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50 things to do

before you're 11 and 3/4.... The National Trust is full of ideas, click here to see some of them

Get Clicking!

Robins are the UK's favourite bird - here's a lovely poem about robins and how you can encourage them to your garden. More Info

Horse riding

 
  
Horse riding is great exercise for:
  • strengthening the back and legs
  • improving your posture
  • encouraging you to sit up straight and look ahead
  • Getting fresh air
  • pushing you out of your comfort zone
  • burning calories, especially if you ride fast

It's also very therapeutic - it's easy to forget about your daily worries when you're sitting on the back of a horse.  The British Horse Society  commissioned the University of Brighton (in partnership with Plumpton College) to research the physical health, psychological and well-being benefits of recreational horse riding in the United Kingdom. You can read the results here

horseoverfence
 "All I pay my psychiatrist is
the cost of food and hay,
 and he’ll listen to me any day.”
  Author Unknown  
 
Horses and ponies are fun to be around, and once you’ve mastered the walk, trot and canter, there are lots of holidays and activities for you to enjoy - opening your opportunities up to a new world.  Horses can go where cars can't, which means you can head into areas other tourists won't see.  And they provide a great way to make new friends, horse and human
For those with disabilities or special needs, Riding for the Disabled may be of interest.  They offer horse riding or carriage driving to people with disabilites, giving you the opportunity to improve your health and wellbeing, and confidence.  They've been going for 40 years & aim to develop and support opportunities for achievement and therapy, while enabling opportunities for exercise and enjoyment. You can find an RDA branch near you here.  They also offer holidays for RDA Group Members - a great way to enjoy a break away from being at home and having fun with like-minded people.  They are always willing to hear from volunteers to help out, too. 
  
You can find a riding school to learn at by visiting the British Horse Society and finding one of their approved riding schools & instructors. 
 
Tips for booking a ride
  1. Be honest about your weight so that the school can be sure it has a horse for you.  
  2. Be honest about your experience. Two hours in the saddle does not make an experienced rider, more of a beginner. 
  3. Check to see what equipment is available for hire from the school - do they provide hard hats, for instance?
  4. Wear appropriate clothing & footwear.  Wear shorts, and you'll find your legs rub against the saddle - very uncomfrotable.  A riding school will be able to advise you on footwear and hats
  5. Think about what you want to do, whether you want to have a riding lesson or just a ride in the countryside or go on a riding holiday 
  
TIP:
One of the great unknowns about riding horses is that you get a terrific view of other people’s gardens. These views can give you some great ideas for your own! 
  
   
horseandrider
  
  "A canter on a horse is a cure for every ill." 
                                    
                                Benjamin Disraeli
Horses are very emotional animals.  They do unpredictable things. 
           
To progress and push back the boundaries, you will fall off.  Falling off and getting back on again is a key lesson to learn in life.  Be willing to come a cropper, and you’ll find a wonderful world open up to you. 
   
Take courage in both hands, find it in your heart and go outside of your comfort zone. Fall off, welcome the experience - and get back on and have another go.