Elated children race up the hill and in fits of laughter, they roll all the way down again. When they tire of this fun activity, they will assist Michelle, the owner of Be Stable, to put out flowers, cushions and sheepskins on the hill. Michelle will return to this place, with the children, during the pony day, to play games, test the children’s knowledge about horses, and relax with a snack.
Swimming with ponies
Michelle does not have a set plan for these days. The daily program varies every time, depending on the weather, the size of the group, the ages of the children in the group, and the children’s preference. Teaching the ponies tricks, riding the ponies, exercises with the ponies etc, there are many possibilities. Now and then, Michelle sets up a jumping course and often, the children are able to decorate and even paint the ponies. This may sound cruel, but the ponies are not bothered. In fact, they seem to quite like it. In good weather, the children can even swim with the ponies. How special is that!
Learning about the language of horses
An important aspect of the pony day is the language of horses. With various exercises, Michelle demonstrates how horses communicate and how to read their body language. She aks the children to act out words without verbalising, and the younger children to imitate a horse. She asks the children if they can tell how the horse is feeling by observation. Michelle is kind and gentle, however, she can be strict, when it is necessary for the safety of both children and horses. Children find the speed of the ponies during some of the exercises immensely exciting.
At the end of the pony day, when it is almost time to go home, the children get to experience the other side of the coin, cleaning the stables. This involves, first and foremost, shovelling up the horses poop! With squeals of laughter and determined enthusiasm, the children fill the wheelbarrows to the brim and wheel the full barrows to the poop mountain.
Dates pony days: Be Stable can organise a pony day (ages 6-12 yrs) or mini day (ages 3-5 yrs) daily during weeks 33, 34 and 35 of the summer holiday. On Monday, Tuesday, Friday 10:00 – 13:00 and on Wednesday, Thursday – 13:00 – 16:00.
Cost: One pony day or mini day 35 euros, five pony days 150 euros. Swimming with the horses is also 35 euros.
Venue: Hoeve Westerbroek, Hofgeesterweg 20, Velserbroek
Ages: 4-12 years
Website: for up to date information, take a look at Be Stable Kids Facebookpage, where you can also find fun photos and movies.
Clothing: sturdy closed shoes, clothing you don’t mind getting dirty and or wet, and if good weather, a swimsuit and towel.
Apply: Send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Michelle: 06-38278570.
Note: Experience with horses is not a requirement and parents can drop off their child and pick them up at home time.
Text and photos: Eva Cameron-Bakker
Translation: Ingrid Elbertsen-Sirkin