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Schools & Youth Groups

Harness Change at Cumbria Rural Academy a community interest company. We specialise in sharing our wealth of knowledge and experience with others. There is no greater passion for us than working with school groups to give an educational experience with the horses. 

Our Mission 

Harness Change at Cumbria Rural Academy CIC offers training in fitness, emotional awareness and wellbeing, and promotes the care and welfare of animals within the sport of horse riding.

Our Ethos

With each of our programmes, students will have the opportunity to work alongside our coaches learning about caring for the horses as well as horse riding. 

Our coaches will show the students how to care for the horses, having a go at simple tasks like grooming and handling. The students will be shown how to handle the horses with empathy and what responsibilities are involved in caring for horses. They will also have the opportunity to ride a horse in one of our arenas. They will be shown the fundamentals of controlling the horse as well as a few fun team challenges to help them collaborate and gain confidence. 


As part of the programme, they will also show them how to manage their emotions, behaviours and conduct whilst working with the horse. As prey animals, horses are constantly alert to potential danger and are extremely perceptive of their environment and those around them. They are also herd animals, highly aware of the intentions and non-verbal communication of others. These cues are highlighted to the student by our coaches to encourage students to explore responses to their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

During the programme, students will be required to use their functional skills to solve problems, complete worksheets and calculate different aspects required for the care of the horse. Using the horses as a real-world example we can help educate students for example.

  • writing instructions for caring for the horse,

  • using maths to calculate the amount of feed needed

  • learning the biology of the horse with the digestive system, skeleton, and functions of the horse's body.


What We Offer

We can put together a bespoke group session for your students that will suit your needs. We can offer a wide range of activities. Below are some examples of what we can offer. 


Horse Riding Lessons

We can create a fun group activity around learning to ride horses. We can take students who are beginners or those that are experienced with riding. As part of the riding lesson we will set individual goals as well as a team challenge to promote team work and help build confidence. 


Horse Care Sessions

Learning to care for the horses and performing daily care routines can develop students' teamwork, self-awareness, and confidence. We will coach students in a range of subjects like nutrition, exercise routines, and care routines for the horses, linking it back to the student's personal health.

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Equine Facilitated Learning

Horses react and reflect on our behaviors and how we present ourselves at the moment. This gives us the perfect tool to coach students through a self-reflection exercise when performing different tasks with the horse. We focus on developing and nurturing six life skills Building relationships, Communication, Confidence, Responsibility, Teamwork, and Perseverance.

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