Skateboarders, surfboarders and horse riders don’t usually have much in common but horse boarding is the latest equestrian craze that’s bringing them all together. Horse boarding is a new sport in which thrill seekers are dragged along on an off-road skateboard or mountain board by a horse and its rider.
Horse boarding inventor, Daniel Fowler-Prime claims that the idea was first formed when he was playing around on a farm with his friends. Since then the sport has continued to grow in popularity and the National Horse Boarding Training Centre has been opened in Seisdon, near Wolverhampton.
Horse boarders can reach speeds of up to 35mph within just 5 strides of the horse, and Fowler-Prime is no stranger to experiencing danger having worked as a professional stunt horse rider and also founding the Extreme Horse Riding Association.
Horse boarding works with the boarder being towed along behind the horse whilst holding onto a handle that is attached to the horse by a rope no more than 10 metres long. As a discipline, horse boarding tests both the skill of the rider – who must ensure that they have full control over the horse in order to regulate its speed and direction- and the boarder who must be able to read the horses changes in speed and direction in order to stay on the board, you’ll also need to make sure your horse is fit too.
There are two competitive types of horse boarding that riders and boarders compete in as a team. The first is the Drag Race which involves two teams competing head to head along a 100 metre drag strip. The competition is run in heats with a final knockout stage to determine the winner.
The second form of competitive horse boarding is Arena Horse Boarding which requires teams of riders and boarders to skilfully negotiate a complex course of ‘gates’ whilst racing against the clock. In each event, awards are also given to the teams that achieve the fastest time and highest speed.
The National Horse Boarding Championship, organised by Horse Boarding UK, takes place each year during the summer months across a series of different locations with points awarded for the winners at each venue. There is then a final held to determine the national champions in each event.
Horse boarding is the newest equine event to be introduced for a long time and is attracting the attention of teens and young adults, breathing new life into the equestrian industry and sports events.