Benefits of Horse Riding
To the casual observer it may look like all the rider has to do is just sit there. The horse does all the work, well anyone who has ridden a horse will know how wrong that is. There is far more to riding a horse than one might expect. The benefits of horse riding are immense enjoyment, physically and mental fitness.
Horse riding develops balance and improve coordination and motor function. Other advantages include strengthening of muscles, reflex acceleration, prevention of muscle cramps, increased joint mobility, boosting the cardiovascular system , improving blood circulation, stimulation of sensory integration, improved visual perception of space, the development of responsibility, patience and self-discipline, increasing self-confidence.
Riding a horse at a walk stimulates the internal organs just as walking on foot does. This aids in liver function and digestion. You will be burning calories at the rate of 5 calories per minute for a 10 ½ stone woman. Increasing the speed and ride duration will increase the intensity of your work out and burn more calories.
As you groom, clean stables, carry saddles, equipment or bales of hay you are also doing weight-bearing exercise that helps maintain bone mass. Although riding, grooming and mucking is good exercise, many riders find it beneficial to lift weights and do core strength training such as yoga and Pilates.
Horse riding is an enjoyable hobby and sport for adults and children alike.Children can learn the responsibility of caring for an animal. Learning to control and care for an animal much larger than yourself can have a profound affect on your confidence and is a great feeling. Riding is a great way to get out and see the surrounding countryside bringing the rider closer to nature. Simply being outdoors and enjoying the countryside will boost your general well being and act as a great stress buster. There is a real sense of exhalation and freedom when you ride, a feeling that is second to none.
At first you may feel that just learning to stay on and steer the horse is a challenge. When that becomes easy many more learning opportunities present themselves. As you progress with riding and horse ownership you will always have questions and problems. Even the most experienced equestrian would admit there is always something new to learn. Research has shown that lifelong learning may prevent memory loss. Just like your muscles your brain needs exercise to keep young and supple. Riding provides an active avenue for keeping your brain exercised. Riding can provide many opportunities for success. Whether you learn to rise the trot or receive high marks in a barrel race, you’ll feel good about what you are doing.
For many a horse is a connection with nature whether they ride in the arena or on a trail. Many people find companionship and solace while working with their horse. Although riding can present its frustrations and challenges most people find it a relaxing pastime. The camaraderie of people who enjoy similar activities is also appealing. It’s fun to get together with friends for a lesson, trail rides or visiting local equestrian competitions.
If you crave solitude, horse riding can provide that as well. Many horse owners feel their horse is somewhat of a kindred spirit in tune with their own feelings and emotions; more so than any human companion. In times of stress a horse can be a quiet friend, who is without judgement.
Horses make humans healthier!
©2020 Donegal Equestrian Centre