Category Archives: Crazy for Horses

The PonyLove Club – by Haadiyah Sajid (10 yrs)

The PonyLove Club isn’t a famous, proper clubhouse, as you might put it. But I think it’s a very special club. Now, I DON’T mean to boast, but it was the first club of its kind. Other homeschoolers opened their clubs—the Shetland Club, Dolphin Defenders, Madina-tul-Islam and Daar-ul-Imaan, for example— after mine. The club is based on my love for horses and horseback riding, and is right in my bedroom. I’ve got lots of horse books in my ‘library’, including a big encyclopedia, and membership cards too. Adults and children 5 years and over take my membership test, which shows how much you love horses, while toddlers like my youngest sister, become members because of the way they clearly express their love for horses. People who aren’t members can borrow books, but only members can buy things like horse pop-out crafts or horse posters, or participate in events.

I have plenty of games, too. Leeza is a big rocking-horse, a favorite for everyone from toddlers to teenagers. She is the mother—dam, in horse-speak—of Motiya, Whispy, Cuddles and Peena, who are all different horses. Cuddles, a big, soft, jolly little colt (a colt is a young male horse), is another favorite with his own rug, stable, and grooming kit, colored brown and white with lovely, kindly black eyes. Little Motiya and Whispy  have their own stables made from shoeboxes. Motiya is a peaceful horse who can do ‘horse karate’ and is the boss of all toy horses, and is white in color with a peace sign hanging from her neck. Whispy, on the other hand, is a active and thoughtful cowboy pony, a lovely light brown with a bandana around his neck.  Peena is part of another horse club, Canter Club (also run by a homeschooler friend) but she often comes for visits with her little foal, Acorn. Peena and Acorn were earlier part of the PonyLove Club, but I gifted them to Canter Club after a while. I also have Rearer – the glass horse, Raat, Din (donated by Canter Club) and Steps-High the dressage horses, each having a raised foot, Uni the unicorn and her foal Pinky, and finally, Jumper and Black Beauty, two little plastic horses.

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Taking care of the horses is a lot of fun. We have pretend emergencies—broken feet, a bad hit, a pain in the back, a sore throat, or just weekly checkups, are all part of the fun. We have a fake first-aid kit—stethoscope, masks, antiseptic liquid spray (OK, OK, I admit it’s a bottle of water!), and so on!

Apparently I think Cuddles has broken his forearm while showing off to Leeza how he can jump! That little creep. Gotta run! Tring tring! Set off the emergency alarm, Rearer! And get the stethoscope, Pinkie! Peena, hurry! Get the wound spray! As for YOU… you can watch.  And learn, too…

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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Crazy for Horses, Homeschooling


Baitul Urooz – 25 Feb 2012 Session

This presentation club was special! It happened after some gap because we had gone for Umrah. This time, it didn’t take place in our house, but in Alfalah Manzil. That’s because (1) we could invite ALL of the homeschooler families, plus some new ones who were looking into homeschooling, and (2) the fathers and the boys could also come and sit separately. Some of those invited couldn’t come, but the regular set of families was there plus a few more.

First went little Khadeeja Kiyani, presenting a children’s novel that she had read: “See-saw Girl” by Linda Sue Park (one of my favorite authors).  The story was set in Korea, where girls from rich families could not leave their homes except when getting married. With a little help from her older sister, Khadeeja did an excellent and remarkable presentation.

Next, my sister Aymun did a presentation on Umrah – its excellence and

The model we made - this was used for different studies like History of Makkah, Hajj study and Umrah study

method and our experience, using the model of Masjid-ul-Haram that we had made. Subsequently was a fantastic presentation by Ameena. She had designed and actually made her very own dress! She had made it for a competition and won second prize. I really liked the structure of the gown and the way it drags a little behind you!  Afterwards was me. I read out two chapters from a book I’d written myself: “The Horse Races, Book 3”. It’s about a girl called Amna who participates in a horseback race and also, along with her friend, gives da’wah to a non-Muslim girl who finally accepts Islam. Lastly was Maryam Kiyani’s presentation on Solar Energy. She talked about the disadvantages of generators, and the advantages of solar panels and how you can be eco-friendlier by using them.

By Haadiyah Sajid


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Horse Riding – A Hearty Passion

This article was published in HomeWorks Magazine – A Muslim Home Education Quarterly 

I am Haadiyah Sajid, a horse crazy homeschooler! Would you like to know how I developed my fantastic riding and my extreme love for horses? Well, here’s the story!

It all started from small fun rides at Islamabadzoo where me and my younger sister Aymun used to ride together at the same horse. We were 3 and 2 years old at that time.

Two years later we found about a small riding place. It was rough and simple. Me and my sister faced some tough situations there. Still, we were very eager to learn! My dad, being a rider himself, tried to coach us. Then luckily we found out about Islamabad Riding Club – a professional place.

With proper riding kit, we started taking regular lessons there, going through different stages of training. We learned to trot, canter and gallop. There were some scary moments like when Aymun’s horse threw her on ground, but we never gave up. Soon our little sister Hanaa also joined us. We made friends with horses feeding them every time.

Now, me (8) and Aymun (7) can ride alone. Hanaa (2 ½) still needs a lead rope. We all love horses. Did you know that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) also liked horses? We’ve made a poster of Ahadis regarding horses. And we loved learning Surah Aadiyat too!

Being a rider is awesome! You learn to be brave and strong and to be kind to animals when they misbehave. Most of all, it’s enjoyable and useful – what if one day there is no fuel for cars? Or we have to join a battle?

We ‘ve collected loads of books on horses and have loved learned about them … breeds, grooming, health, fitness, races, behaviors. We also made a stable with all facilities for our rocking horse Leeza ! It’s so much fun pretending the horse play with our friends!. Recently I started a club called PonyLove for new learners – we have books, posters, models and drawings – even PonyLove quizzes, badges and certificates !  In future, I wish to start a riding school for Muslim girls – where my mom has promised to be my first student !

Haadiyah is a 8 year old homeschooler in Islamabad, Pakistan.

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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Crazy for Horses, Homeschooling


My Horse Riding Journey – By Haadiyah

I am Haadiyah Sajid, the horse lover (I can’t bear saying ‘horse’ in the very first sentence). Would you like to know how I developed my fantastic riding and my extreme love for horses? Well, here’s the story!

My first encounter with horses was atIslamabadzoo when I was 3 and my sister Aymun was 2. The horse ride was a ritual for our every zoo visit. Aymun would sit in front and me behind her with our dad walking alongside us. We used to insist on a zoo visit, just because of the ride

A couple of years later my dad found about a small riding place, but that was for just ordinary rides. The place was not fenced and there was no proper training. Still we were persistent and very eager to learn. Now I think it was so bold of us to be riding like that – at roadside, without proper gadgets. Our legs and hands used to get sore from direct contact of saddle and reins, but we didn’t want to give up at all!

My dad tried to coach us as he himself is a good rider. He never left our side, always bucking us up. One day Aymun got imbalanced and slipped from the horse, but my father was quick to stop her from falling. She is so brave that she didn’t stop or cry and kept going.

Then came a turning point. One day, suddenly my horse started galloping fast and was out of my control. My dad sprinted behind me until the horse stopped at the stables which were at a distance. Goodness! I kept holding the saddle and I turned bright red.

My dad says that was the scariest moment of his life. He decided to move us to a proper riding club. So when I was 6 and Aymun was 5, we joined Islamabad Riding Club. They had a vast fenced ground, well trained horses with proper stables and professional trainers.

We found it fantastic. We took turns to ride the very first-stage horse, Bull-Bull. She ran in circles like no other horse while the trainer held her rope. He taught us the basic moves; how to turn, stop and change pace of the horse… rein, stirrup and saddle positions etc. We got our riding kit – helmet, gloves, anklets and a whip!. Our little sister Hanaa also joined us as soon as she could walk. We fed our horses carrots after the ride every day. It’s great to have made so many horse friends at the club! I bet they all know the three rider sisters very well.

Soon afterwards we started the second stage training when a trainer rides beside you holding a lead rope. Canter, gallop or trot you can do, because the two horses go on the same pace. Up-down, up-down in trot… sit deep, sit deep in canter… lean a bit forward, lean a bit forward in gallop. Now we are in stage three where we ride independently with sometimes a trainer riding alongside. My sister Aymun is definitely better than me, but she decides to have a lead rope on days when she doesn’t feel like going alone.

There were some frightening moments, like when Aymun’s horse kicked up high and threw her off. But nothing could stop us from getting in saddle … not even hot summers or rainy winters. Our father was always running with us or shouting commands to us to stay confident and in full control. Now he walks beside  Hanaa’s horse although she doesn’t need any support. She is 2 ½ and looks so cute holding reins! I think she’ll be the best rider among us.

In the meantime we have bought a lot of books about horses /  riding and have learnt so much –  horse breeds, grooming, health, fitness, races, behaviors. We made a stable in our house for our rocking horse Leeza —  it’s so much fun taking care of her with our toy horse kit !. We have read a lot of horse stories too, some of them even five times or until our mom hides that book J. Recently, me and Aymun started a “horse lovers club” called PonyLove ™ . We have everything to help you learn about horses … ahadith, books, models, drawings, badges and certificates !.

I love horses because Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) loved them too!. I enjoyed finding out lots of Ahadith on horses. I feel great when I read Surah Aadiyat.  I really at first didn’t have these reasons, but now I do. It’s a thrill to be riding a horse. You learn to be brave and strong. You learn to be kind to animals when they misbehave. It is also very nice to groom ponies. And—well, this is not so enjoyable—mucking out horses’ stalls.

I can’t wait till the day I will own my own horse — a dapple grey—or, a strawberry roan—or a chestnut—or a palomino! And then to start my own riding club!! Imagine in future—if one day, there is no fuel for cars, I’m sure hay and grass will be there. So I’ll get some horse-fuel, let the horse rest a few minutes, and then—ZOOOM-we’ll gallop off!

By Haadiyah Sajid – when she was 8 years old 

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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Crazy for Horses, Homeschooling