Health Benefits of Horseback Riding

May 30, 2018

Horseback riding is such an enjoyable activity – whether you compete or just ride for fun, there are many health benefits associated with riding.

 

First of all, horseback riding is good for the mind. From my experience, even one of the most stressful days can be resolved by spending time with my horses. Author Joseph Bennington-Castro explains that activities involving horses can in fact help people suffering from a wide range of mental health conditions from Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity disorder, depression and stress. Bennington-Castro’s article regarding the idea that horses aid in helping people’s mental conditions was even medically reviewed by Michael Cutler, DO, PhD. Thus, it seems that there

is definitely evidence that supports the idea that spending time with horses can increase mental health. So the next time you’re feeling stressed, go hug your horse! I promise it will help.

 

Spending time with horses also improves your physical health. Riding horses uses a lot of unique muscles in the body simultaneously. According to Dr. Alison Stout of Evergreen Health Sport & Spine care, riding improves core strength, balance and coordination, muscle tone and flexibility, and cardiovascular exercise. Dr. Stout explains that horseback riding greatly strengthens the core and trunk of the body, which only improves with coordination when she says that, “It’s not just about the strength of the core, but the coordination and stability of it as well. The more you ride, the more the body learns to move with the horse.” If you’re looking for a way to stay in shape, horseback riding is a great way to exercise your entire body!

 

Whether it’s mental or physical, horseback riding can improve your health in both areas. So what are you waiting for?  Go ride a horse!

 

 

Sources:

 

Bennington-Castro, Joseph. “How Horses Help With Mental Health Issues.” Everyday Health, Everyday Health, 18 Dec. 2014,

 

Be Your Healthiest Best. “Benefits of Horseback Riding.”EvergreenHealth.

 

Photo Credit: LifeExposed: Photos by Lindsey

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