5 Reasons Why Horseback Riding is Good For Your Children

Author: Nicki Ellis

Horses are extremely affectionate beings. And especially so with children. Horses are very gentle and have a kind and friendly temperament. The movement of horses is rhythmic and greatly assists individuals with motor disabilities, sensory processing challenges, mental health issues etc. Horses are deemed as the best to work with for individuals who need animal therapy.

Children have an innocent mind. The experiences they have as a child stays in their memory forever. These experiences can range from living life without a care or playing with friends and pets. If you have pets at home, you would have noticed that your child is comfortable in the pet’s company. Childhood is the best time to get your child acquainted with horses. It is an effective way to teach your child to appreciate the animal as well as ensuring your child spends time outdoors getting clean and fresh air.

Mentioned below are the top five benefits of learning horseback riding.

  1. Positive impact on health and fitness
  2. Learn To Be Competitive & Sportsmanship
  3. Making new friends that share similar interests
  4. Promotes a problem-solving mindset
  5. Helps children develop confidence

1. Positive impact on health and fitness

In today’s digital age, there is an easy and affordable access to new technological gadgets. One can often find children staying indoors and glued to screens of television, computer or smartphones. This sedentary lifestyle can lead to a host of physical health issues as well as childhood obesity.Bringing your child outdoors has numerous benefits. Staying in the outdoors helps children stay in tune with their surroundings and nature. Your child can breathe in the fresh air, which boosts their memory, keeps their mind active and helps children enhance creativity. Adding a sports activity such as horseback riding can be a great incentive for your child to spend time outdoors.

Horseback riding is a great form of exercise to the mind and the body. The core muscles are optimally utilized. Pelvic muscles, as well as the muscles of the inner thighs, are used when engaged in horseback riding, in order to prevent falling off the horse and to maintain balance. Using these muscle groups helps your child to develop correct posture. It also promotes muscles tone and flexibility. This activity is a great calorie burner, helping your child stay in good physical health. When you see your child riding a horse, you are quite likely to think that the horse is not only carrying your child but also walking or running with your child mounted on top. Therefore all of the hard work is being put in by the horse. This is not the case though. When mounted on a horse, the rider needs to put in an equal amount of effort. Your child learns to adjust their body movement in tandem with the horse’s movements. The entire attention of your child is focused on staying atop the horse and guiding the horse to stay on track.

2. Learn To Be Competitive & Sportsmanship

Engaging in horseback riding provides your child with an opportunity to participate in a healthy competition of horse racing with their peers. This is an effective way to inculcate in them the spirit of healthy sportsmanship. Children to humbly savor their victories and accept failures with grace. They understand that winning and losing are both a part of life. This helps them become mature individuals.Being around animals teaches children some important life lessons. The company of animals makes children compassionate, kind and sensitive individuals. They learn the importance of putting others before themselves.

3. Making new friends that share similar interests

When your child learns horseback riding, they are given an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, who share the same passion and interest in horseback riding. This helps your child have a friend circle outside of school. A large peer group is known to have a positive influence on children’s confidence, helps in strengthening their character and shaping their personality. Being part of a large friend circle also helps your child develop social skills. An activity like horseback riding is a great alternative to a laidback lifestyle with a virtual friend circle.

4. Promotes a problem-solving mindset

It is only natural for every parent to want the best for their child and see their child excel in studies, sports or in any sphere of life. It has been proven through extensive research that when mounted on a horse, the cognitive ability of the rider improves to a great extent. Studies show that when a horse is being ridden, it emits vibrations that can activate the sympathetic nervous system in the human brain. In layman’s terms, it means that children who engage in horseback riding, are highly likely to be adept with the skill of problem-solving, have a better learning ability and an enhanced memory power. These children are better prepared to take on academic challenges and excel in school and sports.

5. Helps children develop confidence

The horse they are riding is twice their size. Having mounted this horse gives them a sense of achievement. When mounted on a horse, children feel a surge of confidence. Children also develop a sense of responsibility when they bond with the horse and take care of the animal. Being in the company of animals in their formative years teaches children the importance of putting the needs of others before them and other positive traits like kindness and respect.

Conclusion

Most horseback riding facilities don’t accept applications for children under the age of 6-7 years. The reason being, a child of 6-7 years of age reaches an appropriate height to be safely seated on the saddle. By this age, the child is also quite likely to have formed a basic idea of how to be cautious around animals.

If you are keen on enrolling your child in a horseback riding facility, then it would be a great idea to personally visit the facility first and take a good look at the safety measures they have in place. Check if the horses are healthy and well taken care of and if the instructors are of a gentle demeanor.

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