For a long time, charities have been warning that Britain
is in the midst of the worst equine welfare crisis in living memory. Decades of
unchecked and indiscriminate breeding combined with a difficult financial
climate have resulted in the number of horses in Britain far exceeding the
number of knowledgeable and experienced homes available to care for them.
When supply outstrips demand, values fall. When something’s value falls, it becomes cheaper to replace and less care is taken of it.
The consequences of this for a living creature can be devastating.
In aid of the BHS's work, the Society is challenging me to undertake the impossible – a 24-hour challenge ride at my local BHS Approved Riding Centre, Quob Stables, near Southampton on Wednesday 6 August! I'm one of the BHS’s Development Officers, based in the South Region, and I'll be in the saddle for a staggering full 24 hours.
The 24-hour Challenge Ride will take all of my skill and experience as I tackle many different equestrian disciplines as the hours pass by. Quob is doing a fantastic job of making sure I stay entertained – the challenge will kick off with two hours of horseball, followed by joining in with their Pony Club camp ride, then a cross-country lesson and gymkhana games. It’s going to be great fun, and though I’m getting a little nervous about what I have let myself in for, I am also really excited!
The centre is holding an Open Evening on the Wednesday night, when we hope to showcase some more disciplines including polocrosse, side-saddle and western riding, so I’ll be trying those out in front of an audience. As if 24 hours in the saddle weren’t enough of a challenge, I think the team at Quob is trying to ensure they get every ounce of energy out of me!
If you'd like to find out more about the BHS's work, please visit our website at www.bhs.org.uk.