*This is a paid post
As part of our work with Great British Racing this summer, the children spent this morning at a local stables having their first horse riding experience. We’ve never really thought about horse riding until we started going to family race days and it’s given the children a real love of everything equestrian.
We arrived at the equestrian centre and had to fill out a couple of forms before the children were given hats and shown over to their horses. We’d been told to wear trousers and wellies as it was their first horse ride but if they wanted to pursue horse riding as a hobby we’d kit them out with everything they’d need.
Little Man is always quite apprehensive around new people and doing new activities so I wasn’t sure how he’d find horse riding. LP went first, straight into the enclosure with her horse, Freya, and was shown how to mount, sit correctly and hold the reins. I was impressed with how confident she was.
Little Man’s horse, Lily, was led into the same enclosure and he was shown how to adjust the straps on the saddle before going through the same routine his sister had – mounting, sitting and holding the reins. He had a very strong look of concentration throughout his lesson and I think his instructor probably thought he was hating it. I knew though that he was really enjoying it and just wanted to make sure he got everything right – and didn’t fall off!
The children had an end of the enclosure each and learnt how to guide the horse in a specific direction, how to make them stop and how to make them go faster. They finished by learning a rising trot and the instructors both said how natural they were and asked if I’d ever been a horse rider. Sadly not – I’ve only been on a horse once – they must just have a real natural affinity with horses.
At the end of the lesson LP and Little Man were shown how to get off their horses safely and they led their horses back to the stables. They were both buzzing with excitement and I know that, given the opportunity, they’d happily have lessons every week.
For now though, they are both happy knowing they’ve ridden a horse and spending time at family race days with us, watching horses on the track and enjoying all the fun that the day out gives.
As part of Great British Racing’s ‘Under 18s Race Free’ initiative, there are 60 racecourses throughout Great Britain where under 18s are admitted free of charge to many fixtures throughout the year when accompanied by a paying adult. This includes fantastic family days with additional activities put on for families and young people.
You can find out more about ‘Under 18s Race Free’ and find a family race day near you here.