Horses throughout time have proven to be great pals, providing both companionship and transportation. Additionally, horse riding provides great physical and mental exercise for those looking for a non-traditional way of achieving a full body workout.
1) Core Strength
The posture and balance that is required of even the most basic riders builds core stabilization by engaging the pelvic, abdominal, and back muscles. Staying constantly upright on an unsteady surface like a horse's back requires overall core engagement, so you can control your movements.
With the simultaneous use of various parts of the body, improved coordination is another one of the many benefits that stem from consistently riding horses. On a horse you'll be maintaining posture, moving your legs, managing reins, and moving into appropriate positions while you observe your horse's movements.
3) Cardiovascular Exercise
Along with the importance of core strength, the areas of the body that sustain the heaviest workout, due to the specific positioning of the rider, are the pelvic muscles and inner thighs. Squeezing the adductors to stay in the saddle and posting, or rising with the horse's gait, tones these muscles and encourages movement on the rider's behalf. A bonus to these affects, that may often be overlooked, is the cardiovascular exercise that horse riding has to offer. Considering the use of the entire body, even the simplest workouts take more energy, effort, and cardio work than most alternate sources of exercise.
4) Building Confidence
Although the previously mentioned physical work may sound intense, horse riding can provide therapeutic benefits as well. Horses are massive creatures and can be misinterpreted as “intimidating.” It is amazing how learning to handle and interact with these amazing animals can build confidence and reduce fear. It is through these approaches that these highly intelligent animals can teach us much about ourselves.
While horse riding demonstrably provides a great source of physical exercise, the connections made with horses show how horse riding truly gives us a boost in a physical and mental capacity. The freedom and sanity of a horse is felt through our connection with horses, and we can thank them for sharing their spirit with us.