What is horse riding?

Equestrianism covers a multitude of different horse sports, and is one of Britain’s most successful Olympic and Paralympic sports. In Great Britain, millions of people continue to be involved with horses and horse riding remains a favourite past time. Horse riding is extremely versatile; regardless of your age, ability or background, anyone can enjoy the different equestrian activities. Once the basics have been mastered, there are numerous options to suit all, whether that is enjoying the fresh air, hacking around the countryside or trying your hand at jumping or reining.

What is Hoof?

Hoof is the British Equestrians Federation’s (BEF) participation initiative which aims to encourage more people to take up horse riding, driving, vaulting and volunteering. By connecting people to riding centres, schools, clubs and equestrian sporting organisations, Hoof, supported by Sport England funding, is helping more people to discover horses, get fit and improve their wellbeing.

Take Back The Reins

It’s never too late to rekindle or discover a love of horses. Fitting horses into your life can be simple; just half an hour of horse riding a week can boost your sense of wellbeing and help to keep you feeling healthy. Riding may feel daunting but with the right horse to give you confidence it’s amazing how quickly you’ll get going. Take Back The Reins is a structured series of horse riding lessons that provides coaching specifically designed to support a rider's first steps into or back into the saddle. You will receive a warm welcome from your Take Back The Reins riding centre who will understand your worries, talk through your goals and match you with the right horse and coach to get you safely underway.

Accessibility Mark

Horse riding is now more accessible than ever thanks to a new initiative, Accessibility Mark, developed by the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with Hoof, the BEF participation initiative. Accessibility Mark encourages those who do not already partake in equestrian activities or would not usually have the opportunity to do so, to experience the many benefits that riding can bring. Accessibility Marked riding centres have undergone specialist training from the RDA to enable them to offer fun and safe horse riding for people with disabilities.

Young Equestrians

Delivered through The Pony Club approved centres, Young Equestrians is predominately aimed at 13-18 year olds allowing young people to make friends, develop their skills, try out some of the different horse sports available and get fit in the fresh air. No matter what your ability your local Young Equestrians group has been designed to provide you with more choice and freedom, helping you to develop skills including leadership whilst taking responsibility for the activities you takes part in with your new friends.

Hoof Business Networks

The Hoof Business Network offers advice, guidance and support on the opportunities available for equestrian businesses and clubs to grow. Workshops, webinars and regular communications aim to understand the challenges that are faced within the industry and help find solutions as well as providing direction to equestrian businesses on available funding opportunities.

Coaching & Development

The British Equestrian Federation’s 19 member bodies are delivering UKCC coaching courses from Levels 1-4 to ensure the highest levels of quality standard within all equestrian sports. The term coaching refers to teaching, instructing, training and all methods of helping a horse and rider partnership to improve. To find out more about funding coaching schemes please talk to you CSP.

To find out more information and how you can give horses a go visit

To keep up to date with news and events you can follow Hoof at and

 Your Local Centre:

Centre Name




Bigland Equestrian Centre


015395 30333 

 Witherslack Hall 

 Grange over Sands

 015395 52244 

 Happy Hooves

 Eamont Bridge, Penrith

 01768 862153 

Mirthwaite Green 


01229 770876 

Equestrian in your area

There are 18 opportunities listed on the Physical Activity Directory. To view local opportunities please select your local area.

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Lyndsay Dring 

 Regional Participation Co-ordinator North

British Equestrian Federation

 T: 07495 612 929