A safer way to ride in Farnley

A safer way to ride at Farnley Estates

Around 1.3 million people in the UK regularly take part in horse riding. It’s an enjoyable way to keep fit and, according to studies, can improve mental health and wellbeing, but it’s not without risk.

In this area, the lack of joined up bridleways mean that riders are often forced to use local roads. According to the British Horse Society (BHS) there have been more than 2,000 accidents involving horses on UK roads reported since 2010. Perhaps more worryingly, almost 1 in 10 resulted in a fatality.

Farnley Estates’ Off-road Horse Ride is one of the only off-road events in the area, the closest comparable ride being Escrick Park near York. It’s one of the reasons that Farnley Estates’ ride is increasing in popularity. Over the past three years the number of riders attending the ride has risen almost three-fold. Paul Sykes, Farnley Estates Director said:

“There are only two short bridleways on the Estate, so each month during the summer, we open up seven miles of our land for our off-road horse ride. It gives riders the opportunity to trek through woodland and parkland, and even test their skills on our optional jumps. We used to have around 60 people attend the event but now the rides regularly attract around 160 riders.”

Weather permitting, the horse rides take place on the last Saturday of each month from April to September, inclusive. Membership is not required so riders can turn up, with their horse and safety equipment on the day, and set out any time between 8.30am and 1.30pm. This helps to prevent the route from becoming congested no matter how many riders take part.

“The Off-road Horse Rides are all about providing permissive access so that more people can enjoy our land for health and recreational purposes. Giving people a reason to get out and about in the countryside is something that we’d like to do more of through the creation of Farnley Country Park,” added Paul.

For more information about Farnley Estates’ Off-road Horse Rides visit www.farnleyestates.co.uk/ride