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For Parents

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Choosing An Activity for Your Child

If you grew up with horses, or riding yourself, finding the right riding school for your child is easy. You know what questions to ask and when you go there you'll know what signs to look for to be reassured that the place you've chosen is safe, the horses are well looked after, and the coaching is of quality. But what if horses are new for your whole family? We've prepared some questions, answers and things to observe that may help give you some security about your choice

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK:

How many lessons a day do your horses give?

2 one hour individual lessons per day or an equivalent, such as 4 half hour children's lessons, or 2 ninety minute group lessons. 

Where do the horses live?

For their mental and physical health horses needs to eat grass and walk for the greater part of their day.  If horses are kept in stables then they should also have time in fields on a regular basis.

How often do the horses have a holiday?

If horses live in stables they need to have regular spelling. This means they're transported out of the facility they're living in to fields where they can rest and spend time with other horses. How often this should happened depends on the horse but ideally for at least six week a year. If horses live in fields in social groups they should have at least one day a week free from work and longer breaks as required. 

What experience and qualifications do your coaches have?

There are a range of Australian and International coaching qualifications. The important thing is that the coach's qualifications and experience include coaching children, that they enjoy their work and can connect with the children they coach. Learning to ride should be safe and fun.

What kinds of activities do the students do?

People learn in many different ways and a variety of activities both on and off the horse is usually an indication that a riding school is willing to be flexible about the way students learn and meet them where they are.

Will my child groom and tack up the horse (with help) or will that already be done?

Grooming and tacking up is a very important part of riding. Grooming enables the rider to check the horse thoroughly for injury or sensitivity that may make riding inappropriate or unsafe. Grooming is also a way of letting the horse get to know and trust the rider and give the rider insight into the horses character and way of communicating. Understanding the purpose of tack and how to tack up is vital to ensure that horses are tacked up humanely and that the tack is safe and fot for purpose. 

What kind of insurance does the riding school have?

A riding school should carry a $20 million Public Liability Policy.

After my child has learned the basics what opportunities are there for them after that?

It's great if there are opportunities to 

Can parents watch the lesson?

Involving families in children's learning is vital. Parents should have a transparent relationship with the riding school and feel clear about what is being learned and why. The conversations between parents and coach are an important part of preparing effective lessons.

 

THINGS TO OBSERVE:

How do the horses look:

Horses should have soft, shiny coats, clear eyes, be calm but curious, interested in people and in good condition. Their hooves should look nest and clean and they should have enough developed muscle for their work without being overweight.

How do the horses behave:

Horses should be calm but curious. They should stand quietly while being groomed and tacked up and be engaged and willing to work. They should be responsive when ridden.

What happens when you arrive at the stable:

We ask you to go directly to our waiting area where the coach will meet you at the start time of your lesson. For Pony Preschool riders Rosie will be waiting in the breezeway of the barn. Riders who've started school will accompany the coach to catch their horse. They may do this on their own once they've earned their 'Catch and Tack Licence'.

What happens during the lessons:

Lessons should be structured and well prepared. Student and families should be aware of what is being taught and why it;s important to learn that and how that fits into the overall goals

What is the pace of the stables:

We move at the horses pace. The farm is tranquil and calm. We don't rush our riders or the horses we work with. Neither people nor horses give their best when put under pressure and interactions with horses are safest when everyone is relaxed.

How organised are the coaches and the environment:

The environment should be clean, tidy and well maintained. It's important for safety reasons that hazards are identified straight away and removed. 

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