Riding horses has more advantages than you may think! Learn about the surprising health benefits of horse riding lessons here.
Horses have played an important role in the history of mankind for the last 5,000 years.
Nowadays, we have machines to do most of the work they used to perform, but we’ve kept horses around in any case. What is this fascination that many people have with equines, and do what do they bring to the table?
Fact is, horse riding and competing on horseback has several benefits for equine enthusiasts.
Here’s why you should consider horse riding lessons if you’re looking for improved mental and physical health.
1. Improves Strength
If you think the horse does all the work during a horseback ride, you’re mistaken.
Even beginner horse riding lessons work a whole lot of muscles that you didn’t even know you had. Riding a horse is an excellent workout, that helps firm and tone large groups of muscles.
Keeping the correct posture on a horse is important if you want to stay in the saddle. This works your core muscles, back, and chest muscles without you even knowing it.
When you learn to maneuver the horse using your legs and seat, instead of your arms, you’re assured of a good full-body workout every time you ride.
That’s why horse riding lessons are more effective as a way to keep fit and toned than casual riding. It’s also why Riding for the Disabled (RDA) is an ongoing form of therapy for adults and children with physical disabilities.
When you get involved with other horse-related activities like grooming and mucking out, you’ll exercise even more muscles during your visits to the stables.
2. Boosts Confidence
Controlling an 800-pound animal is an achievement that’s enough to make anyone feel like they’re on top of their game.
That’s not all that horse riding has to offer though. Learning and memorizing a complex range of instructions and seeing them produce results brings a huge sense of accomplishment too.
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as soaring over a large jump that you thought, you’d never have the courage to tackle either.
3. Gives Your Mind a Workout Too
When you’re involved in a horse riding lesson, your instructor spends the whole time guiding and advising you on your next move.
You’ll need to stay focussed and hanging on their every word if you want to achieve your aims. In this way, horse riding is particularly good for children who struggle with focus and attentiveness.
It helps improve your problem-solving abilities when you need to work out the best route around a course of jumps or deal with another type of challenge your instructor’s presented to you.
Sometimes horses misread our signals, so you’ll have to get your thinking cap on to figure out how to communicate your wishes using a different tactic.
4. Improves Mental Wellbeing
Horses can have an intensely calming effect on people.
That’s why these creatures are top choices for over 26 animal-assisted therapies to help people cope with both physical and mental challenges.
When you’re engaged in a horse riding lesson, you don’t have time to worry about your daily problems so your mind gets a break from stressors too.
There’s no denying that a meandering trail ride through the beautiful countryside is an extremely relaxing pastime.
For children, caring for a pony helps engender a sense of responsibility and can help improve their self-esteem.
5. Increases Coordination
Keeping your heels, hip, shoulder, and ear in an unwavering straight line, while maneuvering your horse takes a great deal of coordination.
It gets even more testing when you start to work on complex dressage movements or jumping over obstacles. At this stage, you’ll learn to do a different thing with each hand and leg, while maintaining perfect posture in the saddle.
Somehow you’ll manage to do all of this without losing your balance either, regardless of how fast your horse is moving.
Over time, you learn to use each body part independently of one another, enabling you to say balanced while issuing a number of instructions to your mount.
6. Social Aspects of Horse Riding Lessons
Equestrian people are generally fun-loving, friendly people and you’ll soon feel like part of the gang at your local riding school.
This is especially true if you take part in group lessons where you’re all learning and achieving together.
Before long, you’ll receive invitations to watch your new friends compete, to go riding with them, or for other non-horse-related activities. If you’re a regular competitor in equestrian events, you’ll soon make friends with some of your fellow competitors from other riding schools too.
Joining a riding school is a great way to meet like-minded people and get to know them. Many a lifelong relationship had its beginnings at a riding school.
7. Improves Posture
The best way to sit on a horse is upright. Within minutes of getting in the saddle, you’ll discover that things are easier with good posture.
This can spill over into your everyday life as sitting and standing correctly become a way of life.
Good posture impacts your health in several ways. You’ll experience less back pain, fewer headaches, increased energy levels, and less tension in your shoulders and neck.
When you’re standing up straight, it’s easier to breathe deeply, which helps increase your lung capacity and cardiovascular function.
Horse Riding Lessons are Accessible to Everyone
You don’t need to own a horse or pony to take advantage of horse riding lessons.
There are a host of riding schools in the San Diego area where you can learn to ride on dependable equines.
Whether you’re interested in adult horse riding lessons or horse riding lessons for kids, we’ve got the perfect match for you. Get in touch to book your first lesson with us today.