From understanding comes strength
Week 1 HORSEBACK VISIT
Today the group travelled to Horseback UK for the first of 15 sessions with the charity.
We met Jock Hutcheon the co-
Jay Hare a veteran and leader of the training introduced the boys to forming an identity and they created their team name motto and shield.
All pupils had chores to completed before a juice break so some oiled the saddles while two boys made scones and homemade tomato soup with Mag’s the Horseback chef.
We were joined by veterans for lunch who had lost limbs and at one point an artificial leg was passed around the table for close inspection!!
The boys met the horses both large and small and are looking forward to working with them in the weeks to come.
The group spent the rest of the day doing team building tasks which required lots of discussion and self awareness.
We finished the day by presenting Jock with a cheque for £350 from school for the charity.
Horseback day 2 13th nov 2015
Today the boys were briefed by Jay who explained how their day would be.
Jock spoke to them about how to conduct themselves around the horses emphasising KINDNESS , PATIENCE , CONSISTENCY , BELIEF / SELF CONFIDENCE.
These personal attributes are needed around horses but they can also be transferred to all relationships with animals and humans.
After chores of bagging hay, mucking out the stables, and filling in trenches in the horses field the boys earned their ‘fly cup’ and down time.
Jackie took them through how to put a rope halter onto a horse and demonstrated how to groom their horse. The boys did really well although some were a little apprehensive at first.
Leading a horse is a leadership skill and the boys had to think about how to position themselves, where to walk, and to show the horse that they were in charge.
It didn’t take the boys too long to take command and by the end of the last session they all were competent in leading their horse over and through an obstacle course which was so lovely to see. They also started to bond very well with their horse. A very successful day for all pupils.
Session 3 at HORSEBACK 20th Nov
Today the group were introduced to the John Muir Award scheme. They will be participating in this award while at Horseback and at the end of the academic year they should achieve a certificate if they fulfil all the criteria.
We went straight to the Glentannar Estate where we were met by one of the ranger’s.
Throughout the two and a half hours the boys were finding out about the drovers road, the chapel which used to be an inn hundreds of years ago, the animals on the estate and how the workforce develop and maintain the paths, lochs, forests and outbuildings.
We visited a badgers set which was really interesting and learned how the badgers live and what they eat.
The boys were taken to the chill room where they saw roe deer ready to be butchered for the locals and they saw the antlers ready to be posted out to the clients who visited the estate and were shooting the livestock. The estate is run as a business so apart from fishing and shooting clients they also organise weddings and parties. These occasions take place in the ballroom in beautiful grounds. The final part of today’s visit to glentannar was to the fire room. The estate workers are trained fire fighters and they attend hill fires with massive water tanks and pumping gadgets to smother the fires when needed. A very interesting morning. There will be more visits to the estate over the next few months.
After a lovely welcoming lunch of homemade tomato soup and scones the boys were entertained to a falconry display. Although a little excited and some anxious they all got to hold these beautiful birds and also fly them. There were barn, eagle and tawny owls and a harris hawk. There were lots of excitement and the boys gained a lot of knowledge throughout the day on very different aspects of outdoor learning.
Horseback session 4
Today we had our chores to do. Some of us filled hay nets for the horses, others swept the yard, others tidied the large covered arena and we also mucked out the stables.
Emma quickly recapped on how to catch a horse in the field and how to put on the rope halter.
We then walked to the very muddy field where we caught our horse and led it back to the outdoor yard to groom.
Unfortunately the rain started so we took our horse into the indoor arena where we practised leading our horse and navigating through and over obstacles. We have to use our leadership skills to let the horse know that we are in control and by the end of the session everyone had done really well.
We were supposed to go into the round pen today to develop our leadership skills further but the weather was against us. We will do that another day.
We needed to show kindness towards to our horse and when you do that they respond very well.
We finished the day with an exciting competition on the BULL! Great fun!