For us equestrians, health and horses go hand in hand, or should we say hoof in hand! We may not have come out of the other side of the coronavirus pandemic just yet, but we’ve certainly come far enough to look back and appreciate just how beneficial our four legged friends have been. Nurturing both our physical and mental wellbeing, they’ve been a shoulder to cry on, a pair of ears to listen to our troubles and a source of structure to our days, helping us through what has undoubtedly been one of the toughest times in living memory. With all this in mind, we’re very proud to announce that we are supporting the Horses4Health Relay Ride!
What is the Horses4Health Relay?
In celebration and appreciation of our horses, this relay will see equestrians of all ages, from 11 different regions across the country pull together to ride, carriage drive, cycle, walk or even long-rein , raising money for good causes.
There’s no set distance or route, so you can tailor your plans to suit you and your horse! Organised events are being held by local Horses4Health co-ordinators in many regions. All registered participants will be able to attend these, but you don’t have to! You can complete your ride alone, with friends or with others from your yard. More than just a hack, you can even take part in local fun rides, join a drag hunt or brave a cross country farm ride. The options are endless! All you need to do is keep track of your activities. Log into your account and add a few details including how, what, when, where and what distance you’ve covered.
Participants from each area have a time slot of two weeks. The ‘baton’ is then passed over to the next region.
Sponsorship and donations will go towards funding fantastic charities:
HorseWorld is a charity dedicated to saving the lives of abandoned, neglected and mistreated horses, ponies and donkeys. They care for more than 100 equines at their Bristol site and provide after-care and support for around 200 more, re-homed throughout the South-West. They also run an innovative Discovery educational programme, helping young people with self-growth, confidence and concentration issues.
Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Redwings Horse Sanctuary has been rescuing horses in need for over 30 years. They believe every horse, pony, donkey and mule has the right to a happy and healthy life, free of fear and neglect. Rescuing abandoned, mistreated and neglected horses and donkeys from across the UK, they give them a safe place to live and provide essential veterinary treatment, rehabilitation and lifelong care.
The majority of their residents are unlikely to be rehomed, due to their challenging needs, a result of the neglect they have suffered. So, Redwings provide permanent specialised sanctuary care to more than 1,500 equines.
Hope Pastures is a small independent equine rescue. They believe every equine deserves a life worth living, whether as a ridden, working or companion animal. The equines in their care are treated with respect and love and maintain their emotional and physical health and well being.
Hope Pastures rely solely on donations, legacies and the on site events that they run to raise funds. Every penny goes towards ensuring the charity provides for the equines in their care.
HorseBack UK is an Aberdeenshire based charity, originally set up with the aim of taking wounded servicemen and women and introducing them to horses. Growing rapidly, they now also have a Schools Development Programme and work with the Aberdeenshire Councils Substance Misuse Department.
Just a few of the areas which can be helped during their courses include addiction, anger, anxiety, autism, behavioural problems, confidence, depression, eating disorders, relationship issues and PTSD.
The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) benefits the lives of over 25,000 disabled children and adults. Through exciting activities like riding and carriage driving, they provide therapy, fitness, skills development and opportunities for achievement. This is all thanks to 18,000 volunteers and qualified coaches, at nearly 500 RDA centres across the UK.
RDA is an inclusive and diverse organisation. They welcome clients with physical and learning disabilities and autism, with there are no age restrictions.
Bransby Horses rescues equines, rehabilitates them, gives them sanctuary care and offers equine advice and support to owners.
Unfortunately, even today cruelty, neglect and abandonment still happens. This means that the need for equine welfare charities such as Bransby Horses is as present now as ever before. Their site in Lincolnshire has experienced staff who can investigate welfare concerns and they work with local authority inspectors and the RSPCA to address serious cases that may lead to legal action.
North Wales Horse Watch
Established in 2010 after the founder Helen Lacey was a victim of equine related crime, North Wales Horse Watch has a team of 12 volunteers including three trustees which cover the six counties of North Wales and neighbouring villages of Powys, Cheshire and West Mercia.
They take a hands-on approach to education crime prevention, animal welfare, legislation and safety.
North Wales Horse Watch is in partnership with North Wales Police, working closely with field officers from World Horse Welfare, RSPCA and local equine charities and rescues.
Raising not only money but awareness too, it highlights three key issues close to all of our hearts:
Mental Health and Wellbeing: We all know that horses are hard work! They can have a hugely positive impact on our physical health. But perhaps more relevant now than ever before, they can also be a massive boost for our mental wellbeing! Take a look at the benefits!
Safety: Safety on the road for vulnerable users like riders, carriage drivers, walkers and cyclists is one of the key areas that The Horses4Health Relay is working to raise awareness for. Unfortunately, as equestrians many of us have had some hair raising experiences while out and about. But it shouldn’t be this way! Improving this is all about raising awareness and promoting proper education for all road users.
Welfare: As equine enthusiasts, the idea that some horses are subjected to neglect and even abuse, is soul destroying! Thankfully though, there are lots of outstanding charities out there. Working tirelessly, they support equines in their time of need, providing much needed care, attention and affection! Giving back, the Horses4Health Relay is aiming to raise lots of money to support these organisations so they can keep doing their incredible work.
Get Involved In The Horses4Health Relay
The Horses4Health Relay is now in progress, moving it’s way around the country. Take a look!
Has the Horses4Health relay reached your area yet? If not, there’s still time!
Registration for the Horses4Health Relay is quick and easy, simply fill out a few details on the website. There’s a small fee for entering, this covers the cost of your membership pack, which will include a branded hi-viz tabard and a rosette for taking part. Riders, carriage drivers and in-hand walkers/long-reiners will also receive some fantastic vouchers and an SOS contact tag. Prices are as follows:
- Riders and carriage drivers £15 per entrant.
- Under 18 years old riders and carriage drivers £10 per entrant.
- In-hand walkers / long-reiners and cyclists £10 per entrant.
- Pedestrians £8 per entrant.
If you can’t take part, don’t worry! You can still support the charities above by donating as little or as much as you’d like. Click the link below to visit their Sponsor Me page!
It’s A Win-win!
We all want to raise as much money as possible, right? Of course we do! The question is… Have you got a competitive streak? Find out how you can do your bit and maybe even get your hands on a Naylors gift card.
The First person to raise each of the following amounts will receive:
- £250 receives £25 Naylors Gift Card
- £500 receives £50 Naylors Gift Card
- £1000 receives £100 Naylors Gift Card
Don’t be a dark horse…
Will you be taking part to have fun and raise funds? Don’t forget to share your achievement! Take some pictures of your outing and post them on social media including #NaylorsSnapAndShare and #greathorses4healthrelay. We can’t wait to see!