May 2018

School Holiday Activities


Some activities leave us exhausted. Some leave us refreshed. Do you know what horse riding does? Children are left inspired, satisfied and happily exhausted. Horse riding is both a skill and a pleasure. It both challenges and delights. If you would love to have your child enjoying something productive and enriching in the coming school holidays, come and find out what Kiah Park is all about.

If the idea of horse riding turns on the sparkle in your child’s eyes, it may be just the right school holiday activity for them.

School Holiday Activities2019-09-12T12:19:11+10:00

Horse Camp Rainbows


What does a rainbow mean? It signifies fulfilled promises and dreams come true. We see so many rainbows at Kiah Park Horse Camp. No one here has ever found a pot of gold at the end, but our campers find so much more! Children discover the joy of tenderly caring for their horse. They dig up the golden chest of new skills. They take home treasured friendships. They find out how great it is to work as a team. Kiah Park is the place where we ride on horseback to the end of the rainbow, where childhood dreams come true.

Horse Camp Rainbows2019-09-06T18:26:24+10:00

Horses Help Us from the Inside


How Can Horses Boost Your Mental Health?

Anyone who has ever been to a horse camp like Kiah Park in their childhood knows how healing the company of a horse can be. At camp, children develop a bond with the horses, meet new friends, and learn to make independent decisions and choices. However, many of us probably don’t realise the extent to which being with horses can give our mental health a boost, and even help us connect to our spiritual side.

Horses boost psychological health

Horses currently play a vital role in helping promote physical, occupational, and psychological growth in people with a plethora of conditions, including anxiety, depression, autism, ADD, and dementia. Horses have many similar behavioural patterns to humans, which makes it easy to build powerful bonds with them. Simply by touching, riding, or grooming a horse, people of all ages can build important skills, including communication and self-confidence.

Strength and vulnerability

The sheer size and majesty of a horse make it easy to build trust… the horse is seen as a protective force, but also a powerful one. It mirrors an individual’s own strength, as well as vulnerability. In the human-equine connection, each depends on the other and makes gains. For humans, these include a reduction in stress hormone levels, an improvement in mood, and a decrease of symptoms of anxiety and depression. In one study published in the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, researchers found that working with horses significantly reduced levels of stress hormones in youths, as measured in their saliva.

Horses and spirituality

Spirituality has been the subject of various studies, which show that those who are spiritual enjoy greater happiness, live longer, and are better able to withstand life’s vicissitudes. Spirituality, of course, is a far wider concept than religion. It embraces a belief in some kind of greater force that connects all human beings. Studies have shown that spirituality not only enables us to find more purpose from our lives but also serves as a buffer in tough times, especially when we are part of a community. Philosophers such as Carl Jung insisted that ignoring our spiritual side instills a sense of loneliness and insignificance, especially as urban areas grow in size.

In nature, we can find powerful symbols of spirituality, such as in the beauty of a horse. When we ride through lush surrounds, it is almost impossible not to feel our mood begin to lift. Studies carried out on nature have shown that the great outdoors enables us to reach a mindful state: one in which our heart and breathing rates lower and our stress levels plummet. With the company of a horse, we can benefit from all nature has to offer while in the company of one of the most majestic animals on the planet.

The extent to which a horse can help us feel the full joy of nature, cannot be over-emphasized. There are few other activities that wield benefits such as those bestowed by the benefit of connecting with an animal that is so similar to ourselves, yet so mysterious all at once. Riding through meadows and trees, it is easy to feel that life does have profound meaning in the here and now.

Horses Help Us from the Inside2019-09-06T19:57:31+10:00

It’s Finally Here!

If we know what excited young horse riders are like, there are children with packed bags who are going to have a hard time getting to sleep tonight. Tomorrow is the day something very wonderful is starting! Who knows what it is?
When the children do finally fall asleep tonight, we know what their dreams will be about… meeting their friendly big horse for the first time, riding through valleys on horseback, cooking lunch over a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and meeting other lovely young horse-lovers who may become lifelong friends.
We can’t wait for our Weekend Horse Camp to start!
It’s Finally Here!2019-09-06T20:08:10+10:00

April 2018

Start A Horse Adventure


Has your child always dreamed of riding a horse? Now is just the time to get behind the reins and give it a little “giddy-up!”

The Labour Day Long Weekend Camp is coming up just two weekends from now. This is a perfect little holiday away for brand new and young riders, as they get a wonderful opportunity to see how much they like horse riding. Bookings are still open for any school-aged children who would like to join us. We welcome your child to come and discover whether horse riding is a life-long adventure they would like to start galloping through.

Start A Horse Adventure2019-09-12T12:15:13+10:00

My Horse Deserves a Spa!


The Powerful Benefits of Equine Hydrotherapy

Human beings visit spas to unwind, de-stress and, sometimes, recover from injuries. Did you know that equine spas are all the rage in the horsing world? There are three crucial ingredients for this therapy: cold water, salt, and a special treadmill that keeps your horse walking in temperature-controlled water. This treatment helps specific injuries including swelling, joints, tendon and suspensory ligaments and lower limbs that are recovering from surgery.

Horses keep human beings happy and healthy in so many ways; it is only logical that we provide them with the help they need when they are recovering from surgery or an injury, and a visit to an equine spa is an ideal way to do so.

What Conditions can Equine Hydrotherapy Help With?

Case studies have shown that equine hydrotherapy can help horses heal from a number of conditions, including wounds, inflammation, tendon injuries, lymphedema, and windgall. The latter is a common problem that causes swelling in the digital tendon sheath (a fluid-filled ‘sleeve’ that covers the flexor tendons over the back of the fetlock joint).

Hydrotherapy is also used with rehabilitation after sinew and ligament injuries, treatment of sore shins, and treatment of spinal and back problems. Equine hydrotherapy can also increase muscular strength, improve heart health, and provide horses with a gentle form of exercise that does not harm their joints.

Although there have been no large-scale studies on the efficacy of equine hydrotherapy, there are numerous testimonials from veterinarians indicating the impressive reduction in recovery time when this therapy is relied upon.

What are the Precise Requirements of Equine Hydrotherapy?

In the same ways that pools for humans require a particular chemistry (i.e. the right balance between pH levels, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and adequate sanitizing levels), so too does equine hydrotherapy have its own scientific requirements. Equine spa solutions are usually chilled to between 35ºF and 37ºF, to lower swelling and pain and to stop enzyme degeneration of tendons after an injury.

The salt content of the solution also has to be just right; salt essentially makes the water more dense, which enhances fluid and waste dispersal. Finally, water must be aerated. Rising bubbles massage the horse’s leg the way a hot tub or circuit pool does for humans, which is very soothing for horses.

There is nothing new about relying on seawater to promote healing, but equine therapy is still relatively new. Overwhelmingly positive feedback from veterinarians and horse owners, however, indicates that this therapy is useful in reducing the period of inflammation post surgery or injury, greatly ameliorating the pain that injured horses face.

My Horse Deserves a Spa!2019-09-12T12:13:52+10:00

January 2017

Horses for Happiness: The Benefits of a Friend with Hooves


It’s well known that physical exercise, mental stimulation, and relaxation are essential components of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Involving horses in your life is a great way to tick all these boxes.

Mind, Body, and Soul

Equestrian sports are a great combination of mental and physical challenges. Cleaning stalls and grooming your horse are tasks that are obviously physical – but don’t underestimate the tone and strength you’ll build from riding too. Even if you have mobility issues, riding can help you to stay active and flexible.

Horses are also great at building confidence, creating challenges, and building mental resilience – there’s a reason we have the saying ‘get back in the saddle’. Spending time with horses helps you to exist in the moment and encourages a mindful approach to life by reacting to the immediate environment, rather than dwelling on problems. A clear focus on your horse and their needs is a great way to disconnect after a long day at work.

Therapeutic Value

There is a growing use of horses in the complementary treatment of patients suffering from a range of diseases and mental difficulties. There are well-documented studies of equine therapy programmes helping cancer sufferers to feel more confident and in control. Children with cancers such as leukaemia who attended an equine therapy retreat in Tucson, found that after 4 days they were ‘more confident and had a more positive outlook on life’. The course also helped improve the relationship between parents and children.

Animal therapy can also help people with post-traumatic stress disorder to feel less anxious or stressed. Learning new skills and bonding with the horses helps to increase self-confidence and the ability to cope in unfamiliar situations. While these are obviously beneficial to those overcoming great personal challenges, the same principles of mindfulness and confidence apply to everyone.

Life Lessons

Horses are also great for the development of kids, promoting empathy and a sense of responsibility. The child has to learn that no matter how cold or tired they might be, the horse comes first and must be cared for. If you’re concerned how much time your child is spending in front of a screen, horses provide an engaging and active alternative. The clear progression through mastering the different paces and arena disciplines gives clear goals to aim for, and encourages pride in honest hard work; there are no short cuts in learning to ride.

Reality Check

Horse riding is often thought of as an expensive past-time, and while owning one can certainly be a big financial commitment there are other options. Talk to your local riding school, who may be able to offer a deal of cleaning stalls in exchange for lessons. This can actually be advantageous when you’re starting out – you learn a lot, try different horses, and build up a great support network of both horse and human friends.

Horses for Happiness: The Benefits of a Friend with Hooves2019-09-06T20:10:47+10:00

April 2016

The Perfect School Holiday Activity


What does the perfect school holiday activity look like? Many children put horse riding high on their list! If you are looking for an amazing week for your child these holidays, we would love to see them enjoy and discover the beauty of horse riding. Kiah Park is located in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland with an exclusive bus service that runs through to Brisbane. The cool winter months are lovely for being outside on horse riding trails, and our busy schedule will keep little bodies active and happy.

Positions are currently available in each of the three camps these holidays. To make a booking, just complete your child’s Registration Form online. Dates are available on our website. We hope to see our young horse-lovers there!

The Perfect School Holiday Activity2019-10-15T15:01:03+10:00

February 2016

70 Horses… and 70 Personalities


Since the school holidays aren’t here yet, let’s do a bit of maths together, school kids. Here is the question: if we have seventy horses at Kiah Park and zero of them are alike, how many unique horse personalities do we have? That’s right – all seventy of our horses are different! Every time you come to Kiah Park, we take you into the arena to do some horse riding activities so we can see how strong your skills are. After that, your instructor will go through a careful selection process where she matches you up with a horse to suit your skill and confidence level. Some of our horses have lots of “get-up-and-go.” Others want to stay a slow steady pace all the time. Some horses like to give big friendly nudges, and others want to stand like a statue while you rub their necks all over.

70 Horses… and 70 Personalities2019-09-12T12:15:42+10:00

Children’s Horse Camps


The children who come to camp might tell you we are all about horses, that’s because it is! Each child pampers their horse with a good grooming twice a day. They meet others who love horses, and guess what they talk about all week? At the climax of our camp, the children enjoy a great gymkhana on horseback. We might be all about horses, but there is something even more important to us. We are all about children having an incredible experience at camp that will create lifelong memories. Our horse camps are all about happy children.

Children’s Horse Camps2020-02-21T15:35:03+10:00
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