Securing a continued interest in leisure riding among a broad base of leisure riders is of paramount importance for the future of both breeding and competing at professional level.
The Icelandic horse is ideal for leisure riding thanks to its physical and mental characteristics and the culture around the Icelandic horse world.
At the FEIF conference in Malmö 2012 it was expressed very precisely by Sigurbjörn Bárðarson, who made a point of stating that professional horse men should be careful not to make riding too complicated for common people.
The fact that riding is a source of joy and fun should be remembered and respected.
It is a common understanding that active work is required to continuously preserve and protect riders access to nature. The opportunity of enjoying wildlife, changing landscapes and the turn of seasons from horseback is not a given. However, it is of paramount importance as it in itself attracts interest to riding.
In the future work the harmonious companionship between horse and man should be stressed. More emphasis should be put on the benefits riding creates for riders, including people having special needs. It should be part of the communication about leisure riding that riding is joyful for all genders, races, ages and abilities - but also, that good and harmonious riding at the same time is essential.
Initially the work related to leisure riding during 2012 and 2013 will be aimed at establishing a small committee coordinating the work. This group will focus on:
- Establishing an international network of volunteers from the member organizations of FEIF, who are interested in working with leisure riding on national and international level.
- Establish an overview of the legal framework for leisure riding and in particular access to nature in the relevant member countries.
- Establish an overview of other organizations that FEIF should seek a dialogue or cooperation with in relation to leisure riding.
- FEIF taking part - in cooperation with IPZV - in the organization of a big relay ride in 2013 - with the goal to bring 1000 horses to Berlin - and ride through Brandenburger Tor.
- The board of FEIF will decide upon how to use the FEIF-logo related to Leisure Riding.
- Establish how the work relating to leisure riding can be integrated with the work going on in the other committees of FEIF.