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’
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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