Having a horse can mean a lot of things: keeping fit, learning responsibilities, and having a friend for life, but if you’re looking for something new to do with your equine friend, there are a number of options available to you.

Take a look at our picks of activities centred around horses: watching, riding, whatever takes your fancy.

Off to the races

Watching horse racing is a very fancy affair where one hopes to run into the Queen. Everyone checks the betting odds online and digs out their fanciest suit or most elaborate hat to head to the races for an afternoon of good food and betting. There are also events throughout the day like jockey meet-and-greets and live music and giveaways.

If you don’t fancy watching, you can always get involved in racing. There are events held year-round near you or just a simple Google search away. All you need is a love of horses, a competitive spirit and a high fitness level to really challenge you.

Horse riding

If your little one loves horses, consider signing them up for some horse riding lessons. Horse riding will get you a lot of fresh air and improve your fitness. It is not only a physical exercise but a mental one, since it requires a good amount of focus and awareness. Horse riding can also open up a lot of social possibilities as you might meet people with similar interests at classes or events and it will teach little ones respect, teamwork and dedication, as well as responsibility.

Horse riding also has a mental health perk: spending time with any animal will decrease stress levels by lowering your blood pressure and stress hormone levels, but can you imagine a peaceful brushing session with your best friend?

Equestrian sports

If you’d like to take your horse into sports, there are loads of options ‒ more than most sports would offer. Getting into equestrian sports offers all the perks listed above of horse riding, with a competitive edge to keep you engaged – and let you take home a trophy.

Show jumping requires the horse and rider to complete an obstacle course filled with uprights, spreads, or a combination of jumps in doubles or trebles. It is designed to test your horse’s agility, scope, and carefulness. As for you, show jumping will test the riders on how to judge the correct speed and line and if you know how to control your horse.

Polo is one of the oldest known team sports. Developed in India as a training game for cavalry units, polo sees two teams of four riders compete to score goals by knocking a small ball with a long mallet – all on horseback.

Or head to the rodeo to try barrel racing. Horse and rider must navigate three barrels in a cloverleaf-type pattern in as fast a time as possible.


The perks of just being around a horse are impressive. If you need to relax, a grooming session with your horse can be quite peaceful: a simple activity that uses enough physical and brain power to distract but not stress. Enjoy some bonding time by taking a stroll with your horse, rather than riding them, or let them play in the water.

You can also try and train your horse to do a few tricks, like dancing or painting, or to stand on a pedestal. They kiss, they hug, they bow, they twirl. Horses are very intelligent creatures and you’d be amazed at what they will attempt.

But don’t forget to look after yourself while you are bonding with your horse.