A social and training programme for young people, Young Equestrians was launched at The Pony Club Championships in August and aims to provide 13-18 year olds with the opportunity to connect and re-engage with equestrian sport through a fun and informal hub offered at local riding schools.
The Young Equestrians group at Turbury Equisport is coordinated by riding instructor Natalie Sweeney, who welcomed the initial six participants on Saturday starting with few ‘ice breakers’ followed by a 45 minute ridden sessions and then some learning towards the British Horse Society’s (BHS) Riding School Assistant qualification.
“Our first Young Equestrians session went very well, and we spent quite a lot of time just helping those involved to get to know one another” commented Natalie. “Young Equestrians provides the perfect stepping stone for those who are feeling a little too old for Pony Club activities but are not yet adults either and I am hoping to find a good group of teens who I can really coach into their next stage of the equestrian world”.
Participants can log their sessions at www.youngequestrians.club, where they can record their activities and achievements as well as access training materials offered by The Pony Club.
Originally developed by Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) participation programme, the Young Equestrians scheme is being delivered through The Pony Club and will target riding schools across England. Thanks to Sport England funding, Young Equestrians will provide participants with more choice and freedom in how they take part in equestrianism, as well as providing a focus on skill development.
Riding schools who deliver the programme will be given access to virtual tools to help them establish their Young Equestrians club that include example session plans, marketing materials and a host of different ideas on how to retain teenagers in equestrian sport.
If you are a riding school or young person and want more information on how to get involved in the programme please visit www.youngequestrians.club.