For my daughter’s 8th birthday last year, we booked a horse riding party. She dreamt about it for ages and was so excited but the day after we made the booking she fell off the monkey bars at school and broke her wrist and we had to cancel. Devastated was not the word. I promised that as soon as her arm was mended I would take her riding. Somehow nearly a year rolled round and we still hadn’t been. When I told had arranged to take her horse riding courtesy of Petplan Equine, she was ecstatic. A year later, it was still an amazing birthday treat.
1. Self Esteem
Horse riding has all the elements of an amazing day out for the family. Animals, adventure, getting outside in the countryside and learning a new skill. I think it is so important to try new things when you are young. It might end up being your passion in life. Even if it doesn’t it gives you confidence and self-esteem that you can try new things. Although we had ridden donkeys at the beach, to actually learn how to ride is really satisfying. In an hour lesson, they covered how to rise and fall, turning and even trotting. Although, of course even getting on the horse is tricky first time round.
2. Love for Animals
The horse was the gentlest, pony ever. The girls can be a bit nervous around animals so having such a calm and friendly horse was really good for them. They all learnt how to approach a horse, how to hold your hand out before stroking a horse so you don’t startle it and to never go round the back of a horse. Vital lessons to stop you getting hurt.
We also learnt that every horse is different. Some like to be stroked, others get annoyed. One horse at the stables even liked people to hold his tongue. Needless to say we didn’t try that!
3. Fresh Air
I love any activity that gets you outside. Horse riding, by its very nature, is something you do in the countryside. At the very least you need a large plot of land and a field. Spending time outdoors, doing something fun is a wonderful way to spend the weekend.
I was surprised how physically hard horse riding is. To the layman, it looks like you are just relaxing However, it is great exercise. In an hour, you can burn 350 calories. Not bad for something you do sitting down.
I guess it goes without saying that we had a great day horse riding. It was so much fun. I think there is something really exciting to have the wind on your face as you race through the countryside.
6. Work Ethic
I think the other side is that horse riding teaches you that you can have your fun but that after you have to be responsible for the animals. They need to be brushed and fed and watered. Someone needs to muck them out, and if you are going to have a regular place horse riding then that should be you. It is an excellent activity for teaching you responsibility.
So we had a great time horse riding. This year we are busy moving house so not planning any parties but I’m fairly sure a horse riding party is back on the cards for 2017.