Horseback riding is a very healthy activity for children and adults, the great outdoors, exercise and all that – but exactly how is it good for you? Well it’s even better than you think, because not only is it physically good for you, but it also does a whole lot for your mentally as well. Here’s how:
Physical ways horse riding is good for you
1.Horseback riding gives you a ‘fit’ body Horseback riding gets you into shape physically. You are never still for a moment and even in the more gentle times, maintaining the correct posture is yoga like in its benefits, and we all know how good yoga is for you. You can burn 220 calories by mucking out for half an hour! And that’s even before you’ve got on the horse. When you are on the horse itself you are building up your core muscles so horse riding is a great way to tone up your body. 360 calories av. calories burnt schooling a horse for one hour
2. Horse riding is good for your heart Alongside toning up your muscles, riding is a great aeobic workout as well. A Horse riding Cardiovascular workout is better than anything you can get down at the gym with the added bonus of spending time out in the fresh air and countryside.
3. Horseback riding improves balance and posture The constant movement and the ever changing gait of the horse make horse riding an excellent way to improve balance and posture, you will walk, move and even sit more gracefully after some riding practice, and how can that not make you feel and look good?
4. It’s good for your joints Unlike other aerobic and resistance exercises ( and what else can you think of that does both at the same time) horse riding is a low impact activity on your joints, so your body won’t take a hammering like when running, cycling or down the gym.
5. Improves coordination Your coordination will improve no end when you horseback ride regularly, as you master the subtle art of controlling a horse so will notice a positive effect in other areas of your life, so perhaps drummers and dancers ought to get riding!
6. Improved perception of space As you learn to guide your mount, your awareness of your surroundings will heighten which will help in many areas of your life, for example driving and negotiating bust streets and crowded areas. 7. Better immune system Pet owners in general are healthier than non-pet owners, part good old fashioned fresh air, and part surviving hanging around dirty stables!
The psychological benefits of horseback riding
8. Great social activity We are social animals and many people find that the friendships and interactions made whilst horse riding some of the best of times. Who doesn’t benefit from having positive social interactions and the love of lifelong friends?
9. increased self confidence As you master the challenge of horse riding and achieve more and more then you realise how skillful you are, and how you can perform difficult tasks and learn new skills with ease, and apply this self awareness to other areas of your life to great effect.
10. Sense of responsibility is good for children and adults Taking care of an animal that depends on you for its wellbeing engenders an acute sense of responsibility. ”Once the children get involved with animals, they view each other more positively and work together better.” By caring for an animal your life has more meaning and sense of belonging, and by controlling the horse’s life so a greater sense of having control of your own life grows in you.
11. Improved coordination Improved coordination is a great benefit – from tying your laces to hitting a golf ball down the fairway, improved coordination will speed up your life and make it so much easier and satisfying.
12. improved visual perception of space Ever struggled to park the car or get a settee through a door – with a heightened perception of space due to your horse riding experiences you will find your self to be a better judge of people and objects around you, even at speed. This is one of the many elements that add up to ‘improved self confidence’. When you devote less time to worrying about little inadequacies you may have, you are a more positive and capable human being. I guess that means that horse riding:
13. Reduces your stress levels and helps beat depression Not only are you living a fuller and easier life, but the when you pet an animal your blood pressure goes down, and your body releases relaxation hormones whilst cutting down on stress hormones. Horseback riding is a fun and mentally stimulating activity that can benefit anyone – young or old, male or female. Conclusion: Horseback riding makes you happy!