Charles teaches students about safety and horses
June 19, 2009
Charles teaches students about safety and horses

The Sion Hill Government School has had the privilege of being one of the first schools here to have a practical lesson about horses.{{more}}

On Wednesday, June 19th, Charles Findlay, a horse trainer living at Villa, conducted the hands-on lesson at the Sion Hill Playing Field Pavilion in an effort to educate

children about how to interact with the animals.

The group of students, accompanied by their teachers and Headteacher Verona Richards, watched in awe as Findlay demonstrated with his two horses, a stallion, Golden Boy, and mare, Sting.

Findlay showed the students how to approach a horse: “Never approach a horse from behind!” he stressed, telling them it may cause the animal to feel threatened and react by kicking.

Findlay also explained to the children that horses must feel that they can trust you before you are allowed to ride them. He shared that animals can sense fear in an individual, making them hesitant to approach that individual.

Findlay added that a horse will always know when someone wants to harm it and would prevent that person from doing so by kicking or biting them. Findlay added that a lot of love and patience is needed to take care of horses.

Charles, who used Sting only for his demonstration, entertained the students, performing tricks with Sting and allowing the students to interact with her showing them how to approach her in the right way and how to make her raise her front and hind legs.

Teacher Arlene Toppin Bailey and Headteacher Verona Richards also participated. Bailey, who was given the opportunity to ride Sting, told Searchlight that while her first horse ride was a bit frightening, she enjoyed it. “The encouragement and the knowledge from him (Findlay) made you calm so you would not be afraid,” she said.

Headteacher Richards also took part, participating in a trick to raise Sting’s legs. Richards, speaking to Searchlight, expressed gratitude to Findlay for extending his knowledge of horses to the school. Richards, who described the experience as a worthwhile and memorable one, said that the children will benefit greatly from the session as they would learn how to take care of animals and the lesson “would compliment what they are taught in the classroom.”

Findlay, who has been training horses since 1989, will continue to travel to schools to teach children about horses. He is in the process of securing places to begin private horse riding lessons for children, which he says will begin later this year or early next year. (OS)