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Horse riding

Mount your steed and learn how to “ride like the wind cowboy” in this horse riding adventure.
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What to expect

Horse riding has been a mode of transport for thousands of years and is both a form of recreation and a competitive sport. Horse riding is typically done in a riding school in classes, which are tailored to different levels of experience. You could also go on hacks or treks, which involve travelling through the countryside on horseback. Before you mount your steed, you’ll need to put a helmet on, which will usually be provided by the stable.

What you’ll learn

Horse riding can give you a lot of skills, including balance, coordination and care. It’s also a great way of staying fit and healthy. Being in control of a horse can give you a sense of independence and helps you understand how to safely and confidently ride the horse in a way that takes other people into account, so you don’t run into them. Enjoy the experience and see what it feels like to move around on an animal rather than a machine.

Fun facts

There are many different variations of horse riding around the world, including rodeos, cross-country jumping and horse racing. Horse riding has been an event in the Olympics since the 1900's, but today there are three equestrian sports in the Olympics and Paralympics: dressage, show jumping and three-day eventing. These events allow people to compete individually or in teams, and it’s one of very few events in the Olympics where women compete equally with men.

Handy hints

  • Bring some hair bobbles. Some places may ask anyone with long hair to tie it back, so bring some spares along just in case.
  • Bring your camera with you. Getting lots of pictures of everyone horse riding will give you mementos to look back on later. Remember to bring your camera along with you to take some snaps.
  • Something to drink. All that exercise can be tiring work, so encourage everyone to bring a drink along with them. Have some spare drinks too, if needed.

We’re reworking our safety guidance for adventurous activities to make it easier to understand and follow.

In the meantime, before you try horse riding, review the safety information here.

Reflection

Learning to ride a horse gives you the opportunity to be active, learn new skills and develop old ones. You’ll learn how to confidently and independently control the horse in a paddock or on a trek with your friends. If you were to do this again, what new techniques that you picked up would help you excel the next time? Think about how you held your hands, how your feet rested in the stirrups and how you positioned yourself in the saddle.

Being in a paddock helps to keep the horses together. How would you change your approach to stay in control if you were to go on a hack or trek? Think about how long the reins might need to be and how that may affect the control. Also think about keeping a good distance between you and the horse in front, and how that may change once you’re out in the countryside.

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.