It probably comes as no surprise that horse riding is good for your health! Besides getting you outside, it has some very real benefits for your body. Learn why this sport is so good for you.
Staying properly positioned on your horse’s back is essential. You can’t just sit back and enjoy the ride – you have to ride actively. Balance is key. Horse riding greatly improves this neurological function and is a major reason why riding is used for rehabilitation or psychomotor disabilities.
Strong and Fit
Horse riding is a well-rounded sport in terms of the muscles you work: shoulders, arms, abs, glutes, adductors and back. Even after years of riding, you may still discover muscles you never knew you had after an intense riding session. Horse riding helps keep your muscles strong. It also tends to stretch your muscles, keeping them long and lean instead of bulky. That’s great news for those who are looking for a bit more definition. As for calories burned, a jumping session can burn up to 600 an hour.
In addition to getting some fresh air, horse riding helps you improve how you breathe. By regulating the nervous system and blood circulation, the breath brings oxygen to muscles and keeps them working properly. Learning how to breathe is a great way for riders to relax and manage their emotions. Calm, regular breathing also helps reassure your horse.
Beat Back Pain
You may have heard that “horse riding is bad for your back” more times than you can count. But in fact, horse riding is a great way to strengthen your back. By learning to sit up straight without contracting, you develop balance and symmetry, which strengthens the lumbar area of your back. Some doctors even say that horse riding is “the best thing for the back”. It also improves your posture.
The more advanced a rider you are, the more coordination is important. You need to be able to control your movements and body position. Not only are horses sensitive to the smallest movements we make, but it’s also important to be properly placed during all exercises.
Action and Reaction
Because riders have to keep control of their horse at all times, regardless of the pace, and even when clearing obstacles, they develop their endurance – both respiratory and muscular.
The rider must maintain a pace and keep riding at the same pace even while passing obstacles. This helps one develop endurance capacity whether in terms of breath or in terms of musculature.
Steely Mental Health
In addition to all the physical benefits, horse riding is also good for the mind. Most riders enjoy riding to relax and unwind. Horse riding requires focus and keeps you in the moment, which is great for those who want to “get away from it all”. Contact with horses can also considerably lower stress levels.