9 Amazing Reasons Children Should Ride
Horse-riding isn’t all about having fun you know… there are also some seriously great physical and mental benefits linked to regular horse-riding too! Time spent with horses and riding helps a child improve their; coordination and balance, teamwork and collaboration, fitness, social connections, confidence and independence, perseverance and grit, reliance on devices, responsibility, stress-control, overall mental wellbeing, plus memory, problem solving & intelligence. Here’s how…
Image credit: Desert Palm Riding School
When they’re skilled riding, they can burn up to 300 or more calories per hour. But, that’s not all, add in tacking-up, grooming, and other stable chores and you have a full, whole body workout. And the best part? They’re having so much fun- they don’t even know they’re keeping fit!
Teamwork & Collaboration
Every horse is different, and riders learn which horse needs to be at the front, which one bites, and which one needs its space. Teamwork is an essential element of horse riding whether it’s sharing a ride, sharing a horse or sharing time with a horse.
Relieve Stress & Unplug!
Riding gets them off the sofa and straight into the great-outdoors. Nothing beats time spent with horses, hours turn into minutes when they’re connecting with an animal, outside and surrounded by nature.
Coordination & Balance
‘Inside leg on, outside rein contact, push with your seat’- it might look easy, but REALLY riding a horse takes some serious coordination and balance. Riders need to not only ‘feel’ the animal, but constantly give complex directions via their whole body.
Perseverance & Grit
Falls do happen, and when they do, kids have to manage their fear and get right back on!
Think about it, horse riding is the only sport where men, women and children can and do, compete equally, with children frequently outperforming adults. To be a great rider takes hard work, dedication, patience, goal setting and determination.
Confidence & Independence
Horses don’t judge. The confidence children gain from controlling a half ton animal, reading its body-language and building a meaningful relationship with- are genuinely hard to match.
Caring or a horse requires knowledge, time and patience. Poisonous plants, colic, saddle sores and lameness, they’re all the equestrian’s responsibility. Do it wrong, and you have an unrideable or even sick horse on your hands.
Riding is great for all kids, but especially beneficial or those who are hyperactive or impulsive. Horses teach them to slow-down, pre-plan, take instruction and create a meaningful relationship with an animal.
Memory, Problem Solving & Intelligence
A recent study by Japanese scientists found that the vibrations created while horse riding actually activates special parts of the brain linked to cognitive ability.