5 unexpected benefits of horseback riding

November 3, 2015

Horseback riding is a great way to have fun and explore the outdoors, but it can also help you boost your general well-being. Here are 5 unexpected health benefits of horseback riding.

5 unexpected benefits of horseback riding

1. Clears mind and supports focus

Therapeutic horseback riding has been shown to help children with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improve their focus and self-control. The bond between child and horse seems to be key in this process. For many people, working with horses has a calming effect and increases well-being, which can help to boost focus and concentration.

2. Strengthens core

Increasing core strength is one of the most effective ways to avoid back pain in the future. When riding a horse, you are using muscles in your trunk to stay balanced and thus strengthening your core, which in turn increases your muscle tone and improves your posture.

3. Builds character

Mucking stalls, shoveling and hauling bags of feed all teach valuable lessons of responsibility in caring for an animal. These activities also require strength and endurance. Learning to interact respectfully with a large animal is often a humbling and rewarding experience.

4. Increases confidence and self-esteem

For children – especially those who tend to be introverted – riding horses often increases their confidence. While they can be emotional, horses don't judge and are generally compassionate animals. They tend to feel what the other members of the herd are feeling and can be very soothing for people who struggle in social situations. Simply being around horses seems to have a therapeutic effect on humans, notably those who are in need of emotional or physical healing.

5. Encourages grace under pressure

When you're riding a horse, it is important to stay calm or you may risk being thrown off the animal. If you are high-strung and behaving erratically, your horse will likely sense this and it could lead to a potentially dangerous situation. This need to stay calm while on the horse can help improve your ability to manage high-pressure situations with a calm mind and grace.

Offering benefits for children and adults alike, horseback riding is a fun family activity and a great way to boost your well-being.

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