We offer students weekly horse riding lessons for a term each year, as part of our normal school program.
Learning to ride and take care of our ponies provides students with an incredible range of opportunities to develop valuable life skills.
Horse riding at Village School
Each home group enjoys one term of weekly horse riding lessons every year as part of the health and physical education curriculum, and these lessons provide many benefits to our students.
Our horse riding teacher takes in account each child’s skills and interests to create a learning experience that’s fun, safe and enjoyable.
Riding a horse requires strength, balance and coordination, and our riding program is designed to help develop these in children.
Students’ motor skills improve as they sit on a horse, and the balance required while in motion helps strengthen their core muscles.
Learning to ride also develops emotional skills, as students deal with their hesitations and uncertainties around the ponies.
They also come to understand that the ponies are living breathing animals, that need care and looking after, and have emotions, moods and personalities that need to be responded to appropriately.
Horse riding lessons also help develop students’ communication abilities, with learning to listen carefully and follow instructions being a primary focus of the lessons.
With experience, the children also learn to read cues from the ponies, communicate their directions effectively to the animals, and ask for help from others as required.
The student’s confidence improves greatly as a result of their horse riding lessons, as they learn to effectively handle the horses in a variety of situations.
Students begin with basic skills, such as sitting on the ponies, and gradually learn to move the ponies, steer them and increase in speed as they feel ready.
The confidence that comes from realising that they are able to independently control and manage a horse is an incredibly valuable outcome of our riding lessons.
Horse riding lessons
Our horse riding lessons are an experience that our students remember for the rest of their lives.
We typically have from 8 to 15 ponies available for our classes, with a wide variety of colours and personalities, which they get to know and work with.
Lessons run for 1 to 1.5 hours each week for one term per home group.
Each week our horse riding teacher decides whether the students will be riding bareback, or with a saddle, and the students then brush and prepare the horses for their ride.
Students then pair up, with one leading the horse and one riding, with time on the horse split equally throughout the lesson.
To begin with, students may just sit in place on the horses. When they are comfortable, they will begin walking slowly over short distances, and then work up to longer distances, including outside the school in the surrounding parks and bushlands.
Eventually, the more experienced riders in Year 6 may be skilled enough to try trotting and cantering, under close supervision and guidance from the teacher.
At the end of a lesson, students take saddles off, give the horses a drink, brush them and put away all of the riding equipment.
We also greatly appreciate parent participation in our horse riding lessons to help with managing children and leading horses.
Private horse riding lessons
For those who can’t bear to wait for a year to have more lessons, our horse riding instructor offers private lessons at lunch times and after school by arrangement.
The after school lessons are also available to students from the wider community.
Please contact the office for more information or to book in for a private riding lesson.
Horse riding activities
Our students have benefitted in numerous ways from their horse riding lessons at Village School. Here’s a some of the more memorable experiences they’ve had over the years.
Concerts and performances
As part of the Graduation Concert the evening started off with a dressage performance outside the school hall, featuring some of the year sixes.
Other ways the horses have been combined with performances were in a Fairy Tale the “prince” actually led his horse into the auditorium, so he and his princess could ride off into the sunset.
We also incorporated them into an outdoor circus performance, complete with bareback riding and balancing!
Riding a horse to the shops
The children were studying living in the 19th century and one of their activities was to ride their horses to the local shops to buy food and then return to school.
Shop owners in North Croydon were very understanding when horses stopped outside their store and their young riders came in to buy their bread.
Senior citizens group
Instead of taking just a singing group to a senior citizens home we took some of the horses so that the inmates could pat them and talk to the children about their experiences with horses during their youth.
It was a great example of community outreach and there was a two-way benefit with this activity.
Our learning programs
For more information on our learning programs, please see: