Participant achieving goals at a Hoof Centre

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A 52 year-old grass roots rider from Liverpool has achieved his goal of competing in a showjumping class just less than a year after having his first riding lesson as a birthday present.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Philip Hayes from Formby, Merseyside, has always been sporty and is a regular skier and keen road cyclist competing in RideLondon and the Manchester100.

In September 2015, his wife bought him a taster riding lesson as both her and his sister were horse riders and saw this as something that he would enjoy. Following his first lesson, Phil booked further lessons as he continued to find out how enjoyable horse riding could be.

One of his dreams was to ride along a beach which he was able to do after he had become a more competent rider and thanks to the help from the staff at New Hill House he was able to do this by Easter 2016.

Pushing himself further, Phil set himself another goal. Having always been interested in showjumping, he challenged himself to enter a beginners clear round jumping competition as part of the riding school’s annual show. Despite having a refusal at the first fence, Phil regrouped and went on to a complete a clear round.

Phil has become a regular weekly rider at New Hill House and as a result is much more confident around horses and has developed his knowledge of the technical side of riding, such as the rhythm, suppleness and balance of the horse. In a particularly female dominated industry at grass roots level, Phil has enjoyed being an advocate for male riders.

Phil helped out at New Hill Houses ‘Give Horses A Go’ event back in September as part of National Give Horses a Go Weekend, an initiative run by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) which sees riding centres, horse charities and equestrian events offer everyone the chance to get up close and personal with horses. Phil enjoyed encouraging male participants to get on board and give horse riding a go.

“I find horse riding is a fantastic sport to do as you don’t have to worry about the day to day things we all worry about and it is a great escapism from the daily stresses we all endure,” explained Phil.

“Whether I’m on a gentle hack, a gallop on the beach or attempting a combination jump you will never take away the smile on my face that says ‘I’m enjoying this.’”

“Yes I have much to learn but horse riding has made feel young again and I would recommend it to anyone young or old, male or female - just give it a go. Life is too short”

To find out how you can get into horse riding, click here and take a look at our beginners guide for advice on what to expect from your first lesson.