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!

 "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.  You can volunteer, too.  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 on their website
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 
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! 
  "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!