Horse riding for pleasure is an increasingly popular activity in the UK. With over 4% of the population now riding, the benefits of riding for both long and short sessions are becoming more widely known.
As well as enabling you to experience the excitement of riding a horse, you can also see the British countryside from a higher vantage point and enjoy the views as you trot along. There are many bridleways in the country now and with a bit of local knowledge you can travel miles through beautiful countryside, away from traffic and pedestrians alike. You will also find yourself using muscles that you didn’t know you had!
An hour long ride will use around 200 calories, maybe more. This is the equivalent to going jogging or playing football for the same amount of time.
If you have not ridden before, then you might want to consider getting some riding lessons so that you can leanr the basic techniques of horse riding. You can normally either take horse riding lessons from a dedicated equestrian school, or you can have a private trainer to help you.
If you are not planning on purchasing your own horse, you might want to consider Horse Rider Insurance to give you the cover you need when using someone elses horse.
Wether you are an amatuer rider or a veteran with years of experience, one of the most important things to remember is safety. You should always remember never to surprise your horse or approach them from behind. You should always come from the front so that the horse can clearly see you, as this will minimize any risk of injury if the horse is startled.
Always make sure you wear the necessary safety equipment, most importantly an approved helmet. If you are unsure what safety equipment you need, you should contact your local equestrian school for some guidance.
There are a number of options for riding locations. Most riding schools will have an arena, where you can walk and trot around whilst you and your horse get used to each other.
Once you are settled and comfortable riding without guidance, you can look at hacking cross country. There are normally many varied bridleways and paths that you can follow in the local countryside. As you will generally only be moving slightly faster than walking pace, this can be a great way to explore your surroundings faster than you would be able to on foot, and to see more as well from your higher vantage point. You should be able to find a map of your local area that shows all the bridleways that you can explore. Perhaps even take a picnic with you and make a day of it. Don't forget to pack a treat for your horse as a thankyou for carrying you all day!
If you are lucky enough to own your own horse, don’t forget to look at Horse Insurance, as this can save you a great amount of money in the long run if you have any problems with your horse.