Improve health, fitness and wellbeing - take up the reins!

The Take up the Reins Tour of Great Britain kicks off at the Sport Relief Games, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, on 20 March. It is encouraging everyone to #GetHorsey, whether in or out of the saddle, and improve their health, fitness and wellbeing.

Getting horsey can also help to build precious family time where parents and kids put down the tablet and mobile phone, and enjoy a group activity. This can lead to a more switched-on, vibrant life with new opportunities.

The campaign, devised by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and supported by Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) participation initiative to encourage more people into the sport, invites those of all ages and backgrounds to connect with horses by riding, volunteering to help out at their local equine charities or attending equestrian events to show their support.

Horses are a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors and they’re also perfect for:

● Keeping healthy and burning calories at a time of concern about increasing obesity.
● Helping to relieve stress and aid mindfulness.
● Establishing new relationships – with horses and people.

On the tour, BETA’s three mechanical horses – RoboCob, Trigger and Henry – will be giving everyone the chance to get a feel for life in the saddle, whether at a walk, trot or canter. All those who take part will receive a goody bag with a booklet on getting started, a money box, a token for a £10 equestrian experience (short lesson or trek) and a voucher to exchange for a free pair of riding gloves when buying their first pair of jodhpurs and boots.

Those who don’t want to ride can enjoy the pleasure of being around horses by helping at their local riding stables, equine charity or equestrian event. Such opportunities will also be promoted on the tour, which will visit shopping centres, sports events and general consumer shows across England, Wales and Scotland.

“People have enjoyed a special connection with horses for thousands of years and the Take up the Reins campaign is harnessing this unique relationship to make them accessible to everyone,” said campaign coordinator Tina Hustler. “We want everyone to experience the joy that spending time with horses can bring – whether as a rider or in a less hands-on way.”

The following Take up the Reins Tour of Great Britain dates have been confirmed:

Sunday 20 March: Sport Relief Games, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
Sunday 3 April: Springtime Live, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.
Thursday 14 April: John Lewis, Trafford Centre, Manchester.
Sunday 29-Monday 30 May: Great British Pet & Country Show, Hylands House, Chelmsford.
Friday 24-Sunday 26 June: Sports Show, NEC, Birmingham.
Saturday 10 September: Great North Run Pasta Party, Newcastle.
Saturday 8-Sunday 9 October: Robin Hood Game & Country Show, Newark Showground.

For further information, visit takeupthereins.co.uk.

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