Photo Essay

As the zodiac year of the Horse gallops into the New Year, the staff at Gallop Stable is busy as ever. With the goal of making horse riding an accessible sport for all, Gallop Stable works hard at erasing the misconception that horse riding can only be done at expensive equestrian clubs or in foreign plains where the grass seems greener. Not quite, according to this photo essay, as it explores the trend of more people jumping on the bandwagon of riding horses for leisure.

With 5 horse riding venues (Gallop Stable, Bukit Timah Saddle Club, Singapore Polo Club, National Equestrain Centre and the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre) located across the island – a blessing given the land scarcity here – more horse riding enthusiasts are not short of any steeds to ride.


Located along Turf Club Road in Bukit Timah, Horse City Gallop Stable is the largest out of the 3 Gallop Stable outlets in Singapore. Since its humble beginnings in 2005 with merely 10 horses, Gallop Stable is now home to about 150 horses in Singapore, some of which are ex-racing horses granted a new purpose in life.


Victoria Chou is a volunteer at the stable. Here, she poses for a photo with the stallion worthy of the Batman name. Known as Dark Knight, the majestic horse is amongst many former racehorses here given a new home. “Horses are living things. I think of it as giving them a second chance in life, a life beyond racing,” said Jack Kuda, owner of Gallop Stable. “If they are healthy, we train them and give them a new job.”


Jack elaborates, “Maintaining a stable is not like opening a LAN shop. The horses need to be taken care of. There’s no such thing as closing.” Constantly on the hunt for innovative ideas to allow individuals to spend time with the horses, 1 such initiative at the brand new Punggol stables involves visitors staying in chalets near the horses, tending to the steeds, riding and experiencing a lifestyle alongside these lovable animals that local city dwellers may never get to try.


The horse stands lazily on 3 legs, dozing off comfortably in the shade as a staff hammers on new horseshoes into her hooves. While patting the lazy mare’s legs and attempting to heave her unmoving limb, Uncle Joe commented “they’re just sometimes obstinate and lazy like that”.


Outside the stables, 2 horses bolt across the grass playfully, abruptly letting out a loud sound of breaking wind. Yes, horses fart too. The duo then slows down, trotting around and grazing on the grass, leaving their trainer slightly bemused and exasperated as they were supposed to be running to warm up.


In a different arena, a trainer is seen calling out different commands. “We lunge the ponies and horses as a form of ‘training’ and also to expel their pent up energy, restlessness and sometimes stomach gas before lessons,” Victoria explained with a laugh as the steed circled its handler, responding to his calls for different speeds.


Shyly hiding behind Shamsher Singh Rawat, chief riding instructor of Gallop Stable, Metro the horse constantly nuzzles and nudges the experienced horse rider affectionately. Having grown up riding and taking part in various equestrian competitions, riding and horses are the 2 greatest loves of Shamsher’s life: “Riding is like a never ending journey. Ride with them, stay with them, and you’ll never know when the horses will teach you something new.”


Shamsher further shares from his years of horse riding experience: “It’s like yoga, it improves your willpower. Some even say that for kids, growing up alongside horses makes them stronger, less scared as they’re amongst these magnificent creatures and ends up giving them a sense of happiness. That’s why there are still many who keep riding, from 3 year olds to the elderly.”

Horses are the most stable partners (pun intended) you can find in life. As someone who grew up horse riding, Victoria shared her story: “I first started riding when I was in P5 because I loved animals. Horses are affectionate creatures. When I found out there was a stable at Punggol last year, I approached Jack who suggested that I become a volunteer. I could ride while caring for the horses and helping the stables at the same time.”

Gallop Stable is constantly on the lookout for individuals who care for the friendly 4-legged partners. In Jack’s words, “We hope to create a win-win situation for our stable, the horses and riders to make Gallop Stable a horse riding haven for all.”

Photos are taken with Samsung NX20.


Horse City Gallop Stables (Bukit Timah)

100 Turf Club Road Singapore 287992

Tel: 6463 6012 / 6463 6013

E-mail: /