In the days of old, before we had wheels, we had four legs to help us get around. Almost everyone knew how to care for and ride a horse. We no longer rely on the horse but continue to enjoy the recreational benefits of horse riding, of which there are many. Don’t let anyone tell you that horse does all the work, so it doesn’t count as exercise – here are a few health benefits of taking up horse riding:
- Body Awareness & Core Strength: Horse riding works wonders for the core muscles that are responsible for stabilising the trunk that consist of the abdomen, back, and pelvis. As well as strengthening your core and improving posture, you become more aware of stability and co-ordination as you learn to move with the horse during riding.
- Faster Reactions: When you’re riding an animal as big and strong as a horse, not only is it a full all-over workout, but you’ll be using muscles you didn’t even know were there. You’ll be making these movements and decisions super-fast too as you respond the actions and movement of the horse.
- Mental Benefits: The list of mental benefits is huge. You learn about yourself as you ride but also about the animal. There is a connection you feel that provides great meditative and peaceful effects. You are living very much in the moment, your only focus being the relationship between you and horse. You have the chance to learn more about your animal and ways to care for them better, checking them over for any skin problems such as the annual summer annoyance of biting insects that cause Sweet Itch. If your horse is showing signs of irritability and rubbing their skin raw, try https://www.stinky-stuff.co.uk/sweet-itch/
- Tone and Flexibility:Horse riding works wonders for your core, but also for areas such as the thigh and pelvic muscles when re-positioning. The sitting position for riders involves a kind of squat that is constantly adjusted to the movements of the horse, so you develop great muscle tone and increased flexibility.
- Better Coordination: Many things happen at the same time when guiding a horse and that is co-ordination. Your body is adjusting and adapting to the horse, your looking ahead, giving the horse instructions and using all your muscles. Getting this all in sync makes for a wonderful riding experience.
- Posture: Your ability to stay balanced on the horse improves your postural strength considerably which benefits many other areas of everyday life too.
- Other Associated Exercise: Riding is only one part of looking after horses. Their care and upkeep require physical demands such as working in the barn, cleaning out, replacing hay and filling troughs. All of these improve muscle strength and cardiovascular capacity.