When was the first time you got to pet a horse? For many Calgary students, it’s at Stampede School. Professional horse trainer Muffy Knox visits Stampede school almost every week with two equine assistants and the goal to teach kids about horse communication and the proper way to handle and look after horses.

Muffy Knox Stampede School

When Stampede School first asked Muffy to participate, she said, “I’ll come and see if it’s something I’d be interested in doing.” That was 12 years ago. Now, she’s often the highlight of Stampede School week.

Last year she helped 27 classes understand horses better and develop in them an appreciation for horses that goes beyond the pretty face. “If one student walks away from a morning with me understanding that horses can communicate, then I’ve done my job and I’m happy,” remarked Muffy.

When I visit a classroom and a student exclaims, “I loved Muffy and the horses so much that I begged my Auntie to give me riding lessons and she agreed!” it makes me really proud of the Stampede School and program we offer to students in Calgary.

Though Muffy is a constant, no two weeks at Stampede School are the same. Every week is custom-designed for the class.

Other guests that students might meet are:

  • Former chuckwagon driver Doug Nelson from Nanton, who brings the history of the chuckwagon to life for students.
  • Members of the Blackfoot community who come to shares their culture and possibly dance with students. Last year we even had the chance to make drums with Brent Scout.

Drum making Stampede School

This year Stampede School will be in the new Sweetgrass Lodge in ENMAX Park. An exciting move that brings us closer to one of Stampede Park’s most interesting spots, Rundle Ruins and the Elbow river. We sometimes even get behind-the-scenes looks at the Stampede Parade float and the grandstand show.

Stampede Float STampede SChool

Stampede School is a unique program that works in collaboration with Campus Calgary/Open Minds and brings students to Stampede Park for an interactive five day learning experience. For more information contact bcopithorne@calgarystampede.com.