Catching up with the girls may normally involve coffee, cake and a gossip, but why not dare to be different this September and give horses a go? Not only can riding help improve fitness, it also relieves stress and gets you out in the open air. And with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) launching the first annual "Give Horses a Go" day on 13 September 2015 – giving people the chance to get closer to horses and try riding for FREE - there’s no better time to discover all that a trip to the stables has to offer.
Statistics show some two million girls and women are already riding, proving the huge popularity of the sport. The BEF is hoping that even more women will take up the mantle and reap the many benefits of getting involved with horses. Whether it is taking lessons so that you can ride on the beach on holiday, hacking out with friends and having a gossip, or setting your sights on entering a competition: being with horses provides camaraderie, friendship and a real sense of achievement.
What’s more, horses aren't judgemental, so there’s no pressure to look good or to get all the techniques right straight away: you can take it at your own pace and figure out what suits you best.
That is what the BEF’s This Girl Can Ride campaign is all about. Endorsed by Sport England, under their popular This Girl Can campaign banner, This Girl Can Ride aims to get women aged 26+ to try something horsey. Whether it’s a simple visit to a participating riding school to meet some of the horses, or trying a riding lesson for the first time, This Girl Can Ride kicks off with a national "Give Horses a Go" day on Sunday 13 September.
More than 40 approved riding schools are taking part, each offering FREE sessions. You don’t need lots of expensive kit, just sensible trousers and a pair of boots or shoes with a small heel. A full list of participating venues can be found on the BEF’s Hoof website which also also contains tips on what to wear and what to expect.
And if you have ridden before, but had to stop, now might be the time to get back into the saddle and pick up the reins again. The Give Horses a Go days are open to returning riders as well.