‘A smile can hide a thousand wounds’: riders urged to unite in support of each other

  • Equestrians all over the world are being encouraged to unite on the first Riders Minds Day on 9 August, to “break down barriers and show each other support”.

    Mental health charity Riders Minds would like as many people as possible to wear something purple and ACT (ask, care, talk), to promote positivity throughout the equestrian community.

    Victoria Wright, founder and chair of Riders Minds, said: “It’s time to unite, it’s time to stop talking about one another and start talking to each other. Always be humble, always be understanding and always be kind.

    “The brightest smiles can hide a thousand wounds and people can be fighting inner battles you know absolutely nothing about.”

    Mrs Wright added that everyone is unique and “we weren’t born to be the same”.

    “On 9 August we’re asking all equestrians to come together from all walks of life and ACT on that day,” she said. “Start a conversation on a yard, smile at someone you wouldn’t normally talk to, wear something purple, and for once let us all be united by the same passion. We all have the power to be that leg up that somebody might desperately need.”

    The charity is also looking for fundraisers throughout August to help bring equestrians together, and for people to get involved with the charity’s work.

    This includes “sharing the message”, that it is ok to talk mental health, to seek support when you need it, and not to be ok. Riders are encouraged to know others’ signs of stress and behaviour changes, as they do with their horses, to share their stories and help reduce the stigma around mental health, and to listen if someone opens up.

    Find out more via the Riders Minds website. Its services are available 24/7.

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