In the past, horses were among the most common forms of transport till the invention of cars. Nowadays, horse riding is done for recreational purposes. In fact, if you are looking for fun activities to do with a loved one, you should consider horse riding.
But beyond that, it also has a ton of health benefits. Discussed below are some of the benefits you should know about.
Improves Balance and Coordination
It is important to keep yourself balanced when riding a horse, as there are a lot of movements happening simultaneously. For a good riding experience, you have to control your leg pressure, rein pressure and balance your body’s position.
A famous comparison is trying to pat your head, rub your stomach and skip at the same time. It is easy to forget one action. But with time, you learn how to coordinate all these movements simultaneously. You also learn subtle movements that can get the horse to react as you want.
Promotes Mental Health
A lot of horse owners admit that riding a horse or even spending time with one has a calming effect. Spending time with animals raises your serotonin levels, putting you in a better mood. This can help relieve stress and anxiety.
A report by the British Horse Society stated that there was a change in moods in 4 out of 5 people after riding a horse. Horses have also been used as a form of therapy for children with autism to help them communicate better.
Riding or being around horses helps children develop an emotional bond that can boost their social skills. Some therapy centers use horses to help ex-vets handle their Post-traumatic stress disorder. All these are good reasons to ride a horse.
Considering that it is the horse doing the majority of the work, one may wonder how this activity helps burn calories. However, most people admit that this is a form of exercise.
Trotting for about half an hour burns around 360 calories and can tone down your stomach. People who ride their horses hard burn more calories than that.
Improves Core Strength
As much as people view horse riding as a leisure activity, it is also a form of isometric exercise that helps strengthen your body’s core. This includes your lower back, hips, and abdominals. By simply balancing yourself on top of a horse, you have to use your core.
This is one of the reasons people recovering from an injury are advised to ride horses. Isometric exercise involves training in a static position while your muscle length and joint angle do not change throughout the routine.
When someone starts riding a horse, most of the time, they will not sit correctly. They will hold the reins too tightly, firmly grip the animal using their thighs and push their feet too hard into the stirrup.
This tension makes one excessively lean forward, trying to anticipate the horse’s next move. The result is that both the rider and the horse are uncomfortable. However, once you become accustomed to riding a horse, you relax, and your back straightens. With time, your posture is likely to improve.
Like any other form of exercise, horse riding can also improve posture. Watch someone try to climb a horse for the first time, and you will realize that throwing a leg over a horse’s torso is not easy for everyone. When you start horse riding in PA, certain body parts like hips are likely to improve in terms of flexibility after some time.
With this many benefits, why not make horse riding your new hobby? Not only is it fun, but you will be improving your health in the process.