Student Corner Town University

Horses aid Buckingham students in finding inner peace and improving their wellbeing

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The Friends of the University organised the relaxing horse grooming session.

In a programme meant to improve their health, a group of University of Buckingham students had fun getting to know and learning about horses.

The Friends of the University of Buckingham, whose mission is to support students in their enjoyment and adjustment of the local college experience, organised the event.

The eleven students went to Bryerley Springs Equestrian Centre in Great Brickhill, which offers lessons and activities for riders of all skill levels, as well as pony days and school holiday activities, for a session led by Gillian St Ledger Smith, who organises activity and team days for groups and corporations.

Gillian teaches for the British Horse Society and splits her time between Great Brickhill and Buckingham.

Students from the neighbourhood and international students, including one from Sri Lanka, made up the participants.

They were introduced to the horses by Gillian, who also provided a brief overview of the behavioural psychology of horses and given practical examples of how to handle and groom them.

Then, after selecting a horse for themselves, the pupils started grooming them and getting to know them.

Graham Barker, who serves as the organization’s chair, said: “The Friends want to offer the students activities that support their well-being. It has been demonstrated that interacting with horses is quite advantageous in this aspect.

“Although it was a novel experience for them, the students stated they enjoyed it and found that working with the horses helped them to relax. They took pleasure in their relationships with the animals.

“It was a novel aspect of British culture for the international students, and because they had never participated before, it was enjoyable for the domestic students.

“The pupils had a chance to get to know one another as well. Universities may be isolating places, so workshops like this one help students feel less alone.

New members are always welcome at the Friends of the University. Members benefit from frequent engagement with students from around the world as well as a variety of activities, sometimes even taking part in lectures, as part of their work aiding students.

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