Make a New Year's Resolution to get out and do something new this year. We've got five great ideas for you to consider...
1. Go trekking
Trekking doesn't have to be a one-off holiday idea for people who don't ride that often. It is a chance to explore different countryside and view some amazing sights. It is also a brilliant way to meet new people. Welsh Horse Mountain Rides based in Taliaris, Carmarthenshire, offers a unique trekking experience on former cavalry horses. There are three different routes available, one over a mountain where you have to opportunity to swim in a resovoir with your horse, and two through a forest where you can jump logs and natural obstacles if you wish. The company currently has a discount on offer. Instead of £220, a ride lasting three to five hours, with lunch provided, is now £80. For more information visit: http://welshhorsemountainrides.weebly.com/
2. Book some lessons
No matter how long you have been riding there is always more to learn. Having lessons with a qualified instructor who is suitable for your level of riding is an excellent way to get rid of any bad habits and to help you achieve your next goal. It is important that your instructor understands what you would like to achieve and can help you improve without over-facing you and your horse. Word of mouth can be a good way to find an instructor in your area. Recommendations from people who have had lessons with them can be helpful, but remember everybody's needs are different. Don't be afraid to change instructors if you don't feel that you gel with a particular person. The BHS website has a list of qualified instructors on its website. Visit: http://www.bhs.org.uk/enjoy-riding/find-an-instructor-or-groom.
3. Go for a hack somewhere different
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut when riding out, especially if your local hacking is quite limited. Why not pick a day (perhaps later in the year when hopefully the weather will be better!), box
up your horse and go somewhere new. If you do not have any transport, why not club togther with friends and share the cost of hiring a box.
4. Try a new skill
There are so many different disciplines and activities you can do with your horse from dressage and showjumping to horse agility (pictured) and horse boarding. Browse your old issues of Horse
for ideas and ask other people what they enjoy doing.
5. Spend some quality time with your horse
It can be difficult to juggle horses, family and work. Often you go up the yard, do the stable chores and go home, especially in winter. This year focus on building a better bond with your horse by spending even five minutes every day just giving him a scratch or a stroke. You could even take him for a walk in-hand, he might really enjoy this if he has limited turnout due to the weather and you haven't got time to ride.
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