Thursday, 14 June 2018 05:50

PRSD trustees told Irvine equestrian club riding high

Written by  Jamie Rieger
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The first season of the Irvine Equestrian School has been a huge success.

With 29 members from Grades 3-9 and more interest from outside Irvine School, teacher and organizer of the club, Linda Kraft is encouraged with the club moving forward.
Kraft provided an overview of the club to Prairie Rose School Division trustees at their June 12 meeting.
After receiving a $5,000 grant from a local oil company, Kraft went to work on bringing her dream of having an equestrian club at the school to reality. That meant working closely with school division senior administration in ensuring all the necessary logistical work, such as insurance, was in order.
Kraft designed a program that would be suitable for all riders, from kids who have never been on a horse to high-level competitors and would promote horsemanship in a positive environment.
Once a week through the  months of May and June, participants learned various aspects about horses and had the valuable input from knowledgeable volunteers.
Safety, rules and etiquette, sportsmanship, and how one's emotions can be projected from the rider to the horse were just a few of the topics covered.
Dalton Kraft, Jared Pancoast, Nikki Nicholson, Amos Abrahamson, and Morley Forsythe were some of the volunteers who helped out at the club with activities such as Keyhole, horse communication, a grooming station, Poles, Flags, and Horsemanship, which was led by Abrahamson.
"Amos took time with every single kid. He was wonderful," said Kraft.
There was also obstacle work, roping, and barrel racing, some of which took place at Forsythe's indoor arena.
With the club wrapping up their season this week, Kraft is looking forward to the following year and has been contacted by parents outside of the Irvine School area who would like to have an equestrian club for their children.
"They're wanting to line up their horse for next year and we have more kids interested," said Kraft, noting that students from Seven Persons and other areas in the division have expressed interest. My vision next year would be to open this to all Prairie Rose students and hold it at Dunmore."
Board trustees commended Kraft on her efforts in forming the club for the Irvine students.
"This is fantastic and significant to the Irvine area," said superintendent Roger Clarke, adding that many opportunities for Prairie Rose students could stem from this.
"We are going to be exploring more opportunities here. We have access to other resources that we can use. A lot of energy is put into building these types of programs," he said.

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