Whether you have been inspired by the great equestrian medal successes at the Rio Olympics, or are just looking for a new activity to enjoy with the family, absolutely everyone is invited to get closer to horses as part of national Give Horses a Go weekend on 17-18 September.
Give Horses a Go weekend is an initiative run by the British Equestrian Federation [BEF] which sees riding centres, horse charities and equestrian events across the country offer EVERYONE, no matter age, gender or ability, the chance to get up close and personal with horses and try riding, and even carriage driving for free at the riding centres. There’s no pressure though, if you simply want to spectate or meet the horses, there is something for everyone.
Last year the BEF’s inaugural Give Horse a Go event saw over 40 riding centres open their doors to those looking to get closer to horses and give riding a go. Over 2,000 people attended the events, with 330 booking lessons on the day of the event. This year the event hopes to double last year’s attendance by widening its reach and encouraging everyone, of all ages to join in.
Whether it’s a family visit to a participating riding centre or charity to meet some of the horses, or trying riding for the first time, this year’s Give Horses a Go weekend kicks off with more than 50 venues across the country offering FREE taster sessions. The participating riding centres will also be handing out free goodies [whilst stocks last]. A full list of participating venues can be found at: www.hoofride.co.uk/givehorsesago, and the website also contains tips on what to wear and what to expect.
BEF Head of Participation, Anna Hall said: “Horse riding is an activity that anyone, regardless of age, ability or background can have a go at. We know that some exercise improves fitness, some relieves stress, some gets you out in the open air, but we believe that horse riding and equestrian volunteering delivers all that and more! It really is a sport of well-being for the mind, body and spirit and we hope to encourage as many people as possible to get involved and join the ride.
Don’t worry you don’t need lots of expensive kit, just sensible trousers and a pair of boots or shoes with a small heel. Riding centres will provide the rest, including a hat and horse! And if you have ridden before, now might be the time to get back into the saddle and pick up the reins again.”
Horse riding is one of the few sports where men and women compete equally – whether at local shows or at the Olympic or Paralympic Games and the BEF hope recent medal success in Rio will inspire even more people to give the sport a go.
For further information about the event or tips on what to wear and expect on the day, visit BEF’s Hoof website www.hoofride.co.uk. You can also follow the campaign on social media using @hoofride and #JoinTheRide