It is never too late to try something new and horse riding is a great outdoor activity that also has many surprising physical and health benefits. Here are 10 reasons to take up horse riding.
1. The great outdoors
Horse riding is a great excuse to spend an extended time outdoors. Most rides will take a whole afternoon ensuring that you get a good dose of fresh air while exploring the surrounding countryside.
2. Develops a strong core
Sitting on a horse is not as easy as it looks and the body is required to maintain a good posture. Health site Be Your Healthiest Best informs that “horseback riding is an isometric exercise, which means it uses specific muscles to stay in certain positions, in this case, keeping balanced on the horse.” You can cancel your gym membership and spend that extra money on equine activities in the knowledge that you’re still improving your body.
3. Develops a strong heart
Alongside muscle development the body’s cardiovascular levels will also increase. Riding is a much more fun way to shift the weight than spending hours on a treadmill at the gym.
4. Discover a new animal
We all know of the bond between human and dogs, yet the bond between rider and horse can be just as strong. Equine website The Horse believes that a strong and satisfying connection can develop between rider and horse over time. The longer you get to ride a certain horse the stronger the bond will be and you may just find a new friend.
5. Discover a new social circle
The horse riding community is a large and welcoming group. Once you start learning to ride and meet fellow riders you will soon find yourself making lots of friends with likeminded people. Much of the joy of horse riding is not just riding a horse but riding with other people.
6. Improved confidence
Horse riding is great for people with little confidence as it is an easy way to track development. As your skills improve so will the awareness of what you are capable of.
7. New skill set
No one is saying horse riding is easy and to become an expert rider takes years of practice. Learning the basics however is very simple and after a few weeks you should have the confidence to handle the horse without support. If you need inspiration just look to Olympic gold medalist Victoria Pendleton. The Drum reported that she decided to not only swap cycling for horse riding but she also challenged herself to become a jockey and compete in the 2016 Cheltenham Festival within 12 months. What made this feat even more impressive is that the Festival is where some of the biggest races in the UK calendar take place including The Gold Cup, The Champion Hurdle, The Champion Chase and The World Hurdle, according to Betfair. Thus, Pendleton faced a formidable field in her debut at Cheltenham, yet still managed to finish fifth in her race regardless of her lack of experience in racing at the highest level.
This is especially beneficial for younger riders who want to take up riding. Taking care of a horse requires time and effort. Even if you are just hiring a horse for the day you will be expected to help take care of it by cleaning out the stable. Horse riding is a good way to learn to be responsible.
9. Less Stress
Riding out in the country can be very relaxing and a great time to gather your thoughts. Also when humans interact with animals the body releases hormones that make you more at ease.
10. It’s fun for everyone
Compared to other recreational activities, horse riding can be done by anyone at any age. It is a fun way to learn a new skill, go outdoors and meet new people. For many who ride, it becomes a lifestyle.