The Benefits to Riding Horses
Are you or your child horse crazy? Horseback riding has many psychological as well as physical benefits and is a wonderful, enjoyable activity. Riding is stimulating, yet calming at the same time.
Although riders partner individually with a four-legged creature, they also generally ride with a friend or in a group. This common interest creates barn friendships that are unique and often times, cross-generational. The twelve-year-old enjoys riding with and talking to the 40-year old and vice versa. All enjoy interacting with each other and caring for the horses. This shared love also leads to knowledge. There is so much to learn about horses; new vocabulary, the equipment, their care, their psyche, and more.
Riding itself involves the senses: hearing the rhythm of hoof beats and feeling the rhythm of the horse’s gaits so that you can synchronize your breathing and body movement to your horse. At the barn you smell many scents, see what is around you, and coordinate your strength and balance on and off the horse. This integration of the senses inspires calm self-confidence, the ability to think quickly if needed, and improves concentration. While at the barn and riding, the focus is and must be on the horse!
Physically, horseback riding increases core strength and coordination through the abdominal, back and pelvic muscles. Holding correct position insures increased muscle tone and strength as well as flexibility of the legs and joints. Riding helps to improve balance and the coordination of many movements that happen simultaneously so that you can communicate with the animal. For horse lovers, reaching that level of communication is heaven on earth!
"My daughters have been taking lessons with Jane at Rhapsody Hill Farm for over six years. This year both of them won their series championships. Jane is a true professional, cares very much about bringing the best out of people regardless of their skill level and talents. Her horses are all well trained and loved. The other people in the program are all kind and mature. The girls have on occasion ridden at other farms and none have the level of individual attention, quality of horses, and opportunities to learn and assist as provided at Rhapsody Hill Farm. "
Andrew, father of youth riding students