Koreans show their riding style
A large group of Korean students showing off their horse-riding moves at Kyrewood Equestrian Centre near Palmerston North are part of a scheme geared at boosting the Asian country's equine industry.
The 18 Korean students are in the country for three weeks to learn more about New Zealand's equine industry.
Senior tutor Rachel Rae said it was the first year the year 12 students from the Korea Horseman High School had come to the equestrian centre, but she hoped it would not be the last.
The students, who are also learning English, covered all aspects of training horses, Ms Rae said.
They rode four times a week, and took theory lessons, English lessons, and practical lessons. All of the group stayed on site, and had the opportunity to ride on their day off as well.
The group had also been on outings to the race course, the harness races, a horse show, and the Feilding saleyards. "It gives them a more holistic view of the horse."
The Korean Government paid the students' course costs.
The trip was part of a wider aim to grow the equine industry in Korea, Ms Rae said.
The racing industry in Korea was dominant, but most of the students knew little about other training methods.
Many of the students started riding in the past one or two years, and the group had a variety of abilities, Ms Rae said.
There was not a lot of space in Korea, which meant children did not grow up riding in open spaces like in New Zealand, she said. However, the centre was able to accommodate them with their 45 school horses, of mixed ability, and temperament.
The students seemed to be "loving it".
Ms Rae said she hoped it would be part of an ongoing relationship with the school.
The Korean Government was investing in the country's equine industry, and Ms Rae said she assumed the aim was for the students to work in New Zealand, and take their new skills, and knowledge, back to Korea.
The students had to work hard to attain three standards during their stay, but they said it was a lot easier than their 6am start at home. "The interpreter said one of the words they were using was ‘heavenly'."
Korean student Amy Kim, 18, said her teachers were kind.
Miss Kim said her horse Mandy was good, and she hoped to come back to New Zealand one day.