Herts horse diary: riding out

Bridleways need to be used and celebrated, says the BHS (Photo: Graham Scambler)

Bridleways need to be used and celebrated, says the BHS (Photo: Graham Scambler) - Credit: Archant

Love to saddle up and explore? Then take part in Ride Out Week and celebrate and help to protect Herts’ bridleways, says the British Horse Society

Riding out on a beautiful late-spring morning to enjoy a quiet off-road route with your horse is a magical experience. Hertfordshire offers miles of horse-friendly tracks and the British Horse Society is encouraging the county’s horse riders to go out and explore them on Ride Out UK Week from May 28-June 5.

Formerly known as Access Week, the initiative aims to encourage equestrians to celebrate the access their local area has to offer, explore new places, and engage and raise awareness in the community of the needs of horse riders. Ride Out UK Week is exactly what it says it is. To get out, ride local routes and spread the word about the importance of having safe off-road places to ride and carriage drive.

The week will be run in conjunction with fundraising partner Bridleway Equestrian, which will be promoting the initiative in more than 65 retail stores, handing out free maps compiled by BHS volunteers and raising funds for the society’s Paths for Communities Fund.

The fund supports projects throughout the UK, creating, repairing or restoring bridleways, byways and multi-user routes for horse riders and carriage drivers. The BHS is also partnering with Hoof, a British Equestrian Federation project, which aims to increase participation in all aspects of equestrian sport.

To take part in Ride Out Week, you can go out on your own off-road ride, join an event organised by the BHS or hold a fundraiser for the Paths for Communities fund. Information for all these can be found on the BHS website bhs.org.uk/rideoutukweek and you can visit the Hertfordshire section to see what’s going on during the week near you.

The BHS has a team of headquarter staff, volunteers and equestrian-access groups who are dedicated to defending, extending and promoting the off-road network and they will be working hard throughout Ride Out UK Week and beyond to ensure that all routes are protected for future generations.

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The event is also a reminder that there is only 10 years to go before many public rights of way could be lost under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. To find out more about how this could affect routes in your area and what you can do to protect them, visit bhs.org.uk

May 28-June 5

Ride Out Week - Check bhs.org.uk/rideoutukweek for updates