Benefits of Horseback Riding
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
There are many benefits to horseback riding since it's an all body workout. When riding, your body is kept in an unnatural position: torso erect and legs stretched wide to hug the horse. The rider must adjust their position to accommodate the horse's movement. Dr. Stout, of EvergreenHealth, discusses some of the benefits. Some physical benefits include the following:
When riding, the rider's torso is erect to maintain balance and control of the horse. The core is engaged in order to stay balanced while the horse is moving.
Balance and Coordination
A rider's sense of balance is increased through riding since your body is actively engaged. Balance becomes more difficult as the horse moves faster. As the rider advances, the rider must help balance the horse, too.
Increased Muscle Tone
Riding is considered a weight-bearing exercise, and can help with muscle tone and flexibility. The inner thighs, pelvic muscles, core, and arms benefit the most.
Once the rider has learned all the basics, riding can be a cardiovascular activity. Prolonged trotting and cantering can increase endurance.
Physical benefits are not the only pluses to horseback riding. Besides the normal endorphins from working out, riders experience a multitude of mental health benefits. These benefits include:
Learning how to control a larger animal than yourself can boost confidence. The confidence that develops from realizing you can learn a new skill is also a plus.
Problem Solving and Quick Thinking
A great one for kids, riders learn how to problem solve and think quickly. For instance, when jumping a course, riders must make quick decisions regarding speed, turning, time, and balance.
Return to nature
Green spaces can be beneficial for children and adults. Being immersed in nature has been proven to be necessary for our health. According to Laura Rocchio, for an article written for NASA, "The impact of green space throughout childhood is significant. Exposure to green space is comparable to family history and parental age when predicting mental health outcomes. Only socioeconomic status was a slightly stronger indicator." Being at the barn gets you back to nature: outdoors and with animals.
Experiencing a human/horse bond is something special - being around others who share a hobby is something extra. For this reason, many of our riders develop strong friendships with each other. Our show team is like no other.
Want to see for yourself the many joys of riding? Contact us to book a lesson, or ask us about watching one of our lessons.
“Benefits of Horseback Riding.” Benefits of Horseback Riding | EvergreenHealth, EvergreenHealth,
Rocchio, Laura. “Green Space Is Good for Mental Health.” NASA, NASA, earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145305/green-space-is-good-for-mental-health.