Summer isn’t just about competing, competing, competing. Whatever your budget, there are loads of other things you can do with your horse to make the most of the long, balmy days…
1. Sign up for a camp
Many local riding clubs run residential camps where members can spend two or three days with their horses, having lessons and having fun, with none of the distractions of everyday life. Check out your local Riding Club website for more information.
2. Take your horse on holiday
If you can never quite relax on that week on a Spanish beach because you’re missing your beastie so much, then why not take him with you? Not to Spain, perhaps, but there are loads of places in the UK where you can holiday with your horse. The BHS website has a list of approved equine B&Bs — visit www.bhs.org.uk to find out more.
3. Ride on the beach
If you’re one of those people who’ll be ticking a point off the bucket list by riding on the beach, then why not make that dream come true this summer? Not all beaches are horse-friendly, so check the list on the BHS website, as well as their guide to safe beach riding, before you set out. www.bhs.org.uk.
4. Give TREC a try
Whether you’d like to compete in this discipline, or just enjoy exploring the countryside with your trusty steed, TREC (orienteering on horseback) sounds like an excellent way of whiling away the summer months. There are lots of TREC events taking place — just don’t forget your water bottle and map. Visit www.trecgb.com to find out what’s happening near you.
5. Do a sponsored ride
Summer is sponsored ride season, and what could be better than having a fabulous ride on your horse, possibly over a course of optional jumps, while also raising money for charity? Double win. You can find details of sponsored rides and fun rides taking place across the UK on www.ridingdiary.co.uk.
6. Box him somewhere new for a hack
Do you know your local hacking routes like the back of your hand — or hoof? Time to venture further afield. You can find details of great hacking routes on www.bridleways.co.uk. If you’re boxing any distance, it may well be worth teaming up with a friend to share costs and have a companion to ride with.
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7. Do a pub ride
Many country landlords are happy for riders to tie up outside their pub to enjoy a refreshing drink — it’s a good idea to ring first and check before you ride over, though. And take it easy — you need to remain in control when riding, so it’s not a good idea to drink and ride…