On Monday 13th July right in the middle of the school holidays, VOYCE Ōtautahi took a group of twelve rangatahi to Heathcote Valley Riding School for an afternoon of horse riding. We were joined by our youth leaders, some young people from YCD (Youth & Cultural Development), and some rangatahi from Te Poutama Arahi Rangatahi residence all ranging from 14-18 years old.

During the event, the young people were split into two groups. While one group went out on a one-hour horse trek with the riding school, the other young people staying behind to interact with the ponies; brushing their coats and feeding them apples. We shared afternoon tea and overall, it was an awesome day of connecting and having a go at something new.

One young person said she used to do a lot of horse-riding up North but hadn’t been able to do it since being moved down to Christchurch. She was really excited to be doing something familiar that she used to love. Likewise, another young person really enjoyed the experience so much that he got offered free horse-riding lessons from the school! Not all of the young people had a go at riding a horse but nonetheless all young people had a positive experience and enjoyed the day.

The Heathcote Valley Riding School are keen to have us along again so this could be the beginning of many awesome opportunities to take our care-experienced rangatahi horse-riding.