Whether you want to enjoy the countryside with friends on horseback, escape to the stables or enjoy tea and a gossip after a riding session at your local riding centre, horse riding provides the perfect opportunity to indulge in a little ‘me time’.
Equestrianism covers a multitude of different horse sports, and is one of Britain’s most successful Olympic and Paralympic sports.
Anyone can enjoy the different equestrian activities on offer. Once the basics have been mastered, there are numerous options to suit all, whether that is enjoying the fresh air or trying your hand at jumping, reining or vaulting.
Riding is an excellent way to exercise and improve your balance, posture, coordination and flexibility. It strengthens your core body muscles, and provides a great cardiovascular workout.
Riding can help to improve your sense of wellbeing as it has antidepressant effects associated with a drop in stress hormones.
Costs for riding sessions vary, but riding schools usually provide all of the essential safety equipment for free.
Boots with a small heel (trainers and flat soled shoes could allow your foot to slip through the stirrup and get caught up, so avoid these!) and trousers, ideally with no seam to avoid any chaffing.
If you’re not sure what to wear, or don’t have the right kit, talk to your riding centre as they may be able to provide some for you or let you know where you can buy it. They’ll also be able to provide you with a riding hat, which should be fitted by a qualified instructor before you mount the horse.
British Equestrian is the National Governing Body for horse sports in the UK. They aim 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.
Those interested in taking up horse riding can find their local riding centre and further information at hoofride.co.uk.
Bigland Equestrian Centre
Grange over Sands
Eamont Bridge, Penrith
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British Equestrian Federation
T: 024 76 698871
M: 07506 760657