Horseback riding is not only a joyful and stress-free activity, but it’s also very healthy and beneficial for the physical appearance of your body. No matter whether you are a professional rider who competes in horse racing cups or simply an equestrian enthusiast, the benefits of horse riding are available to everyone. Here are our top health benefits of horse riding. Even if you have never tried horseback riding before, here are some reasons why you might want to try it for yourself and for the good of your health.
If you think horse riding is all about sitting comfortably and letting the horse do all the work, you are wrong. Riding a horse is similar to driving a car. A car can’t go anywhere without a driver, and a horse won’t move unless told to do so. More stubborn horses require even more work than friendlier horses. When horse riding is done correctly, it can replace your gym day entirely. Alight trot can burn enough calories as a moderate intensity exercise, and a serious day of riding can really make your muscles burn.
In order to stay balanced and prevent yourself from bouncing around in the saddle, you have to engage your core muscles. Basically, riding a horse is like an isometric exercise, meaning specific muscles are targeted to stay in a specific position. Over time, riding will severely increase your core strength and even get you abs.
In order to stay balanced, you don’t only have to engage your core muscles, but you also must make sure you have taken the right posture in the saddle. If you have a poor posture, regularly riding will definitely help you improve it and strengthen your back. A strong back and a straight spine are required for balancing, coordination and supporting yourself in the saddle. At first, you will probably have to hold on to the front of the saddle, but the more you ride, you’ll feel more confident and get the hang of keeping upright without holding on.
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Muscle Tone and Strength
In addition to the core and improved posture, horseback riding will also help you tone the muscles in your back, inner thighs and pelvic muscles. You will tone your muscles because riding requires maintaining a good position, continually adjusting to the horse’s gait. Basically, the horse will push your physical limits (especially during the races), and adjusting is crucial for making sure both you and your horse keep balance.
Besides toning muscles, while riding, you will also become stronger and bulkier when you take care of your horse and its stables. This is called stable strength. Grooming, pushing wheelbarrows and carrying buckets filled with water and food will help you burn calories in no time and drastically improve your strength. So, even when your feet are firmly back on the ground, you will continue working out by doing other activities with your horse.
As you can see from the written above, riding a horse is not easy and requires a lot of mental focus and concentration. Riding can actually improve your concentration and cognitive abilities. Since it’s a very fun and joyous activity, it can also help relieve stress and improve your mood and energy levels.