The horses neigh, bring the kids to the stables

By Tony Karanja

The horses neigh, bring the kids to the stables

After a week-long of meetings and beating office deadlines, the outdoors are always refreshing. And we are suckers for great outdoor experiences; always out there trying out new activities and discovering new places to hangout. Our latest discovery is the Xina Horse Riding and Stables in Kiambu along Ridgeways Road. The place is calm and ideal to anyone who wants out from the hustle and bustle of the city.

When we got there, we were treated to a warm reception and our meal orders taken. They have a wide range of cuisines on their menu to choose, delicately prepared by their in-house chef on order. As we waited for our orders, we took a trip around the stables.

At Xina, there are a total of four horses, four ponies and one cob all notably clean and healthy. They are divided into three categories, the big, medium and small for easier allocation to those seeking to ride them. They are allocated depending on the size and age of the rider.

Our order was ready in no time and as we sat to eat, Wairimu Githuka, Director Xina Horse Riding, patiently took us through the activities they offer and what they are about. “Xina is a result of our love for the outdoors and our belief that kids should grow around animals-any kind of animals. Animals teach children responsibilities. We are also about breaking the stereotype that horse-riding belongs to a certain social class,” she says.

“We chose horse riding because the activity is therapeutic. It is hard work but a very relaxing activity. It also helps with physical fitness,” she continues. Apart from the horse-riding lessons, they offer training for unique horse sports such as polo, horse-racing, dressage and show jumping.

On what sets them apart from the rest of horse riding schools, Wairimu says they are very particular about safety. “Our safety standards are very high. We put safety before the profit and as such, we provide full protective gear to children included in the package. Our prices are also quite affordable as compared to competition”. You can check out their pricing and packaging here .

Xina also gives parents an environment where they can leave their kids for a while as they run errands. Parents can leave their kids for up to four hours during which they are taught how to care for the horses, feed them, groom them, communicate with them and ultimately ride them. There is so much for kids as young as three years to learn.

Wairimu says that the horse riding culture is picking and parents are signing up their children for lessons and this just shows how much Kenyans are embracing the outdoor culture. Parents are also going out of their way to give their kids the experiences they never had growing up. While the activities here are mostly kid-centered, there’s a lot for adults to learn as well. This we discovered when we finally took the horse-ride.

We had a brief introductory session from Macharia, arguably the best horse riding trainer in the country. He taught us the basic dos and don’ts of horse riding. He then took us through all the parts on a horse involved during riding before we actually got to the riding. The experience was harder than we expected but it was very exciting. This is one activity that requires a lot of flexibility and the aftermath was waking up the following morning with sore thighs and butts.

In Macharia’s words, kids tend to learn horse riding faster as compared to adults due to their flexibility.

Apart from the warm reception, good food and an exciting experience, the washrooms- which pose a headache to most parents in mass gatherings, in this facility are very clean. If you wish to alternate that bouncing castle date with something else, we’d highly recommend the Xina Horse Riding School and Stables.