Coaching with ponies
“The other professions were very static and therefore did not really interest me. Here you have more variety and contact with other people”, Lars from Arnschwang explains his decision why he chose the ULRICHSHOF for the job application training. He and another 13 young people from the Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Gymnasium Cham had come to the family hotel in Rimbach to gain practical experience and to get ahead in their career search.
“Together with the children from the Pony Camp, we are doing an assessment centre today,” Michaela Lankes, member of the management of the ULRICHSHOF, describes the task ahead. “You have all applied for the position ‘animation & childcare in the riding stable’. Together with the animals and the children, you have to master different situations today and prove to us that you are suitable for the job.”
A day at Pony Camp
The 11 Pony Camp children were surprised by the participation of the “big” children, but the initial shyness quickly vanished and real joy spread. After breakfast in the vegetable garden and joint EMALAMA Raidho Kids exercises in the pasture, it was off to the stable where the teams were allowed to choose their ponies.
“It is extremely interesting what the presence of the animals and children does to the high school students. Because some of them, who are rather shy in everyday school life, now come completely out of their shells,” Gymnasium teacher StR Ulrich Voit observes the group dynamics. “I think it’s cool that the grown-ups are here, because I’ve made new friends,” says 9-year-old Lea-Marie happily. 7-year-old Kalina adds: “I didn’t think it would be so much fun with the grown-ups.
After a riding arena training session, the ponies were taken to the paddock to graze. Halfway through the walk, a mini shetty accidentally stepped on a wasp nest. Immediately the insects started to defend themselves. But Korbinian from Furth did not hesitate for long and brought two children to safety. While Michaela Lankes treated their stings with cooling paste and creams, the other high school students took care of the Pony Camp children and calmed them down. “For me personally, the day at the ULRICHSHOF was much more valuable than a presentation in a meeting room. We learned how to properly handle an unpredictable situation. Because nothing was staged here, it was simply like real life,” Korbinian assesses the experience. For Marie, who already spent her holidays at the ULRICHSHOF as a child, the job application training was also formative: “We didn’t learn today how we should behave so that we come across well – but we learned that it is only important that you are authentic from the beginning, that you remain true to yourself and don’t pretend.”
Daniel from Roding, whose sister already completed an applicant training at the ULRICHSHOF last year, has even found his vocation here: “I have been toying with the idea of becoming a teacher for a while. The day has definitely strengthened my conviction that I definitely want to do something with children, because it is simply my passion”.