10 reasons why you should get your kids involved with horses

Sorry mummys and daddy, I'm afraid a beaming 10 year old might stick this blog in your face today and demand a pony....I however genuinely think my life has been shaped beautifully by being around horses.

First off, I didn't get a pony till I was 14 years old, however I've been around horses my whole life and spent most of my time not at school, at the yard doing various pony club activities/helping out.

Im sure a few people reading this who know me well are probably going to say that I'm not a well rounded person at all and actually horses have only made me more demanding...well...shhh, go away ;)

1. If you have a pony you really don't have time for boyfriends, drinking etc etc ;)

My long suffering boyfriend will be more than happy to share with you that my whole life revolves around horses, I am up early, constantly tired, and don't like to stay out late too often as I know I need to be at the yard at 6:45!! Horses have certainly made me an old lady faster than I could have been...yep its cosy evenings in front of a movie with some milky tea for me! I hope my parents can agree that despite the obvious cost of having a horse I was a very easy teen! Horses certainly kept me out of too much trouble

2. The Social Life

Horses come with an inbuilt social life, I am still firm friends with my yard girls from when I was a little tot at the yard (Big up The Wellgrove Massive). We all went to different schools and came from different walks of life but we did everything together! Sleepovers, parties, riding, festivals, you name it! Horses are a lifestyle not just a hobby...

3. Obvious one...EXERCISE

The only exercise I do is horse related and I think of myself as a very fit and active person. Its not just the riding, its the mucking out, carrying haynes and water, poo picking, walking back and forth from horse fields. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE SHUNNERS WHO SAY "All you do is sit there". Riding involves soooo many muscles and burns a hell of a lot of calories if you are doing it right. I challenge all those people to do sitting trot on a horse with no stirrups for 1 minute haha! To be honest they probably would die just trying to get their foot into the stirrup and swinging their leg over whilst Maxi jogs on the spot at the mounting block...!

4. They teach you responsibility

From ever since I can remember, before Ive gone out for the day or made plans Ive always thought about when my horse needs to be bought in/fed/exercised and how thats all going to fit in with the day, and if I can't get there I need to plan who is going to look after my horse for me. Knowing that a living thing is relying on you, instils a deep sense of responsibility.

5. They build your immune system

Im sure inadvertently eating horse poo has, somewhere along the line, aided my body...I don't even want to know what disgustingness is under my finger nails when I finish at the yard in the morning...ewwww. Being shoved in the face of bacteria does help your body develop all those good antibodies though, and I'm sure you horsey people have realised that apart from getting hypothermia in the dead of winter trying to catch some horses and mucking out with a frozen shavings fork, that you don't get ill as often as others.

6. They teach you the value of money

Maybe...I am always worrying about whether I have enough money in my account for Maxi's next set of shoes or my lesson etc, so if it comes to having to choose between the farrier and going out to dinner, the farrier always wins. They also teach you about being absolutely broke...like every single month...forever. I am no longer surprised when I have £2.80 in my account. I am incredibly lucky that my parents still aid me in paying for Maxi, however I try and make sure I am as responsible for as much of him as I can physically afford. And as above, I have never had enough money to get into things like Drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol!

7. Patience.

Oh lord do you require patience, just the other day it took me a hell of a long time to get Maxi to pick up one foot nicely for me to pick it out...he thinks everything is a game and you have to learn very quickly that getting angry isn't going to help. Horses teach you, humility, patience, love and in fact every other emotion possible. The amount of times I have been chucked off that horse and continued to get back on whilst I can see people whispering in the corner of my eye.

8. They teach you about goals and aims.

Apart from probably A Levels and University exams, I think horses were the first things that bought the idea of goals and aims into my life, I so badly wanted to go clear around a tiny jumping class or have my horse the best turned out, and not only that but it teaches you to have achievable goals, I know everyone has that dream of riding round badminton or whatever, but for most of us we know its un realistic, and we are fine with that, horses teach you about how important it is to make those small achievable goals, the ones we don't even realise we are making, for example, ' today I want to get a clean canter transition/jump 90cm/safely take my horse on the roads'. Knowing how to break your life up into little goals and aims is so so so important for future life.

9. They are the absolute best at having a cry with or telling all your secrets too.

I remember when we were younger, a horse at the yard was put down, a horse we all really loved, my best friend who also helped me exercise my horse was so so upset and went and sat in the corner of my ponies stable and just cried and cried with Mali's head in her arms. Horses never judge you and despite how they act sometimes they want to please you and make you happy. After a tough day there is nothing better than just sitting with your horse or going on a quiet hack. I can absolutely promise you this one.

10. Horses are just such stunning animals to have around, and so much fun for all the family.

Now go stroke a pony ;)

Emily x

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