Last Updated on 1st December 2023
Horse riding is a sport that requires significant physical strength and a deep understanding of horses and their behaviour. If you are considering taking up a new sport this year, with the benefits of horse riding it could be the perfect thing for you.
There are many benefits to horse riding, and the sport can enrich your life, improve your mental health and help you stay fit and active. Here are some of the many ways that horse riding can improve your health and wellbeing.
Many people mistakenly think horse riding doesn’t give you a full workout. There is far more to the sport than sitting on a horse and directing with reins. All areas of the body get a workout from horse riding, and your core will feel the most benefit.
You will need strong core muscles to stay balanced in the saddle and to be anchored to the horse as it moves. Your core is engaged the entire time you ride a horse in response to its movements and gait. It can also help significantly improve posture.
Horse riding allows you to meet plenty of new people. If you are taking lessons, you will likely be in a class of others at your level, making it perfect for making new friends with a shared love of horses. You will also meet new people around the stables, including your instructor.
Horse riding is an involved sport, meaning that you will spend time with other equestrians while looking after your horses and keeping the stables clean and tidy. Many horse riders make lifelong friends in the stables, bonding over hard work and fun times with the horses.
Horse riding allows you to get out into nature in a way unique from other sports. Most stables are located in the countryside, making them the perfect retreat for city dwellers to take in some fresh air. Getting out into nature has been proved to elevate mood, decrease stress and improve mental health.
You can also explore the local countryside from horseback by taking advantage of bridle paths and trails. Hacking is an excellent way to bond with your horse and fellow horse riders and see the country in a unique way.
Connecting With Animals
The level of companionship many feel to animals can significantly improve mental wellbeing. Horses are often social creatures and enjoy human companionship just as much as we enjoy theirs. You don’t need to own your own horse to forge a connection. Many riders have a favourite or favourites that they enjoy spending time with at the stables.
Horses are also excellent to spoil! You can feed them some of their favourite snacks, though you should do this with the owner’s knowledge and permission if you do not own the horse. You can also get plenty of accessories for both you and your horse.
If you’d like to know more about the equipment and supplies you could invest in to treat your four-legged friend, check out www.equisupermarket.co.uk. Industry leaders in all things horse-related, Equi Supermarket can provide you with all you could want to kit out you and your horse.
The level of balance required to stay on horseback can lead to improved coordination. You give signals to your horse through your arms, hands and legs, often at the same time. Having to give multiple signals through different parts of your body at the same time can greatly improve coordination. It can be challenging at first but given time it will become second nature, and you will feel the benefits in your everyday life.
In addition to strengthened muscles, horse riding help burn a lot of calories. Certain gaits will burn more calories than others – rising trot and galloping being the most energetic. You will also burn calories working around the stable, whether grooming, pushing wheelbarrows, mucking out or putting tack on a horse.
Horse riding is a sport that offers many challenges. If you are new to horse riding, you will usually start by mastering the four gaits: walk, trot, canter and gallop. After that, you can progress to jumping and dressage and even go on to compete.
In addition, no two horses are ever the same, meaning that every ride is different and poses its own challenges and differences. The sense of accomplishment that can come from mastering a jump, gait or learning a new horse’s habits can be incredible.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Horse Riding
Horse riding is an intense sport that requires high levels of fitness, which combined with a balanced diet can really improve your physical and mental health. The benefits you can gain are many, and the bonds you make, both human and equine, while riding and around the stables can last for life. If you want a sport that will build your physical strength and help you connect with animals and nature, then horse riding is the perfect sport for you.