To try horse­board­ing

An adren­a­line junkie’s dream, horse board­ing com­bines skill, speed and pre­ci­sion and has earned it­self the ti­tle of ‘ sixth most dan­ger­ous sport in the world’

Your Horse (UK) - - Contents - Find out more about the sport, the train­ing cen­tre and how to get in­volved at www.horse­boardinguk.org.

HORSE BOARD­ING ISN’T an old tra­di­tional sport. In fact, it was cre­ated only in 2005 by The In­de­pen­dent Horse, a com­pany of pro­fes­sional equine stunt per­form­ers. Look­ing for a new chal­lenge, com­pany founder Daniel Fowler-Prime and his friend, Matt Smith, de­cided to try tow­ing a kite­board from a horse. The pic­tures were pub­lished in the Daily Mail and from there the sport took off. The per­fect step-up for any­one who loves surf­ing or skate­board­ing, horse board­ing is a team sport in­volv­ing a boarder, a rider and a horse. The trio must work to­gether to ne­go­ti­ate a se­ries of gates and ob­sta­cles in the fastest time pos­si­ble. In the­ory, you can just use a skate­board, some rope and a level-headed horse who has pre­vi­ously towed, or been bro­ken to drive, but stay­ing on the board for any length of time re­quires lots of skill, plenty of prac­tice and some­one who doesn’t mind walk­ing around with a few bruises af­ter­wards. Horses can reach up to 56kmph, so the per­son on the board has to be com­fort­able with the speed of the sport, as well as the po­ten­tial for se­ri­ous in­jury should they fall off. The boarder (who must al­ways wear a hel­met, re­gard­less of ex­pe­ri­ence level) holds a tow han­dle and rope that’s at­tached to the horse’s sad­dle by a spe­cially de­signed sad­dle har­ness. This has a quick-re­lease sys­tem that’s eas­ily trig­gered. For those brave enough to give it a go, there’s a train­ing cen­tre at East Tyther­ton in the Wilt­shire coun­try­side. You can at­tend train­ing days there with­out hav­ing to have a har­ness or a horse. Should you get the bug for horse board­ing, then there are plenty of com­pe­ti­tions around the UK that you and your team can en­ter, but only once you’ve passed your Race As­sess­ment Test. This is put in place to en­sure that rider, boarder and horse are ex­pe­ri­enced enough as a team to com­plete a course safely.

“Stay­ing on for any length of time re­quires skill, prac­tice and some­one who doesn’t mind walk­ing around with a few bruises”

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