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Unit students try horse-riding to promote confidence and resilience

Students from the Unit at Corby Business Academy are enjoying horse riding lessons, for many, it is the first time they have come into contact with the animals at such close quarters.

There are 37 students from years 7 to 11, that have a range of learning difficulties. The sessions embrace challenge and provide students with the opportunity to try something new in a safe and structured environment. Students will complete a six-week course exploring horse care and experience horse riding.

Students receive half an hour of riding tuition and half an hour of horse management lessons per week. In their most recent session the students learned how to groom a horse and use a horse pick to clean its hooves.

The sessions take place at Brampton Stables near Northampton, thanks to a grant from the Emile Faurie Foundation which aims to make riding accessible for all.

Unit Assistant Manager Clare Judge said:  ‘For many of our students it will be the first time they have come into contact with a horse. This course enriches individual experiences and allows learning to extend beyond the classroom.

'Through horse management students learn how to manage the horse, including communicating and directing the horse. To be able to command such a huge animal is something most students feel they cannot do. In time they will learn how to do this and so new confidence is formed. When working with horses students must learn how to manage their own emotions as horses instinctively read mood and refuse to work if we are in the wrong state of mind.

‘Every element of this course is aimed at improving confidence, increasing self-esteem and challenging students to achieve what they did not think was possible. This course also promotes resilience. Learning outside the classroom is transferred to academic studies and students will be more likely to take risks and become resilient learners.’

Danny, from Year 11, said: ‘It was the first time I had been on a horse and I trotted with it. It didn’t take long to get used to but getting off the horse was the most difficult bit.’ Student Chloe said: ‘It was fun.’ Jacob, from Year 7 said: ‘I have never done riding before and I am really excited about it. I am most looking forward to trotting around.’ Shaun from Year 10 said: ‘I was getting used to being near the horses and it was really nice to stroke them.’

To see a gallery of pictures click here.