The British Horse Society (BHS) is appealing to the general public to donate what you can and support riding centres through the pandemic. Dr David Marlin is passionate about horse welfare and supporting our community during difficult times. We will be raising money via our quiz night on Monday 15 March 2021.
If you are lucky enough to own your own horse or pony, you probably don’t visit a riding centre very often, you may have your horse at home or at livery and so the riding centre crisis might not feel as though it impacts on you directly. But I am asking you to cast your mind back: if you were fortunate enough to grow up with ponies in your life, do you remember the long days at the stables, bathing and painting hooves, going home tired, dirty and full of happy memories? Memories you still cherish. Fortunately, many of us reading this article had access to horse riding and the opportunity to take this wonderful hobby forward with us through our lives; some of us have made it our careers, myself included.
But what does the future hold if we lose our riding centres and the opportunity for children and adults to have access to horses, so many memories will never be made? Will urban children only meet horses on their devices sitting in their homes, will they never know that smell we have all come to love so much or feel the dirt beneath their nails? Will they never experience the feeling of elation when you have your first canter, or learn to have some grit and “get back on” when at first you don’t succeed? It is a sad prospect. We can’t overestimate the contribution riding centres make to people’s health and well-being, we can’t let the next generation of horse riders down, we can’t tell those children who are counting their sleeps until their riding school opens that they won’t see their favourite pony again. As a community, we must support them, they provide such an important service, they develop the next generation of horse riders and owners and offer training opportunities and employment to our industry’s future grooms and instructors. The future of the horses at these centres is uncertain, many have been based there for many years with their own fan base of admirers visiting them each week, some with dedicated loaners – these horses deserve to continue to live out their years in their familiar surroundings.
Riding centres are very much part of our community and we are urging you to help them if you can.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) FUNDRAISING APPEAL
Coronavirus is threatening our riding centres, meaning thousands of horses face an uncertain future. Please consider donating to our Coronavirus appeal to help support our riding centres and the incredible horses that live in them. Text HORSE to 70507 to give £5, or you can donate online.
QUIZ NIGHT DR DAVID MARLIN – We will be donating all our profits from our next quiz night to the BHS Coronavirus Appeal. See the calendar page for details, click here