Today we headed off to Anglesey Riding Centre for the boys to have an hour long bridleway hack. They are pretty new to horse riding so it was set at a gentle pace on well-schooled horses so they could get the hang of it.
We were there as guests of Petplan Equine and I was grateful the boys could try out something different. As a child I used to have horse riding lessons and my husband even had his own horse called Cream Puff. It was great seeing them take an interest in horses too, although next time I would like them to have more of a challenge and have a chance of learning to trot and not just walk sedately.
On arrival they were given hats and matched to a suitable horse for their size. Eldest had Diego an 8 year old Gypsy Cob and youngest rode Patch who was 20 years old but still very sprightly. Youngest said he was excited straight away; he had no nerves about riding. Eldest said he had lots of fun; he liked riding through squishy mud and having such a friendly horse. They learnt some basic commands (how to stop the horse) but pretty much they went straight out on the hack, they do have an indoor arena for proper riding lessons and I would have loved the boys to have had a chance to go there and improve their technique with some proper guidance.
At the centre Candy a sweet little retired horse of 32 years had the freedom to roam the yard, horses can live up to 40 years so you soon realise it’s a big commitment owning a horse you need to make sure you factor in the costs for any equipment you might need, insurance, stabling and vet bills for their lifetime.
If your child has yet to experience horse riding I think its well worth considering as a memorable summer holiday activity. It’s a great form of exercise and gets your child outdoors. It was quite social for youngest as he was chatting away with the staff and fellow riders quite animatedly. Also horses are quite sizeable so it takes confidence to leap onto their back and take control!