Horseback riding is more than just sitting on a horse, it comes with a host of benefits that can improve your overall wellbeing in more ways than you can imagine.
Horses react to humans. You need to be present in the moment and harness their reactions. If you’re stressed, or have a lot on your mind, go ride a horse.
The health benefits of horseback riding:
Mental state of mind
Learning how to ride a horse is an incredible experience comprised of several challenges. First you need to learn to stay on the horse, and then you need to acquire the skill of steering it. Over time, you will learn to better communicate with your horse, advancing your riding ability and facing challenges with more confidence. All this information is stored by your brain, exercising your mind as you learn everything there is to know about riding a horse.
Horseback riding is an amazing way to workout as you use your muscles in a myriad of ways, particularly those in your legs, shoulders, abdominal and back. You not only develop core strength, you also improve your sense of balance, coordination and agility. Depending on the distance that you ride, and for how long, will also impact the number of calories that you can burn, aiding in weight loss.
Developing stable strength
Being a horseback rider is not just about being on the horse. Riders are usually responsible for several strenuous, physically demanding activities at the stables. This includes carrying tack (horse equipment like the saddle, stirrups, the reins, harnesses, and others), cleaning out stalls, grooming the horse, and more, all of which builds a rider’s strength significantly. These activities also help to maintain bone mass, something that’s particularly vital as we get older.
It is said that levels of serotonin, the mood enhancing hormone, increase when one spends time with animals. It’s no surprise than that research has shown that riding a horse makes people feel happy and relaxed. Horse therapy (or equine assisted therapy) is a form of therapy that is used to treat a wide variety of disorders ranging from autism to depression, grief, anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), drug addiction, and many more.
The horse-riding community is a sociable one and can provide you with the opportunity to meet many different people, be it other riders, instructors, and staff. You never know the lifelong friendships you might strike with other like-minded people through group lessons or mucking about in the stables with your peers.
Learning how to compete
As you learn to become a better horseback rider and establish a relationship of trust with your horse, there are several horse competitions that you could enter. Be it dressage, racing or jumping, there are many ways to challenge yourself, build your confidence and step out of your comfort zone entirely. Training for a competition is a great way to become goal oriented, learning discipline and how to work towards achieving an objective. This builds character and can positively impact other areas of your life.
We all know the benefits that come with spending time in nature, the way it can enhance your mood, and reduce levels of stress. Horseback riding is a fantastic way of spending time outdoors, in the fresh air and sunlight, doing wonders for your health. Plus, what better way to get a little bit of Vitamin D while you’re at it.
Who knew that horseback riding had a way of improving digestion and aiding in liver function, but it does. This is because your internal organs are stimulated when you ride a horse at a walking pace.
Riding a horse can be a very rewarding experience from many different perspectives. So why not join the Aphrodite Hills Riding Club located just 10 minutes from the Resort, in a beautiful surrounding forested area. Run by incredibly friendly, qualified staff, you’ll find an instructor for all levels of riders.
With a range of road trail rides to choose from, discover the beauty of the region on horseback!
And remember, “If you have gained the trust of a horse, you have won a friend for life”