Get Involved in Horse Riding

It's time for you to take the reins!

Last Updated: 04/07/12 2:37pm

Get Involved: Saddle Up!

Think horse riding is an elitist sport? Then think again...

Get Involved presenter Rachel Wyse visited the Ebony Horse Club, in Brixton, and Mount Mascal Stables, in Kent, and found a very different picture.

Around 4.5m riders are thought to take part in equestrian activities in the UK, according to the British Horse Society, with those living in the city participating in equal numbers with those in rural areas.

Moreover, the sport impacts a broad range of communities, as Rachel discovered when she dropped in on the Ebony Horse Club - a charity that strives to help children and young people develop life skills.

Founder Ros Spearing explained: "In 1996 I took five children from the Moorlands Estate to a riding lesson and without us knowing the Ebony Horse Club was born that day.

"Last summer there were 51 riding at riding schools all over London and now we've built our own riding school and there are 120 children riding a week."

Volunteer instructor Darrell Scaife said the club offers young people an invaluable chance to improve themselves.

"Apart from the riding experience, it's about gaining life skills that go along with that - reliability, time-keeping, responsibility. If they don't come and feed the ponies, the ponies don't get fed.

"It's also a really good idea of building team community and community spirit with one another."

Over at Mount Mascal Stables, director Alison Window revealed how she is helping people to take back the reins.

"The view is to encourage people who perhaps want to give it a go or are a bit unsure if it's for them to get them in the saddle or help them to return to the saddle if they have ridden as a child."

And riding doesn't have to cost the earth, as parent Kate Cook explained.

"You don't need all of the kit to start riding. For the children when they started, I bought their stuff on ebay. You don't have to spend an awful lot of money. The most important thing is that you just enjoy it and take out of it what you can."

For more information on how to Get Involved in Horse Riding, simply visit one of the websites below:

The British Horse Society: www.bhs.org.uk

The Pony Club: www.pcuk.org

The British Equestrian Federation: www.bef.co.uk

The British Horse Industry Confederation: www.bhic.co.uk

Hoof: www.hoofride.co.uk