You could enroll in horse riding only because the sport gives you a vibe of royalty, but you’ll end up taking a lot more back in return. In today’s times, people mostly learn horse riding for racing. But you can be an exception to learn the sport just because of its bountiful of benefits.
If you’re fascinated by the bygone eras of royal life, horse riding might seem interesting to you. For centuries, horses have carried people and they’re one of the strongest animals that way. Let us find out why horse riding is just as worthy as trying any other sport.
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What are the benefits of horse riding?
People who do horseback riding professionally know how physically challenging it is. They are also the best people to tell you how it rewards your body and mind. Moreover, your interaction with the animal offers therapeutic effects. This is also a reason why people try horse riding like an experiential therapy called equine-assisted therapy.
People suffering from conditions like mental illness, autism, and substance abuse have shown positive impacts after practicing horseback riding. However, patients cannot take up the sport as an activity. For them, it is a therapy that needs the guidance of certified mental health professionals.
Benefits of horse riding
Go through the top 9 health benefits of trying traditional horseback riding and choose this activity as your regular sport:
1. Develops core strength
The strongest muscles of horse riders are their core. You need to maintain a proper posture when you’re sitting on a horse, and that eventually tones your core muscles. The exercise also works on your chest and back muscles and forces your core to stay in balance.
2. Betters coordination
Balancing on a horseback is similar to biking – the only difference is you’re on an animal and not a vehicle. You need to coordinate your movements just as you do while biking, but also synchronize it according to how the horse is taught.
Horse riding not only needs body balance but also needs you to direct the horse in the right direction. Apart from going from left to right, you need to know how to go over obstacles like fences and barrels.
3. Builds trust
If you want to become a successful horseback rider, you need to develop a reliable bond with your horse. A horse is like any other animal you wish to tame, but can also be unpredictable at times.
If a horse ever throws a rider or gets injured while riding, it takes a lot of time and effort to rebuild trust. Thus, horse riding lessons include trust-building exercises and helps you interact better with your horse.
The process helps you connect better with other animals and share a unique bond from what you share with fellow humans.
4. Exercises your mind
Rather than spending time on hobbies that don’t need brainwork, try activities that are both physically draining and mentally challenging. Horseback riding needs several mental calculations to assure that you’re on the right track.
When you learn to communicate with the horse, execute movements, and overcome hindrances, your brain stores every piece of information on the completed tasks. When you learn more, you induce your brain to store newer information and use the mix of experiences to ride. It helps you perform better with time and soon you’d know how to gallop all the way!
5. Helps you solve problems
As you grow day by day and get better at your horse riding abilities, you can learn more skills. Soon you’d find yourself take challenges like the jumping course, horse show, and trail ride.
Horse riding helps you master issues and promotes problem-solving skills. It makes you able enough to direct the horse what to do and ensure your safety. If your horse doesn’t submit to listen to directions, you’d have to learn ways to remain safe and control it further.
6. Helps you socialize better
Horse riding can broaden your social circle. You not only get to know horses and their mindset, but also bond with instructors, riders, the staff around the barn, and people who take interest in the sport.
The community of horse riders is extremely social and helps each other learn more about horses. Apart from being competitive, they realize the risk of instructing and relying on an animal. This is why the community comes together to help each other get better at the sport.
Private lessons can help you get personalized attention and allow you to work on a specific aspect. But group lessons can boost your social experience. You not only get to learn from instructors but also have peers to guide you about the sport.
7. Makes you competitive
Horseback riding opens you to many competitive activities like jumping, racing, rodeo events, dressage, and more. You need to have a variety of skills to try them all.
To train for a show, you need to set goals that help you become competitive enough to be on par with other riders. It is one of the best sport that promotes confidence and makes you feel driven.
8. Improve strength
Horse riders gradually level up their strength. Even when they’re not doing the activity, they need to be active around the stables.
From mucking out stalls to carrying tack, every bit of practice helps you strengthen and tone your muscles. Beginner horseback riders might find it difficult to lift a heavy saddle. With time, they have a better level of strength, and these tiny tasks will feel easy.
9. Boosts mental health
Horse riding promotes your mental wellness. Spending time with animals can make your mood happy as it raises serotonin levels. According to a survey taken on 1,200 horse riders, 80% of them felt more cheerful, happy, and relaxed, after practicing the sport regularly.
According to therapists, horseback riding is an extremely relaxing sport. It massages your muscles, spine, and joints. It also promotes blood circulation and boosts relaxation. No matter why you choose horse riding as an activity, it will always give you a new reason to continue.