If you’ve ever been lucky enough to see horse boarding in action then you’ll know it’s the essentially one of the coolest equestrian sports around and the best part is that anyone can give it a go. Yep, that includes you.
That’s why we challenged our readers to try horse boarding in the latest issue of Your Horse magazine (#YHChallengesYou).
We talked to the sport’s co-creator, Daniel Fowler-Prime, to find out why this super-exciting sport — once voted the sixth most extreme sport — is so addictive and how it’s amassed a legion of loyal fans…
1. It’s great for getting your non-horsey other half involved
Plenty of couples get involved with horse boarding, which means that if your other half f isn’t horsey, they probably will be by the time they get to grips with this sport. Bonus!
“A lot of people in horse boarding credit the sport for improving their relationships,” says Daniel. “People learn so much about horses practising the sport, so it’s a fantastic way to get people interested in equestrian.”
2. It’s safe to give it a go
Safety is a huge priority when it comes to horse boarding and all the safety measures put in place by Daniel and his team mean that children as young as 10 can get involved.
“We take a safety-first approach to horse boarding,” says Daniel. “We’re actually one of the only equestrian sports that assess both the horse and rider before they start competing.
“To us, it’s integral that the horse is happy, the rider is in control and the boarder is safe. I’m proud to say that we’ve never once had any serious injuries to horse, rider or boarder.”
3. It’s a great way to desensitise your horse
We’re not saying it’s a sure-fire way to a non-spooky horse, but equines who take part in horse boarding have to pretty level-headed and calm if competitors want to go far.
“There’s a lot that goes into desensitising the horse before we start as it is a main ring side event, so they’ve got to be used to loud music, big crowds etc.
“Before any competition, there’s always a rehearsal beforehand so we can assess the horse before all the action kicks off.”
4. You’ll have a heap of fun
Prepare to enjoy yourself!
“The sport really just self-perpetuates the values we instilled at the start, which is a friendly community who are supportive and who provide a safe environment for people to have fun.
“There’s no pomp; anyone can get involved and it’s not an expensive hobby to take up. If you’ve got the horse, then all you’ll need is a safety harness, a safety belt and a safety leash, all which we can help with.”
5. It’s unique
Horse boarding requires three brains: the horse, rider and boarder.
“They’ve all got to be working together, so people become close pretty quickly because of all the practise it takes to achieve that kind of relationship,” explains Daniel.
“It’s why it attracts couples, mums and daughters, dads and sons etc. It’s a fantastic way to get everyone communicating and working as a team.”
6. It’s easy to get involved
For newbies, the best way to get involved is to visit the horse boarding training centre in Chippenham. You can take part in a two-day course which gives you a taste of what a real horse boarding event will be like.
Check out this video to see what the sport’s really about.
7. Events are held around the country (and there’s one this weekend)
There are plenty of horse boarding competitions that take place all around the country, so you won’t have to travel miles and miles if you’re just starting out with the sport.
This weekend, you can head to the Cheshire Game and Country Fair at Cheshire County Showground which runs over three days, 25th, 26th and 27th August 2018. This one is round five of a nine round national championships in horse boarding.
Teams are competing for a maximum 60 points over the three days at novice, intermediate and elite level. Nine UK elite teams will be racing in a quest to win the points, a £1,000 prize fund and the National Horseboarding Championship 2018 title.
Find out more at www.horseboardinguk.org
Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here