If your child would like to try a sport that is completely unique and allows them to get in touch with nature, why not introduce them to the exciting activity of horse riding? Horse riding is a great way to get the kids off the sofa and into the saddle over the school holidays!
Most of us would agree that at one stage or another throughout childhood we have all had fantasies of riding ponies, or being a cowboy exploring the Wild West on horseback.
Unfortunately, many of these hopes of actually owning our own pony were promptly dashed, due to the high cost involved and space required for caring for a horse. Horse riding was categorised into one of those “too costly” hobbies to take up. Thankfully, these days there are many programs offered at various equestrian schools around Adelaide that are tons of fun and very affordable.
Image Credit: fiveoaksridingstables.com
There are a number of positive benefits for children partaking in horse riding activities. Not only is horse riding great for building their physical, social and mental skills, here are a few other important reasons why it’s a great idea to get your kid’s feet into the stirrups:
Fitness & Health: Horse riding is a fun way to get your child outdoors, away from the screens, and getting them physically active in the fresh air.
Making New Friends: Being in the equestrian environment is a wonderful opportunity for your child to develop their social skills, by meeting different friends than they have in their everyday peer group. People within the equestrian industry often talk about friends being made for life in the stables. If your jockey in-the-making loves the program, it’s more than likely they will meet up with the same friends the next time!
Confidence Boost: There is nothing more empowering for a child than having to ride and take care of an animal twice their size! Whether they are riding, grooming or assisting in cleaning out the muck, with firm positive encouragement and patience, they’ll grow confidence for life. Under supervision, riding is suitable for all ages. For children with special needs, horse interaction is a fun, engaging activity that can assist in building confidence.
Teaching Personal Responsibility: Learning to look after and ride a pony will teach your child responsibility and accountability. Being around horses requires a level of respect (to the instructor, the horse and to other riders) and discipline. Through the whole riding process, children are taught to be patient, respectful, and after completing tasks, they have the fun reward of riding. If these traits and skills are instilled in your child from a young age, it will help set them up for the challenges of adult life! What better environment to develop these lifelong qualities, than learning how to ride!
Image Credit: familiesmagazine.com.au
We’ve listed some options below of how your kids can learn horse riding in Adelaide.
Four Oaks Farm, Little Hampton, SA.
If you’re child’s birthday falls within the holidays, Four Oaks Farm offers a fun party with a difference! Four Oaks is located in the beautiful Adelaide Hills; being only 30 minutes from the CBD, it is a great farm outing for the day. The party can be set up in the farm’s barn and includes activities such as pony rides, pony carriage rides and animal feeding. For those children that have a sparked interest in taking up horse riding after the day’s end, Four Oaks offers lessons for new riders of all ages.
Four Oaks Farms is the first accredited member of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), which is a non-profit association for equine therapy to address mental health and human development needs. Being such gentle giants, it’s no surprise that horses can be utilised for animal therapy.
Image Credit: fouroaksfarm.com.au
Private Lessons, surrounding Adelaide Hills, SA.
You will find there are a number of private equestrian schools and properties within the surrounding Adelaide Hills that offer one-on-one riding lessons, customised to your child’s needs and level of experience. An instructional horse riding lesson will include provision of an equipped horse, helmet and other equipment. Lessons are normally run within a fenced area designed for teaching.
Do your research on the private centre to ensure the experience and qualifications of the coach, as well as safety in the instructions, equipment and horses used. Take some time to visit the property first, to get a feel for any restrictions related to age, weight, experience level and their operating hours. In the process, you’ll enjoy a family drive to the green pastures of the Adelaide Hills.
Australian Sports Camps in Partnership with Kirby Park Equestrian School, SA.
In partnership with Kirby Park Equestrian School, the Australian Sports Camps (ASC) Horse Riding Program will have your child learning all the basics of horse riding in a relaxed setting with experienced and talented trainers. Through a structured, skill-developing process that is accessible for kids aged between six and sixteen, the program covers all the fundamentals of horse riding and safety.
Children will enjoy themselves learning to ride in a fun, educational and engaging setting. Kirby Park has top class equestrian facilities, purpose built to the highest standard and with friendly, well-trained horses. The children will get to learn stable maintenance, floating, horsemanship activities including grooming and tacking a pony. There is also a beautiful trail ride for the groups to explore. When school returns, your child will be galloping into the classroom with exciting news about the riding skills they learnt, whilst adventuring in nature with their newfound human and animal friends!