The project will help centres and clients develop an informal community through their yard
What is the Participation Project?
This new project is aimed at getting more people involved in equestrianism as well as helping those already enjoying their passion to gain further in depth knowledge, confidence and skills as well as qualifications to enable them to enjoy riding to the full.
Following a successful pilot at eight BHS Approved Centres in 2015, the project has now officially been launched. In conjunction with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), Hoof and Sport England, the project is being rolled out on a national scale with the aim of getting 4,000 people involved by spring 2016.
By taking part in the Participation Project horse owners, enthusiasts and centres can develop an informal community with access to a network of advice, knowledge and education, as well as creating more social opportunities for horsy people.
During the pilot scheme, instructor Keith Richards BHSI said: “I found it a rewarding experience. The participants really engaged in conversation and learned a lot about how their yard was run when they were not there.
“The courses allowed them to build confidence in taking their own initiative and really built up a group mentality, too. It was good to use what was quite a social event into something which is essentially improving the welfare of horses.”
Who can take part?
Although the scheme is mainly aimed at people aged 26 years and up, it’s open to anyone of any age who wants to get more involved in equestrianism and gain a qualification at the same time. Livery Yards, Riding Centres, Registered Instructors, BHS/BRC Committees and Clubs can offer training and qualifications to their clients/members/volunteers as part of this project.
This is aimed at supporting the transition to horse ownership as well as giving confidence to existing horse owners to continue their enjoyment and education for longer.
You don't need fancy facilities to take part!
New for 2015 is the BHS Essential Horse Knowledge Certificate (EHKC), aimed at the first-time horse owner, carer, parents of horse riders, potential horse owners – or anyone interested in the care and welfare of horses.
The qualification is care-based and delivered in a classroom-style environment (like a village hall, pub or just your tack room!) so you don’t need to have your own horse or even be at a yard to complete this – perfect for clubs and committees to organise, as well as BHS Approved Centres.
What’s in it for me?
Once you get started, and you’ll find yourself enjoying and getting more from your passion – plus the education and knowledge provided will give your confidence a boost and help you support horse welfare.
All centres, clubs, committees and organisers will receive a free toolkit with books, stationery and full support from our BHS Participation Project Managers, and all participants will receive a pack with stationery, notes and goodies when they sign up. It’s a fantastic way to help build a more social environment and community.
How can I get involved?
If you’re an owner/rider, parent of a rider or horse enthusiast, please contact your local centre BHS Approved Centre, British Riding Club or BHS Committee. Encourage them to get involved if they haven’t already signed up!
If you’re a proprietor, committee or club, find out more about signing up and getting started with this fantastic new scheme in England or in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.