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Kings Oxford take to the saddle

29 Jan, 2024
Kings Oxford take to the saddle

Cordelia Cross, Media Content Creator at Kings Oxford, reports back on students' very first horse riding lesson!

The activity was a fantastic opportunity for our fifteen students, all of mixed equestrian ability, to immerse themselves in the world of horses, especially after a long and busy week at school. After their final lesson, we taxied our way over to Waterstock Riding School, located just 15 minutes outside of Oxford.

Once we all arrived each student was given a protective riding hat and introduced to the horses, the group was then divided into two as there were mixed abilities, some having never sat on a horse before, others who had their own horses back in their home countries, making it an interesting demographic of abilities! The first group consisted of those with less or no riding experience and were led to the riding area for a beginner’s lesson. The second group, made up of students with some prior experience, was taken to the stables for a session on stable management.

In the arena, the beginners were introduced to the basics of horse riding, each being led by one of the instructors at Waterstock who carefully ensured each student was okay and comfortable. They learnt how to approach a horse, mount and some basic controls like steering, walking and stopping. By the end of their session, each student had even had a go at a trot!

Meanwhile, in the stables, the second group was learning about stable management. This included understanding the daily care horses require, such as grooming, feeding, exercise and mucking out. It was a hands-on experience with everyone getting the chance to clean and care for the horses. They were taught about the specific brushes and what each is used for and why. By the time they’d cleaned and brushed the horses, it was time for the groups to switch over!

All in all, it was a hugely successful activity, with everyone heading into the weekend with beaming smiles. Some students even enquired about having one-on-one lessons in the future. The trip was not only about learning to ride or take care of horses; it was about stepping out of comfort zones, building confidence, and learning new skills. It allowed students to connect with nature and create lasting memories with friends. Well done to everyone who partook in the session, stay tuned to see if it’s offered on our programme in the near future!

Denis said, “I really enjoyed the session, I just wished it had been for longer! It was great getting to meet the horses and ride them; I would definitely go again."

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