There's no doubt that horses can be a lot of fun. But did you know that riding can also improve your physical and mental well-being? The results are in and the more researches seek to know about the benefits of horsemanship the more we learn about all the ways horsin' around can improve our lives.
Every spring when the weather starts to thaw and I start riding regularly again the first thing I notice is the soreness in my core muscles. Maintaining my balance astride a horse - especially when training a younger or inexperienced horse - is hard work and if I take some time off riding in the winter I definitely notice when I pick it up again in the spring. The other thing I notice is my coordination and muscle control. I'm also better balanced bilaterally when I've been riding. Riding forces us to use both sides of our body equally so my gross motor skills are fairly even from left to right.
According to recent research, riding horses can help treat and even prevent depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress. It's great stress relief too. Horses are experts in body language and can truly challenge us to acknowledge our own behaviours and patterns and offer us a safe place to work things out.
Other posts in this blog will talk about the specific purpose and benefit of several therapeutic models so be sure and check them out if you want to learn more. Also, the link below takes you to an article by Lisa Evans and talks about the many physical and mental benefits of horsin' around.