lara's riding ponies

 

A lesson about love

10/01/2008 12:00:00 AM
FOR a child, learning to ride a pony is more than just a simple pleasure.

The confidence gained from mastering a new skill and the discipline of learning to take care of an animal can have a long-lasting effect, says Lara from Lara's Riding Ponies.

"Learning how to groom and look after a horse can give a child a real confidence boost. And because it's something that not everyone does they get a real sense of achievement," she said.

"I've seen kids with special needs come in and normally they don't talk much, but when they're around the horses they just light up."

Along with her sisters Leela and Barbara, Lara runs a riding school at Mandalong.

The aim is simple to share with kids the love of horses that the trio had as they grew up.

"I've been riding since I was five and competed in show jumping and dressage events. You're never too young to learn about horses," Lara said.

"At first kids have just got to learn how to behave around them. Not to stand behind them or move too quickly and things like that."

Lara's riding school opened about two-and-a-half years ago but was recently closed for several months because of equine influenza.

"Luckily it didn't affect our horses at all. We went into lock down as soon as we heard about it and I think that good management helped us to avoid it," she said.

"We're open again now and we're doing some fun lessons for kids during the holidays.

"We specialise in private and group lessons. Riders can learn for fun or to compete in events. Many of the kids don't have their own horses but we provide everything from helmets to ponies."

The school offers lessons for beginners through to more advanced riders and welcomes those who want to take one lesson to try it out.

For two years running the business has taken out the Southlakes Business Award for tourism and recreational services.
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