Ground Report | New Delhi: First Horse riding school in Kashmir; The Turkish drama series ‘Ertugrul Ghazi’ has created a passion for horse riding. Now, 34-year-old Ali Abbas Wani opened the Valley’s first equestrian school in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
First Horse riding school in Kashmir
Ali, an MBA from Auckland, New Zealand, has opened the Fazlullah Royal Stables and Riding School in the city of Budgam, 14 km from Srinagar, where dozens of people are currently training. “Young children, girls, and older people come to our school to learn horse riding.”
He said that he does a 15-day equestrian course, but most of the enthusiasts do not take a break after the course but come every day as usual. “The Ertugrul Ghazi series has revived the tradition of horse riding,” says Ali.
“This idea was already on my mind a few years ago, but it came true a few months ago because I wanted people to ride horses. There are people who wanted to learn but didn’t have enough money to buy a horse. So I started this school to teach them. The response has been amazing. We get 5-6 admissions a day. We have 12 horses, eight for horse riding and two trainers and two assistants,’ Ali Abbas said.
“We have about 80 young boys and girls coming for horse riding,” he says. We ask everyone how you developed a passion for horse riding, and most of them say it’s because of Ertugrul.
“The problem with kids is that they start doing tricks as soon as they come, we don’t let them do that. Our horses are trained. They will jump only when they are told.
“For equestrianism, it’s important that we spend some time with the horse and recognize its behavior,” he said. If you do that, the horse will know that this servant is attached to me and I have to take care of him too.
“The entry fee is Rs 1000. The fee for a 15-day course is Rs 2500, for a month is Rs 4000. Similarly, for two months, the fee is Rs 6000, for six months it is Rs 12,000 and there is an annual subscription, the fee is Rs 24000,” he said.
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Horse riding is not uncommon in Kashmir. Tourist places like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, and Sonmarg can see many tourists and locals enjoying the ride. Abbas said that apart from teaching horse riding, he would soon start teaching polo and all other equestrian sports.
“Equestrian is mentally and physically fit. When you get on a horse, 50% of your worries go away. “Every time you start running, your whole body heats up.”
Ali says that since ‘ Ertugrul Ghazi ‘ has been aired in Pakistan and India, there has been talk of it everywhere in Kashmir.
“We have seen that whenever a Muslim leader is shown in films, he is portrayed as a criminal. Ertugrul Ghazi is a drama in which one of the most important figures of the Ottoman Empire is portrayed as a hero.
‘Me and some of my friends already had horses. Look at the effect of Ertugrul Ghazi that wherever we went, people would tell us to ride.