The Benefits of Horse Riding

What you may not know is the positive impact that horse riding can have on your health. Like many other sports, horse riding can have both physical and mental health benefits for you as a rider. Whether you’re just riding for fun or gearing up for a competition, here are the benefits of horse riding:

Increased energy and physical activity
From mucking out your horse stable to periods of trotting, riding and taking care of your horse helps expend sufficient energy to be classed as moderate intense exercise. Not only are you using your core to help with all of these tasks, riding your horse helps target your oblique, lower abs and upper abs helping improve your posture, stability, and balance.

Reduced anxiety
Horses have a unique ability to sense emotions and react accordingly. If you are anxious or angry, your horse may become stubborn or skittish. Witnessing your horse’s response to your feelings can help promote self-awareness and reduce your level of anxiety.

Increase trust
Horses are soothing, gentle, and straightforward animals which can make being in their presence immensely healing for you. Whether you’re learning how to jump for the first time or wanting to become a more skillful rider, spending time with your horse can help build more trust while reducing your levels of stress and anxiety.

Burned calories
The number of calories you can burn is dependent on your weight, age, and the pace that you’re riding. Though riding your horse may not burn as many calories as running, you can still burn a good amount of calories while strengthening the bond with your horse. As you burn calories, the muscles in your back, legs, and abs are slowly building; allowing you to gain a stronger sense of body control which can be extremely beneficial both on and off your horse.

Increased self-confidence
In the beginning, riding a horse can be a bit daunting; however, once you develop and strengthen a bond with them it will boost your confidence and help increase your riding ability. From improving jumps while training to competing in show jumping, horse riding has many benefits.

Become more flexible
Along with building and strengthening your core muscles, your body is fully engaged when you ride. From engaging your inner thighs and pelvic muscles to strengthening your shoulders and back, being flexible is crucial in maximising your riding experience. Usually, riders maintain a squatting position to adjust the cadence of their horse. Not only does this increase muscle tone but increases flexibility in those areas.

Establishing a healthy relationship
Building a friendship with your horse can help reinforce your position as a leader. It doesn’t matter if you are grooming, feeding, riding, or watching your horse as it grazes, interacting with your horse is a great way to make them feel secure. Another great way of forming a healthy relationship is communicating with your horse.

You won’t be able to see the physical benefits but the psychological benefits are more impressive. From developing your skills to gaining a deeper understanding of your horse and sport, these qualities can be very fulfilling in so many ways.

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