New research has found that 76% of equestrians have been bullied. The study was conducted by Riders Minds and found that a further 85% had witnessed bullying within the industry. Of the riders who had been bullied, 77% felt unable to speak out.
The shocking survey results have been released in conjunction with Anti-Bullying Week, with this year’s theme being ‘Make a Noise About Bullying’.
“The results of the recent survey are staggering, to see around 80% of people having experienced or witnessed bullying within an equestrian related environment is a bitter pill for the industry to swallow,” said Victoria Wright, Founder and Chair of Riders Minds.
“With the launch of our anti-bullying campaign, we hope to target the issues physically or over the internet, by creating a movement that the industry can follow. In response to people needing mental health support more than ever, Riders Minds have extended the services that we provide with instant online counselling support, one to one sessions, new self-help content online and the continuation of our 24/7 helpline. We are proud to be one of the few mental health charities to be able to offer this service.”
Mental Health Coach and Riders Minds Consultant, Sylvia Bruce, said the effect of bullying on mental health is more far reaching than many realise.
“It’s not only the direct effect on the bullied who can experience emotional, physical, physiological, thoughts and behavioural change, often with devastating effects including suicide, but also the ripple effect on those loved ones supporting the person being bullied, the witnesses, those handling bullying cases, and even the equines if the bullied person’s behaviour and responses change,” she said. “We must come together — bullying has no place in equestrianism.”
In response to the statistics, Riders Minds has launched a bullying resource on its website with information detailing what bullying is, advice on what to do if you are being bullied, or are witnessing bullying, and support for those affected.
To find out more about Riders Minds and to access the live chat go to https://ridersminds.org/ If you would like to talk to someone call the helpline on 0300 102 1540, or text 07860 065 202. All of the Riders Minds services are free, 100% confidential, and accessible 24 hours a day.
For more information on Anti-Bullying Week, visit https://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/