Local youth learning hands on skills in horse handling and care

The NCNS Youth team is extremely excited about their new Horse Care Program for young people, being delivered during term 4 2019.  This is something completely different to the programs we have run in the past and with only limited spaces available, 8 lucky young people will be participating in the program. Earlier this year the NCNS Youth team conducted a survey with results showing that the young people we reached had strong interests in animal care.  These survey results combined with a trend in aggressive behaviour and young people not understanding the impact of their actions, gave NCNS Youth Worker, Joe Benchoam, the fabulous idea to create a program in which we hoped would give participants the opportunity to work with animals, while at the same time gaining skills around empathy and understanding body language.

This idea came to life once Joe came across an advertisement for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) in Richmond. Joe reached out to the Volunteer Coordinator for Richmond, RDA, Wendy, who immediately jumped on board, offering her time to facilitate the program for us.

During this program, there will be a variety of things that the young people will get the chance to do and learn, some of these include:

  • How to clean a horse
  • What plants in the field the horses cannot eat and how to get rid of them
  • How to lead a horse
  • What the horse is trying to communicate through their body language

The Orientation day on Saturday 12th October was a great way to kick off the program. At the orientation, participants were introduced to each other and to the horses, and also shared a delicious lunch together.

Pictured above: NCNS Youth Worker, Joe Benchoam

All the young people had great things to say about the day and told us that they enjoyed learning a little bit about the horse’s body language as well as getting the brush them down.

Last Thursday, was the official beginning of the after school Horse Care Program, where all the young people who came along gave us really positive feedback about the program as well as the wonderful facilitator Wendy (RDA – Richmond). We would like to thank Wendy for generously giving us her time, without her, this program would not be possible.

NCNS Youth Worker, Sami Thoms expressed, “this is a great program because it gives the participants a chance to learn new skills and form a deeper connection with and greater understanding of animals, which they may not have had the opportunity to do before.”


All of the current participants are really excited for the rest of the program and we can’t wait to see how these young people develop as the program goes along.


For updates on the Horse Care Program, check out the NCNS Youth Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NCNSYouth/

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