10 Things Every Horse Owner Should Try This Year

10 Things Every Horse Owner Should Try This Year

This is your year. Time to tick things off your equestrian bucket list – they include finally taking your horse to the beach for a good gallop and making your friends at the yard smile.

So what are 10 things that every horse owner should try this year?

4-minute read

1. Riding on the beach

Ever dreamed of galloping along the beach, the wind in your hair without a care in the world? Well, this is the year for you to head to a sandy beach and embrace the waves lapping upon the shore while you venture up and down the beach at your own pace. Get some friends to come along with you too, and our top tip? Pack a picnic and sit on the beach afterwards to make the day last as long as possible.

The best beaches to horse ride on in the UK:

Pembrokeshire

Scattered with bridleways and stunning beaches just waiting to be explored this beautiful area will take you away from the stresses of everyday life.

North Devon

Devon was once voted the best place for hacking in the UK so it’s no surprise to hear that North Devon has some incredible beach rides and coastal paths in a part of the countryside that has been classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Northumberland

With miles of golden beaches to choose from and stunning bridlepaths along the sand dunes, you’ll wonder why you haven’t ventured to this part of the world on horseback before.

Cornwall

You’ll be spoilt for choice in Cornwall, the most well-known beach riding destination in the UK. The beaches are accessible, and everyone will take your breath away – this county ticks every box when it comes to the perfect beach to ride on.

North Wales

The Snowdonia mountains will provide the perfect backdrop to your beach ride and the long, flat beaches will let you have a good gallop – you can truly let off steam here!

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2. Let someone else ride your horse

You might be wondering why letting someone else ride your horse has made it into the top ten? Well, we see things differently from the ground so if you’re struggling to get good results or wondering how to find the key to your horse’s way of going, getting someone else to ride them for you could be just what you’re looking for.

3. Promise yourself to always end your riding session on a positive note

OK, so we can all be guilty of trying a movement “one more time” or riding for another five minutes to perfect a move. But what’s wrong with ending on a positive note?

Even if you have only been riding for twenty minutes, if your horse does the move well or jumps a clear round - leave it there. Skip back to the stable with a smug smile on your face and pick up where you left off the next day.

4. Set small goals

Liberty horse trainer Ben Atkinson is a fan of setting small goals. “Imagine the slowest, most boring way you can teach something, then slow it down some more, then a bit more – that’s how you teach it.” Ben is also a fan of the letter C when training his horses. Clarity – be clear in your goals for each horse and be clear in how you work towards them. Consistency – be consistent when asking for the same movement or behaviour, do not cut corners as you’ll have to keep going around them. And finally, Confidence – if things are clear and consistent, the confidence in your horse and your abilities will grow and ooze out of you.

5. Learn a new horse skill

Talking of Ben Atkinson, why not try learning a new equestrian skill? You could try liberty horse training, natural horsemanship under the virtual tuition of Warwick Schiller or up your dressage game and learn some new dancing steps with the help of Steph Croxford? Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will be good for you and your horse and who knows what you can achieve?

6. Have confidence in your ability

This is definitely one thing you should try this year. Believing you can is one step on the journey to be able to do something. In our blog “how to deal with horse riding nerves” we discuss assuming an alter ego to keep you smiling in the saddle. So assume your Sasha Fierce and next time you ride and feel a jingle of nerves in your stomach believe that you can conquer anything that gets put in front of you.

7. Go to a new show venue

We all get comfortable going to the same show venues, we know the layout and more importantly the location of the refreshment van. We see the same faces there, get to know the organiser and even come to have our favourite parking spot. So why not travel a little further afield, and visit a new show venue, pushing your boundaries will help you have more confidence in your horse riding ability.

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8. Thank your horse after every ride

One of our favourite things to recommend. It might sound simple, but sometimes when our busy lives take hold and we’re cramming in riding between other commitments we can forget to thank our horses for their hard work, loyalty and trust. Discover your horse’s favourite treat and always have a supply on hand.

9. Do random acts of kindness at the yard

Its time to make everyone around you smile. Leave some chocolates in the tack room or muck out for friend so when they get to the yard they’ll be chuffed to see the stable fairy has already been. Winter in the UK can be a long slog, so playing stable fairy will be sure to make someone’s day, or maybe even week.

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10. Watch more horsey movies

Watching horsey movies is one of our favourite things to do and we don’t do it nearly enough (mainly because the other half complains we spend too much time at the yard as it is!). Feel inspired watching The Horse Whisperer, have a little cry to Black Beauty or gallop along with Secretariat. Here are ten of our favourite horse films for you to watch:

Black Beauty

National Velvet

International Velvet

The Horse Whisperer

War Horse

Seabiscuit

Dreamer

Racing Stripes

Secretariat

Champions

Let us know what you will try with your horse this year, we’d love to hear from you in the Harry Hall One Club Community on Facebook. And of course, if you head to the beach with your horse this year make sure you tag us @harry_hall_riding on Instagram.