The kids at the Bangalore Amateur Riding Institute smile through their teeth as they mount their horses. May 12th was their last day at their 12-day camp at the Bangalore Turf Club off Race Course Road, and they are leaving with more than just the basics of horse riding and a certificate. They are leaving with great memories and a brand new bond.
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"After spending a few days with the animals, the kids get very comfortable around them. There is a connection between them. So you have kids getting carrots or something like that for the horses every day. They also take the horses for a swim on the off days", says Abhijith Karthik, the organiser of the horse riding summer camp.
The 12-day summer camp for kids of the ages of 9 years and above started in April 2009 and has been a hit with kids ever since. "No one can learn how to ride a horse in 12 days. It takes years and years of practice. This camp is just to teach the kids some basics about horse riding and give them a feel of the sport", explains Karthik as he assess the kids on their last day of camp.
During the camp, the kids get to know the animals. They practice with different horses every day so that they can feel confident around any animal and deal with different personalities. Apart from learning how to ride the horse, the kids also get to feed them, give them a bath and groom them. The main objective behind this camp is to get them to experience the fresh air and sun and also to break the myth that riding is an elite sport.
The children are trained under one of the greatest riders of India, 77-year-old Risaldar Major Hariram, who is a national record holder in jumping. "I have been riding for so many years. Now it’s the kids’ turn. All that we have learnt has to be passed on to them and I love teaching them. It makes me very happy", signs off Major Hariram, as the children continue to impress everyone around. ⊕