31-year old stunt rider Daniel Fowler-Prime invented this sport in 2006 after messing about on a farm with friends. “There’s a raw surge of natural power that you wouldn’t get from any other sport,” he said. “The acceleration is explosive and a lot of skill is involved. You have to be prepared to take a few knocks because falling off has been compared to getting out of a car at 30mph.”
A horse can pull a boarder along at speeds of up to 56kph (35mph). So, apart from the horse, all you need is a rope and a mountain board. The horse-rider and boarder have to work together because if they don’t the boarder goes flying.
The sport has become so popular in England that Fowler-Prime has opened a training centre, the National Horse Boarding Training Centre at Seisdon, near Wolverhampton, and Britain’s first championships are to be held there later this year.
Is it possible, however, that this sport originally began in Australia? Nothing more boring for kitesurfers to have no wind so they looked around for an alternative source of power? and an eco-one at that!
However, Fowler-Prime, also founder of the Extreme Horse Riding Association, has experimented with horse surfing too. As he said, “I have always been a skate boarder, and later a surfer, and working in the field with horses it was just a matter of time before I put the two together. For me it beats being dragged by a car because horses can be unpredictable and they get excited when they know they’ll get to run.”
Rest assured, the horses aren’t hurt or traumatised by the experience. “Horses generally take to it very easily and normally it only takes a couple of hours to get them used to it. Any horse can take part. It’s not always the fast horse who wins…”
As one horseboarder says: “It’s awesome fun, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!!”