No hors­ing around with rid­ers’ safety

Central and North Burnett Times - - JUNIOR SPORT - Adam McCleery adam.mccleery@cnbtimes.com.au

HORSE RID­ING: Sib­lings Trader and Holly Ah­ern are only a year apart in age and have both been in­volved with the Gayn­dah Horse and Pony Club for years.

The brother and sis­ter have dif­fer­ent tastes when it comes to which events and skills they take to most, but each is just as ea­ger as the other to keep learn­ing.

“Jump­ing is prob­a­bly my favourite,” Holly said.

“It’s ex­cit­ing and a lit­tle chal­leng­ing.”

Mean­while, Trader was par­tial to the team pen­ning and hoped to com­pete at a high level.

“The team pen­ning is my favourite. I like watch­ing it at the shows and stuff too. It’s pretty ex­cit­ing,” he said.

The Ah­ern sib­lings took part in the re­cent Gayn­dah Pony and Horse Club week­end camp.

There, they learned more about team pen­ning, ground work, cam­p­draft­ing and jump­ing, to name just a few ac­tiv­i­ties.

Holly said the bond be­tween rider and horse was cru­cial to safety and taken very se­ri­ously by teach­ers and stu­dents.

“You need your horse to trust you so it will do what you need it to do or jump when you need it to,” Holly said.

Each of the lessons taught to the rid­ers re­in­forced the mes­sage of rider safety and trust in their horse.

Pony club mem­ber Lisa Bayn­tun said hav­ing a range of dis­ci­plines for the chil­dren to learn helped keep the week­end fresh and ex­cit­ing for them.

“We’ve got polocrosse go­ing on, teach­ing the kids firstly on foot how to use the racket with the ball, then they play a game on foot,” Bayn­tun said.

“Once they have had a go at that and learned the skills, they have a go on the horses.

“The teach­ers have come here and vol­un­teered their time for it and you can tell al­ready that the kids are lov­ing it.”

Bayn­tun said it was good for chil­dren in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties to learn th­ese basic skills.

❝ You need your horse to trust you so it will do what you need it to do. — Holly Ah­ern

SKILL BUILD­ING: Holly Ah­ern en­joys horse jump­ing the most. PHO­TOS: ADAM MCCLEERY

Leah Reed was on hand to teach horse con­trol.

Trader Ah­ern get­ting ready to mount up.

Rid­ers were taught a num­ber of skills at the week­end.

Jessie Evans jump­ing her horse at Gayn­dah.

Team pen­ning was an ex­cit­ing and dif­fi­cult les­son.

Ri­ley Dav­ina with a wa­ter bot­tle he made at the week­end.

Beau Whit­ley lov­ing the pony club camp.

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