Riders speak out as bullying affects three in four people in the horse world

  • We must come together as bullying has no place in equestrianism.

    This is the message in response to research that found 76% of people in the industry have been bullied – and 85% have witnessed it.

    Mental health charity Riders Minds has released the results of its survey in conjunction with anti-bullying week (13-17 November). The theme of the week this year is “Make a noise about bullying”.

    “The results of the recent survey are staggering, to see around 80% of people having experienced or witnessed bullying within an equestrian-related environment is a bitter pill for the industry to swallow,” said Riders Minds founder and chair Victoria Wright.

    “With the launch of our anti-bullying campaign, we hope to target the issues physically or over the internet, by creating a movement that the industry can follow.”

    In response to the research findings, Riders Minds has created a resource on its website including information on what bullying is, advice on what to do if you or someone else is being bullied, and support for anyone affected.

    Visit the Riders Minds anti-bullying page

    Mental health coach and Riders Minds consultant Sylvia Bruce said: “The effect of bullying on mental health is more far-reaching than many realise.

    “It’s not only the direct effect on the bullied, who can experience emotional, physical, physiological thoughts and behavioural change, often with devastating effects including suicide, but also the ripple effect on those loved ones supporting the person being bullied, the witnesses, those handling bullying cases, and even the equines if the bullied person’s behaviour and responses change.

    “We must come together – bullying has no place in equestrianism.”

    Mrs Wright added that as “people need mental health support more than ever”, Riders Minds has extended its services. Equestrians can benefit from instant online counselling support, one-to-one sessions and the continuation of the 24/7 helpline.

    “We are proud to be one of the few mental health charities to be able to offer this service,” she said.

    Visit the Riders Minds website, call 0300 1021540, or text 07860 065202

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