So I thought we needed to introduce you to the ponies and also speak about Emily’s Pony Language Adventures.
If you do not know me yet, I am Rachel!
A lover of all things wild, a wife to Franky (Franz) and mother to Emily.
Franky and I run a riding school and livery yard where we have the privilege to teach both children and adults.
I am originally from the UK but moved to Austria to be together with my now husband. We raise Emily bilingually in English and German and encourage outdoor language learning.
If you have read our previous blog post ‘ Our Bilingual Journey So Far’ you will have read that originally I really wanted to do OPOL (One Language One Parent) and that was the way I was going to teach my daughter my mother tongue (English) whilst living in a German speaking country, Austria.
Well as you may have read this did not go to plan and I needed to be flexible,Emily was not co-operating with OPOL after a couple of years and we changed our method to time and place, which has now developed a little further and is still focussed on time and place but the place being the time she spends riding and with her ponies.
What a difference this has made and if you have a pony-mad daughter this is a fabulous way to ensure fun with language learning rather than it being a chore regardless of if you are homeschooling or just wish to help your child on their language learning journey.
So let’s meet the ponies and talk about Emily and her ‘Pony Language Adventures’.
Chess and Ed (Proper Names Coppice Chessman and Coppice Edmund)
These two cheeky Shetland pony half brothers are now 27 years old and have been with me for coming up to 25 years, and were originally used by me for carriage driving.
Chess has been a fabulous starting pony for Emily (although he still does have his bucking moments). We started out with hacking and then introducing pony picnics which were great for talking about foods etc.
Emily now uses Chessman for hacking and pony camping adventures and also Mounted Games where his cheeky bucking side definitely comes out! Hacking is a brilliant way for introducing language learning even starting with the basics such as what colours can you see. Also pointing at things and asking for the target language vocabulary.
I am still a huge advocate of learning languages using the Charlotte Mason principles that a foreign language should be learnt as a mother tongue through speaking and listening and not at the beginning through reading and grammar; this can all come later. So we are all about learning vocabulary and learning short sentences.
Gypsy has kindly been offered to Emily to ride from one of our liveries and he is very true to his type. Such a genuine 8 year old coloured cob with so far no major faults, apart from always getting extremely dirty!!
Emily will be using him to improve her dressage seat and also gaining more confidence in jumping a little higher. Also maybe doing some First Rideen Classes this year. You can keep track of her progress through her Instagram Account ‘Emily’s Pony Adventures‘ Which is run by mayself.
Our young 4 year old homebred Haflinger is our pack-pony for picnic and camping adventures plus is currently being taught to pull the carriage by my husband Franky, and I am slowly taking over the reins.
Pony Language Learning Adventures
With regards now to language learning with Emily we try and combine language learning as much as possible with all aspects of her pony activities.
This means whilst grooming we are naming parts of the grooming kit, by saddling up parts of the saddle and bridle. Everyday pony activities are used as language learning opportunities could this also work for you and your child?
Get your hands on my ‘Simple Body Parts of a Horse’ which is availabe in three languages English, German and French. This activity sheet is a ‘pay what you want’ product. Take a look here.