept to a very high standard, allowing boarding pupils to keep their own horses at the stables, and all pupils may ride a horse belonging to the school.

The style of riding taught may vary from school to school, many independent schools offering a range of styles and disciplines. Most boarding schools offering horse riding will cater for all ages within the school and with every level of ability regardless of age. Those will a keen interest in horse but no equestrian experience and encouraged just as much as those already participating in competitive riding. Horse riding lessons may be incorporated into Senior and Junior Games lessons, at weekends for boarding school children, or during lunch breaks for all pupils to enjoy.

Independent boarding school pupils will often have the opportunity to learn a range of horse riding disciplines including jumping, cross country riding, hacking, polo, and polocrosse. Training may be available and competitions may be held in dressage or dressage to music (riding and training to develop balance, flexibility and obedience) and show jumping (riding horses over a course of fences and obstacles for competition). Gymkhanas will often be held throughout the year, enabling the pupils to show what they have learned to teachers, other pupils, and their families.

The training programs and trainers available to pupils at independent boarding schools are usually of a very high standard, with trainers holding equestrian qualifications and often participating in competitive sports either prior to their teaching career or alongside it. The horses themselves are of course kept exceptionally well, and will have fantastic temperaments and be happy to take children. A variety of different heights, ages, and abilities will usually be kept, ensuring that children of all these qualities are catered for.

Boarding school pupils will not only be taught the various disciplines, but also about the care and responsibilities of horse ownership. Children may be taught about the anatomy of the horse, feeding & nutrition, grooming methods, mucking out, and many other important factors in owning and caring for a horse. Many boarding schools offer full working liveries, and the children will be expected to play their part in the running of the school’s equestrian centre.

Horse riding is a great physical activity used by pupils to stay fit. The constant movement of the horse requires constant muscle movement, and helps develop balance and co-ordination. Trotting and cantering has been said to burn the same number of calories for a rider as jogging lightly or cycling. Polo and dressage require a higher level of flexibility and physical fitness. Children will develop higher levels of stamina and suppleness, helping develop muscles, joints and ligaments. Of course walking to and from the stables, mucking out, and grooming also play their part in physical activity. Horse riding is a physically demanding sport and it may help children to exercise outside of the stables to develop the right muscle groups and make the activity less strenuous.

About the Author:

Philip Loughran is a freelance author who writes about a variety of subjects. For boarding schools in the south and schools with horse riding facilities he recommends Hordle Walhampton

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