In October, Thomas School of Horsemanship in Melville began offering a new class for children who are interested in horses but might not have had the opportunity to interact with them beforehand. Rather than teaching riding, this class aims to focus on proper care of the animals and ways to remain safe around them. It’s meant to serve as an introduction for anyone who is curious about getting involved in equestrian.
The Intro to Horses class is a series of four non-ride lessons, available in four different levels with topics ranging from horse safety, grooming, and feeding, to seeing how vets care for the horses. As the child progresses though the course, the subjects they learn about go from the basics of care to more complicated concepts about equine health and veterinary care. The level a child is placed in is determined by skill, and to a degree, age, but everything is done at the child’s pace regardless. Intro to Horses classes will be held during weekends, with a more specific date to be determined soon.
As of last month, Thomas School of Horsemanship is also offering a “school days off” camp. “The kids come and are assigned a horse, and whatever they learn is on that horse,” says Claudia Stewart, camp director and office administrator. “They ride twice and cover very different topics in… horsemanship,” including setting up stalls, show prep, feeding, and information about horse diets. The camps are single day programs available during school holidays including Martin Luther King Day and Thanksgiving break.
The school will host the Equine Studies camp any time school is closed, except major holidays.
“If you haven’t been involved with horses it’s amazing the relationship children develop with them,” Stewart says. “It develops a lot of self-confidence and self-esteem. It teaches a lot of responsibility needed to take care of the animal.”
Thomas School of Horsemanship is located at 250 Round Swamp Road, Melville. Its hours are Tuesday-Thursday 10:30am-6:30pm; Friday, 10am-7:30pm; weekends from 10am-4pm. For more information you can call 631-692-6840 or visit the Thomas School of Horsemanship website.
Image: Being involved with horses develops self-confidence and self-esteem, according to Claudia Stewart, camp director and office administrator.
Courtesy Thomas School of Horsemanship.