ABOUT RIDERS MINDS
Currently, there are 19 million riders in the UK. Given 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives, a large proportion of riders at some point will experience a mental health problem, whether directly or indirectly.
WHAT IS RIDERS MINDS?
Riders Minds is a bespoke, comprehensive, freely available, online resource dedicated to supporting and improving the mental health of all equestrian people.
To remove the stigma of speaking out by raising mental health awareness, understanding, and confidence amongst all equestrians.
The community will benefit by being able to speak up more freely about their own mental health. There will be more of a compassionate approach throughout the equestrian community. The general public and communities beyond the equestrian community should also benefit from the ripple effect of equestrians’ improved mental health awareness and confidence.
To provide guidance, support, and help by creating Riders Minds: an extensive, user-friendly, online mental health and well-being resource.
This free to all website will:
- Equip individuals with skills for good mental health, managing life’s ups and downs, and enjoy a more successful, healthy and happier life, and enjoyment of equestrian passions.
- Offer equestrians opportunities to connect with others, share and read inspirational stories and ‘top tips’.
To provide and host a Riders Minds helpline that is accessible to all equestrian people.
The equestrian community will benefit by having 24 hour confidential access to trained counsellors on the Riders Minds helpline and web chat service.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
Riders Minds was formed in 2019, the brainchild of 5* event rider Matt Wright and his wife Victoria, Director of Caunton Manor Stud. Matt openly shared his mental ill-health struggles, regularly blogging about his experiences to raise mental health awareness and understanding.
His courageous openness encouraged other riders to come forward and Victoria and Matt quickly recognised the need for a resource of some kind, that could offer mental health and well-being support, guidance and information for all riders.
Matt, Victoria and Lucy Katan, CEO of the British Grooms Association and Equestrian Employers Association met. Their collective eureka moment inspired the creation and formation of Riders Minds.
In February 2022 Riders Minds was awarded charitable status by the Charity Commission for England and Wales.
Whether for maintaining good mental health, supporting those struggling with equestrian industry related stresses, competitive pressures or those who take up horse riding as a form of escapism, pleasure, for their mental health, or those struggling with mental health issues, we wanted to create a ‘go-to’ resource for all horse riders”Victoria Wright
WHO CAN BENEFIT?
Riders Minds is freely available and open to all equestrians.
- To reach out to all equestrians.
- Strive to remove the stigma of speaking up, out, or about mental health matters amongst equestrians.
- Promote mental health for more successful, healthy, happier, and enjoyable equestrian experiences.
- Work tirelessly and relentlessly so that all equestrians experiencing a mental health problem are both heard and have appropriate support.
- Support any equestrian experiencing mental health problems.
- Improved mental health; reduced suicide rate of equestrians.
- For equestrians to become better informed, equipped, and enabled in mental health matters.
- Strive for mental health confident equestrians.
- To become and be recognised as equestrians’ mental health matters ‘go-to’ resource.
- Grow its reputation and secure a prominent place in the equestrian sector.
- To save lives.
- Equestrians’ suicide rates are too high. Some have fallen victim to pressures, bullying and problems within the equestrian industry, whilst others, who often use riding as escapism/pleasure, to struggles in their personal life.
- Conscious of the UK’s overall suicide rates, Riders Minds is passionately committed to playing its part to save lives in the equestrian industry.
Riders Minds is a signatory of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.
Created by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the Professional Players Federation and Mind the vision for The Mental Health Charter is to embed mental health within sport and recreation to create a culture shift that removes the stigma around mental health.
Riders Minds is also a member of the Zero Suicide Alliance.