Horse riding has physical health, psychological and over-all benefits of happiness and well-being. This is just a reminder for us and the non-horsey around us, who wonder about our level of sanity as we brave the winter weather to get out there and ride. And the research is there! Check out www.bhs.org.uk (study published in 2011). Really I don’t think there needs to be any research done – the fact is we horsey people feel good when we ride. It’s good to know, though that we can tell our family and friends that we are not just crazily addicted to some half ton four-legged furry monster for no reason; it actually is good for us to partake in this activity! Read the study! This activity, this joyful pastime, this, oh well let’s say it – addiction to riding is linked to a sense of well-being which affects mood, anxiety, self-esteem, balance and loads of other personal emotions. In fact, this helps us adjust better to life’s events even outside the time with our horse. Many of us just are not in good form if we work hard all week and then something goes awry and we can’t get even get the weekend ride in!
While plonked up on your horse going out for a leisurely trail ride around the forest may not be the equivalent to running a marathon, sufficient energy is expended to class it as a moderate intensity exercise. And even if you do choose those chilled out session more often than a brisk schooling session in the arena, all that mucking out and winter grooming definitely burns extra calories. The vast majority of horse riders are female, ranging in age 4 to 94, and for some, horse riding is the only form of exercise to be taken. This shows the sport is an integral part of society, and not only for the able-bodied. Many riders with a long-standing illness or disability can partake in just an intense session of exercise as those without such challenges.
Some may wonder, is it worth it? All the manual labor and work and effort and money we put into these creatures, for what may seem very little return. You can answer this for yourself.
Life is Simple……Just Ride.