After revealing investment plans for cycling and walking as a form of “social prescribing”, requests were addressed for equestrian activities to be integrated.
England’s Department of Transport (DfT) made an announcement stating that £12.7m funding is available for pilot projects in 11 local authorities. These projects include bike rental fees, bike training, and walking activities. In order to “examine the influence of pedaling and walking on an individual ’s wellbeing, such as decreased clinic appointments and dependency on treatment due to more outdoor activity”, the government is conducting the experiment.
Prescribing horse riding activity as a part of treatment
The pilot programs do not include horseback riding, but a representative for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) said the organization “appreciates” the financing and is “strongly motivated” to see social prescribing getting recognized. Furthermore, he mentioned that with recent new initiatives connecting individuals with nature and this most recent investment in encouraging walking and cycling for enhanced mental health and wellness, the idea is undoubtedly gaining traction in England.
Therefore, he would like to implore the government to consider adding riding in any extension of this trial initiative and to examine the advantages of RDA activities. According to one of RDA’s publications, volunteering with RDA has a variety of advantages, including reducing loneliness, enhancing mental and physical health, and gaining skills and competencies.
Working with horses can be a positive contribution and a fantastic means of connecting people with their community, according to Alison Blackmore, director of the Changing Lives through Horses program by British Horse Society. Horses make the ideal companions because they don’t pass judgment, and they also give people the chance to improve their physical and mental health.
Although the social prescribing trials only apply to walking and bicycling, DfT official said that the department continues to encourage horseback riding.
Source: Horse & Hound