Horseback Riding: 7 Health Benefits

As equestrians, we already know the benefits of horseback riding are numerous. But what about our non-horsey friends or even partners? Well, you can sell it to them like this (as if we have to justify ourselves!).

By Crystal Wilson

Gone are the days when man’s effective means of transportation was horseback riding or driving. Many of our forefathers from childhood learned the intricacies of horseback riding, which rewarded them with good posture, strong core and good physical and mental health.

Pixabay/Rebecca Schönbrodt-Rühl/CC

While humans no longer depend on horses for transportation, horseback riding is a popular recreational activity in many parts of the world. Above the recreational aspect of riding, there are a series of physical and mental health benefits that we derive from riding a horse. Many studies have shown how it improves physical and mental well-being. Here are seven benefits you may derive from horseback riding:

1.    Helps Burn Calories

Riding a horse is an excellent way to get a workout. Even though it is not the same type of exercise as rowing, running, or swimming, the body still experiences fat loss. The British Equestrian Federation revealed that riding gently, even for about 30 minutes, can burn up to 360 calories. It is a moderate form of exercise, and you decide how hard you ride, which determines the fat loss you experience.

Besides, everyday tasks related to riding (such as grooming the horse, lifting saddles, moving hay) will burn calories. Such activities can significantly decrease the chances of cardiovascular disease.

2.    Improves Core Strength

Although riding is a pleasure and leisure activity, it also is a form of isometric fitness that can strengthen the core. The simple act of sitting on the animal forces the rider to balance. Riders also have to use some specific muscle groups to cue the horse and engage int he activity.  As a result, riding is used for therapeutic purposes for those who are disabled or recovering from some form of injury.

The muscles that form the core are the hip, lower back, and abdominals. When you have a developed core, you will enjoy various benefits like a low incidence of injury, reduced back pain, excellent overall posture, etc. Horseback riding is a perfect way to develop this.

3.    Relieves Stress and Anxiety

Riding a horse gives one a break from the stress of daily life and a chance to enjoy the outdoors. It is a relaxing activity that can be facilitated by the trot’s natural and constant rhythm. The bouncing motion can trigger a massage effect, boosting circulation and improving relaxation for the rider. Also, the time spent outside with the animal can foster serotonin release, a hormone proven to boost mood and reduce stress levels.

If riding seems like a daunting activity, you can take CBD products from Sunday Scaries before getting on the horse. The supplement is known to calm your nerves, relax muscles and allow you to enjoy a good ride.

4.    It Boosts Socialization

Another mental benefit of horseback riding is its effect on your social circle. Riding a horse allows meeting various people, the staff of the barn, and other riders. The relationships we develop with fellow equestrians are invaluable and often extend well beyond the horse community.

Riding can be a social activity. The time spent at the barn involves a lot of time caring for your horse, which is always more enjoyable with others. Also, the show, riding lessons, trail horses, local clubs, etc., go a long way to develop your social skills and relationships.

Pexels/Jean van der Meulen/CC

5.    It Improves Coordination

Riding a horse might appear easy, but it takes a lot more to ride a horse than meets the eye. Riders don’t just sit atop the horse while it moves under them. To properly ride the horse, one needs to coordinate various body parts and balance. People compare riding a horse to an attempt to rob your stomach, pat your back and skip simultaneously… which is not easy.

6.    The Posture Improves

To maintain an optimal sitting and standing position, one needs the abdominal and lower back muscles to be in top gear. When you consider the core muscles that horseback riding targets, it helps improve the posture significantly.  Research shows if your riding position is excellent and balanced, your overall posture will improve.

7.    Companionship

Horses are one of the closest animals to man besides dogs and cats. They have been domesticated for thousands of years. As a result, horses have evolved to live with a man and understand our behavior and attitude. Horses make terrific companions and are the reason why a lot of equestrians refer to horses as their best friends. According to research, when man relates, communicates, and interacts with animals, it fosters a positive effect and has been used in a series of therapeutic riding programs.

They are one of the most friendly animals, which is why many people love to be around them.

Pixabay/Siggy Nowak/CC

Horseback riding is one of the top sports that humans engage in that is fun and benefits physical and mental health. It is an excellent hobby to pick up and attempt if you are up for it.

About Crystal Wilson:
Crystal Willson is a full-time content marketing specialist. She has been closely monitoring the CBD industry trends for quite some time. She has worked in various domains before the CBD industry. On her off days, she likes to spend her time with her family, lift weights, and reading novels.