Horseback riding is an adventure that we believe everyone should embark on at least once in their lives. It’s exhilarating, to work in cohesion with these powerful and majestic creatures and comes with many benefits. Some of these benefits are health-based, but many have found personal and even spiritual benefits after forging a solid relationship between themselves and the horse that they sit on the back of. In this article, we are going to delve further into the subject and explain exactly how horseback riding can be so life-enriching.

Physical Benefits

Core Strength

Did you know that horseback riding carries many of the same health-boosting benefits as other forms of exercise? One example of this is how horseback riding increases core strength. A rider’s core is strengthened through proper riding posture. A rider’s posture is critical to a successful horseback riding adventure, as it plays an important role in maintaining balance. Maintaining proper posture while on horseback also engages the chest and shoulder muscles.

Coordination

It takes a great amount of coordination to ride a horse. The rider must coordinate their movements with the horse’s and take charge of the horse to influence its movements. If the rider faces obstacles, like hurdles and jumps, this requires even more effective coordination skills.

Cardio

It’s always good to get your heart pumping. Cardio is essential for optimal health for all of us, and everything about horseback riding will help a person to achieve their cardio goals. From grooming the horse to lifting saddles to the act of riding itself, your heart gets a great workout at every step along the way.

The heart isn’t the only organ stimulated by horseback riding. Riding has the same effect on the liver and digestive system as walking on foot does. Riding at a quicker pace burns more calories and increases these effects.

Overall Strength

There is a lot of physical activity that goes into not only riding a horse, but also in caring for a horse. Moving bales of hay, hauling saddles and other equipment, and cleaning stables are physically intensive. This makes for great exercise to build up your overall strength and stamina!

Mental Benefits

Responsibility

For riders young and old, caring for and riding a horse helps to reinforce a sense of responsibility. Just like any other animal that may come into your care – like a cat or a dog, most often – horses require adequate care to remain healthy and happy. The responsibility lessons that horses can teach are especially useful to children, who have limited responsibilities in their personal lives. Learning how to care for another living creature is incredibly satisfying.

Confidence

Most new riders are uneasy the first time they get astride a horse. But over time, a rider goes from being insecure and uncertain to becoming a confident and happy horseback rider. This confidence can carry itself into other aspects of a person’s life.

Problem-Solving

Riding on and caring for a horse forces a rider to confront problems and find solutions to them. Even very experienced equestrians will deal with instances where they are required to learn something new, which isn’t a bad thing at all! Our understanding of horses, their care, and what it takes to ride one safely is constantly changing. It can be a challenge to stay on top of this information, but it is very worthwhile to do so.

Companionship

Have you ever felt that your cat, dog or other pet has been there for you when you needed a companion the most? Horses are also exceptional friends to have in life. These soulful and intelligent animals have provided solace and peace to riders for centuries.

Also, you are bound to meet other equestrians during your riding adventures. At the stables or on the trail, there are many more likeminded folks who love horseback riding. The shared love of horses and the comradery that comes from meeting people with the same interests can inspire lifelong friendships. Beginners can find mentors, and the experienced may discover what their role is in helping inspire the youth who take to riding.

Relaxation

We all need to relax every now and then. For horseback riders, relaxation comes in its truest form when they are caring for or riding on a horse. Getting in touch with nature can decrease stress and help a person to clear their mind, no matter how cluttered it is with thoughts about their life.

Sure, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature from a motorized vehicle, like a dirt bike or ATV, but do those terrain vehicles offer you the same opportunity to really relax and have an easy-going ride? In our opinion, it doesn’t compare to the ease and relaxation that horseback riding provides.

Challenge

By challenging ourselves to improve, we grow. This is true of all areas of life, including horseback riding. We stagnate when we don’t push ourselves to go further than we thought we could. Horseback riding gives you the opportunity to learn more about your capabilities and experience the thrill of achieving more than you’d thought you’d ever could.

Horseback Riders are Healthier Humans

All forms of physical activity enhance the quality of a person’s life and also extend that same life. Improved cardiovascular, liver and digestive performance can come about through even the most leisurely of horseback strolls.

Mental and emotional health are also incredibly important. Fortunately, horseback riding helps nurture the body and the mind. There is nothing quite like getting closer to nature from the unique perspective atop a horse.

Being a great horseback rider is an ongoing endeavor, one that encourages riders to continue learning and growing. The challenges that accompany horseback riding, both physical and mental, forces us to grow and become better, more well-rounded people. Even in childhood, riding horseback teaches invaluable life lessons in confidence, responsibility, problem solving and so much more. If you keep your mind open to the experience, the possibilities for enrichment are endless.