Shibden and District Bridleways Association was formed by Paula Ware on 25 November 1986. At the first meeting it was agreed to start a Bridleways Group, affiliated to the British Horse Society, with the aims of promoting and preserving our local bridleways network.
Over the years the Association has held a variety of events from Treasure Hunts and Quizzes to talks and lectures, not forgetting the many working parties to clear, improve and maintain bridleways. Some of the more longstanding members may remember the Superteam competition which involved one horse, one rider and one non-rider. A showing and showjumping competition was the test for the horse and rider, whilst the non rider took part in swimming and Handy Pony - without the horse! For many years the Association held a Boxing Day ride, which at times had over 60 horses and riders taking part. Unfortunately due to the ever increasing traffic on our roads and the large numbers taking part it was decided to cease this event on safety grounds. However, Treasure Hunts around the local
area continue to be very popular and are usually held on an annual basis.
The Association has also worked very hard at maintaining and extending our network of bridleways. Several blocked bridleways have been successfully reopened and some upgrading of footpaths to bridleways has taken place-- most notably the Magna Via at Southowram, which was the original packhorse route into Halifax. Working parties are another way that the Association aims to preserve and improve our bridleways. Over the years many of these have been held--some in appalling weather conditions--but all with a successful outcome. Cutting back overgrown vegetation, trimming trees and moving loose stones from underfoot are all aspects of these parties and a social drink usually follows. The cost of these parties is relatively cheap-- usually a few scratches and splinters in volunteer's fingers!.
As we progress in the 21st century the Association retains a dedicated group of members who are much appreciated and it continues to lobby the council for upgrading and improvement of our bridleways network.