Equine Studies was introduced to Clifton High based on an innovative idea from a parent.
The introduction of Equine Studies into our curriculum has allowed students without the resources to gain rural skills.
The idea has mushroomed with community support - horses, round yard panels, sand, tack, expertise - into plans for an undercover 80m x 40m Agriculture and Equine Centre at the school, complete with stables, round yards, car parks and loading ramps, capable of being used by all year levels at school as well as by the community. We have expanded Equine Studies into our Agriculture curriculum in Years 8,9,10 and we have introduced Certificate II in Agriculture - Jillaroo/Jackaroo into our senior years to meet the demand of the students and to go in some way towards providing skill-ready students for work in Rural Industries - a documented skill shortage area. We have also introduced horse-riding as a sport on Wednesday afternoon as we have a wealth of equine experience on our staff - Endurance Riding, Polo, Polocrosse, Campdrafting, Team Penning, Eventing, Jumping and Dressage to name a few and a growing number of enthusiastic students.
The program is unique because students do not have to provide (or own) a horse or gear or have any prior experience, just a love of horses. We have experience and data on the social/well-being benefits to students of working with horses and our program has attracted the interest of Channel 9 News, Landline and the Premier, Education Minister, Agriculture Minister and Toowoomba Mayor have all given us their support.