New decade, new opportunities to shine so it’s time to stop being afraid of what can go wrong and start getting excited about what can go right.

Certainly that is how we feel in BHS Scotland where our new year’s resolution is to try and do less but better, with strategic delivery.

Our first CPD is exciting – ‘Extending what horses have to offer – A look at equine facilitated learning’ with Jennifer Dixon-Clegg, on Monday, January 20, 10am to 4pm at Valentin’s Education Farm, at Dumfries House.

Jennifer was formerly director of the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy and vice-president of Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI). The programme will focus on what equines bring to people and explore equine facilitated learning.

We are hoping to get more coaches and centres offering our 'Changing lives through Horses' (CLTH) programme which aims to improve the lives of young people who, for various reasons, are disengaged and at risk of becoming excluded from education or are disadvantaged in some way.

Using horses as the inspiration for change, the programme provides an alternative learning environment to mainstream education. The skills developed through the programme meet the requirements of on-going education and training for employers and participants.

Working to develop six key life skills through equestrian activity: Communication, Confidence, Relationships, Teamwork, Responsibility and Personal Achievement, CLTH can be delivered through the BHS Achievement Awards which offer both stable management and riding awards.

We also have the BHS Achieve Skills activities that can be carried out in the wider equestrian environment, such as wildlife awareness, photography or even ‘fix it’ awards. So we see how the BHS is widening its repertoire.

For riders this year among our Ride Out UK (ROUK) offer BHS Scotland will hold two new self-guided rides in each of our beautiful national parks with routes of various lengths on offer.

On May 31 we will explore the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, from the Drymen showground on tracks through oak forest and glen, with great views of Great Britain’s largest inland water expanse in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Then, on August 15 we head to the Cairngorms National Park from Highland Horse Fun for the purple heather; this time in the hills around Kingussie, with routes including the Speyside way and a close up of the Ruthven Barracks.

ROUK rides will also take place at Pollok Park (April 26), Balmoral (May 23), Dumfries House (March 1), Culzean Castle (May 10), as well as regional ones organised by our committees. All bookings via

Sadly, over the festive season we had reports of riders experiencing both dog attacks and accidents with mountain bikes. The BHS is working hard in Scotland to prevent both occurrences with education and policy in partnership with other organisations.

It is very important that riders report any incidences to

By collecting statistics, we strengthen our arms in trying to prevent such horrible accidents in the future. So lots to do and work for as we all step fearlessly into the 20s.