Health Benefits of Horse Riding

Happy horse riderHorse riding is often known for being a unique and exhilarating sport. For this reason, individuals of all ages are able to enjoy the sport.

What many don’t realize is that horse riding isn’t only fun and exciting, it also has numerous health benefits. Like so many other mainstream sports, horse riding has both physical and mental health benefits.

Physical Benefits of Horse Riding:

Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that horse riding isn’t very physical. All too often, people think that riders have an easy job.

Contrary to popular belief, riding a horse is physically demanding and requires intense muscle use and memory.

  • Burned calories: While you may not burn as many calories riding as you would running, you can still burn a decent amount of calories riding. The amount of calories burned often depends on the gait you’re riding at as well as your weight and age.
  • Muscle development: As it burns calories and requires specific muscles, riding can be a great way to build up a unique set of muscles. Most riders will have exquisite abs, leg, and back muscles.
  • Body control: Due to the fact that riding requires an intense amount of body and muscle control, riding can help build body control which can be extremely beneficial.
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Mental & Psychological Benefits:

Horse riding has been shown to have such positive psychological benefits that it’s often used in therapy programs for a wide array of individuals.

While most riders realize that their riding habit is beneficial to their mental health, they don’t always understand why. Furthermore, if you’ve never been around horses, you won’t be aware of how psychologically pleasing their presence can be.

Unlike so many other sports, horse riding requires you to work together with a beautiful and majestic animal, an experience that can have many benefits.

  • Increased self confidence: One of the biggest psychological benefits of horse riding is increased self confidence. Until you get used to handing them, horses can seem somewhat daunting. Of course, once you get to know them, horses have a way of improving your overall self confidence.
  • Stress relieving: There’s something about being around horses that seems to naturally relieve stress for most people. For this reason, horse riding is a great activity to take part in if you’re looking to decrease your stress levels.
  • Helps patience and focus: In addition to improving your self confidence and reducing your stress levels, horse riding can also increase your patience and focus. Just like with so many other animals, horses require a fair amount of patience. Not only that, but when around horses, you have to pay close attention to detail and remained focused at all times.
  • Rewarding:Finally, perhaps one of the best psychological benefits of horse riding, is the fact that it’s extremely rewarding. While at first it may seem difficult, when you learn a new skill with horses, the rewards are exceptional.

Filed in: You And Your Horse

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7 Responses to "Health Benefits of Horse Riding"

  1. Greg says:

    I really try to like horses. But I’m actually scared of them. Watching others ride them looks so exhilerating, almost like flying!! But I’ll keep to just feeding them through the fence thanks! I’ll leave the flying to others!!

  2. horsesfortrail says:

    Trail riding is a great way to have fun, relieve stress, loss weight, lower your blood pressure, and get some fresh air. You just can’t beat it!!!!!

  3. Horselvr says:

    Yes! Horses are fantastic and always lifts my mood no matter what!

  4. Mikayla says:

    Who is the author of this post? I am using some information for an evaluative essay and I would like to give credit to whoever is deserving. Thanks.

  5. Beth says:

    As a very anxious person, I can vouch for the stress relief that riding provides. You are too focused on what you are doing to think about anything else. Horses are unique animals that can be very sensitive to your mood and needs. This can create a bond between horse and rider, similar to the bond some people have with their pets. It is amazing and humbling to communicate with an enormous animal in this way.

  6. Derek Mcdoogle says:

    In your article, you stated that one of the biggest psychological benefits of horse riding is increased self-confidence and once you get to know them, horses have a way of improving your overall self-confidence. My daughter has been really wanting a hobby to pursue all summer and someone suggested horseback riding. I wonder if there are certain types of horses that they use for kids lessons.

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