Marham Saddle Club is Riding High

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Following considerable interest within the community, RAF Marham has restarted their Saddle Club with several successful Taster Sessions. Riders of all abilities joined in these introductory group sessions which were held at Blackborough End Equestrian Centre, near East Winch.

As people strive to lead healthier lifestyles their minds invariably wander back to the days when they enjoyed an outdoor sport.

Horse riding offers a great workout for both the mind and body, physically boosting the cardiovascular system, conditioning muscles and mentally easing stresses on the mind. Although it may seem as though the rider is not engaging in any physical exercise, an hour’s activity can burn similar calories to that of a 30-minute jog or cycle ride. Furthermore, developing a relationship and sense of trust between yourself and your horse is highly rewarding. Learning to control and care for an animal much larger than yourself can have a profound affect on your confidence and is a great feeling.

The Physical Benefits of horse riding
• Improved balance and muscle strength
• Improved eye-hand coordination
• Increased range of motion of joints
• Improved respiration and circulation
• Improved coordination, faster reflexes and increased motor planning
• Stretching of tight or spastic muscles
• Stimulates the integration of all senses
• Improved distance and visual perception

Socio-emotional benefits of horse riding
• Improved self-confidence
• Improved risk-taking abilities
• Development of patience
• Emotional control and self-discipline
• Development of respect and care for animals
• More control over ones environment
• Development of respect and care for animals

The Saddle Club is open to serving members of HM Forces, NATO Forces, MoD personnel, and their dependants over the age of 16, but partners and local civilians may also be offered membership at the discression of the committee. Supported by the Royal Air Force Equitation Association (RAFEA) the aim is to promote equitation throughout the RAF and encourage participation in equestrian activities from grass roots level up to Inter Services competitions.

We provide regular riding for those without their own horse, from the complete beginner to the more experienced rider. Regular sessions are held on Tuesday evenings from 6pm and we currently have three ability groups, with a maximum of six riders in each. Blackborough End Equestrian Centre is approved by the British Horse Society offering high standards of training and tuition. The facilities are fantastic, the atmosphere is very relaxed and they have horses suitable for all ages and ability of rider.

For those with their own horse we are a point of contact for information about equestrian facilities and opportunities in the local area and within the RAF. We also hope to create opportunities to develop equine knowledge, and put forward a team to compete in the Inter Station League. The ISL is designed to encourage all members of the RAF to give horse riding a go. Anyone with a nerve to sit on a horse and tackle a riding test followed by a course of small fences can join in.

We have also recently started a Junior Saddle Club offering monthly Theory Sessions in The Sandringham Centre for ages 5-16. There will also be a Riding Taster Session on Sunday 7th July offering formal lessons and pony rides for the over 3’s.

If you would like more information about the saddle club please get in touch. OIC: Sgt Paula Warburton, Membership: Tommie Gross Email: marhamsaddleclub@gmail.com.

Upcoming Events at Marham Saddle Club
• Junior riding taster session on Sunday 7th July at Blackborough End Equestrian.
• Junior theory session on Sunday 28th July at 3pm in the Sandringham Centre.
• The Blue Cross Welfare talk on Sunday 28th July at 3pm in the Sandringham Centre – friends and family welcome.
• Adult riding sessions held fortnightly on Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm at Blackborough End Equestrian Centre.

All abilities catered for more details available from Tommie Gross marhamsaddleclub@gmail.com.