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Benefits of Horseback Riding for Kids

Horseback riding is now more helpful than ever for the balanced and effective raising of children. There are several benefits of horseback riding for kids, making them well-equipped for both academic and non-academic challenges.

In this age of technology, children are unnecessarily glued to screens and spend most of their time indoors. Demanding school life, homework, exams, and easy access to video games and social media have restricted kids in their bedrooms. That is one of the reasons the number of obese individuals has increased so much throughout developed countries in recent years.

Horseback riding can be a great tool to ensure a kid‘s participation in outdoor activities. Parents can engage their children in a valuable exercise that develops their personality and life skills. Here is a comprehensive guide to highlight the benefits of horseback riding for kids to prove our point.

Six Benefits of Horseback Riding for Kids

The benefits of horseback riding include your child building a solid bond with their horse, developing confidence, teamwork, shattering the fear to interact with people, and many more. Here we have provided a list of just six benefits, but there are numerous more!

1. Companionship

The first step to begin horseback riding is buying or leasing a horse. No doubt it may be expensive, but it provides your kid with a lovely companion in the form of a pony or horse. Kids may be slightly afraid of the horse at the start; however, a good trainer converts any fear your child may have into a strong bond with their horse in just a few days.

When kids start riding, their interest in the horse grows creating an understanding about the nature and behavior of the horse. Additionally, kids start owning their responsibility of horse care, and the horse begins to show affection and abide by his rider’s commands in turn. Over time, this companionship with horses helps kids to develop loving and caring attitudes for both animals and fellow humans.

2. Socialization

Socialization is one of the key benefits of horseback riding for kids. At equine therapy schools, socializing rides are used to get shy kids to open up, and it always turns out to be a very fruitful experience for all involved. Horseback riding allows kids to socialize with other horse people during horse shows, trail rides, and visits to horse farms. Some research studies have also shown a relationship between essential life skills and horsemanship.

Through building the essential skill of interacting with new people, kids develop a well-balanced personality. Kids find more chances to interact and find like-minded people. Through this interaction with new people, kids will expand their areas of exploration and discover new interests to study and pursue hobbies in. Watching your child put their shyness aside starts with sharing the horse riding experience and ends up in good friendships.

3. Mental-Health Booster

While honing their horseback riding skills, kids are privileged to connect with nature and spend time in the fresh atmosphere. School-going kids have various pressures, and horse riding can be the best tool to diffuse their stress and fears.

study from Washington State University reveals the reduction of stress hormones in the saliva of horse riding kids as compared to the control group. Consistent horse riding also builds confidence and improves cognitive abilities in kids. Controlling a giant horse boosts their confidence to take on challenges and bear rigorous situations in life.

4. Great Workout

People who think that horse riding is just a workout for the horse have never ridden horseback. Riders know that horse riding is way more than just exercise for their horse.

In the age of sedentary life pursuits, when obesity is affecting even children, horseback riding can help a lot. According to a study by the British Horse Society, 30 minutes of continuous riding 3 times a week falls into the scientific limit of moderate-level exercise.

Horse riding is a complete package, and it’s natural for a rider to participate in the barn activities like feeding, cleaning, and racking. So it makes horse riding an excellent physical activity to keep kids fit and strong.

Apart from its physical benefits, horse riding develops coordination, balance, and flexibility in kids. Kids are trained to have a grip on the reins of the horse, exercising their biceps. The horse’s speed is usually controlled by the inward movement of the legs and heels, which is a good source of exercise for thigh and lower leg muscles.

Overall, riding is a great way for kids to balance and coordinate their bodies.

5. Leadership

Leadership, teamwork, and cooperation are the most demanded skills in school and colleges. Horseback riding improves and polishes all these traits in kids.

Another study at the University of Nebraska finds life skills development in kids involved in horse riding projects. Kids who remained involved in riding projects improved their problem-solving, communication, and analytical skills.

A rider’s emotion can be seen in the gait of his horse, so kids have to develop the confidence and fearless attitude to control their horse. Keeping control of nerves during a ride and maintaining balance and coordination during a ride also bolster the kid’s abilities to solve a problem during accounting or chemistry class.

Riding kids are also encouraged to participate in different competitive actives, making them one step ahead to showcase their abilities.

Hurdles and challenges during riding act as tipping points to help kids in overcoming difficult situations. Taking care of horses and riding with other group members develops a sense of teamwork and leadership.

6. Character Building

Dealing with a horse is always a rewarding task—a win-win experience. Accountability, self-discipline, patience, and responsibility are some traits that horseback riding puts into kids. Getting trained for horse riding and learning about the behavior and temperament of the horse also improves a kid’s endurance. That’s why it is believed that horses raise better kids.

Caring for a horse requires time and continuous effort. The equine friend will mind if he didn’t get feed or water on time. So, horse riding reveals some essential traits like perseverance, consistency, and patience in kids. When working with horses, kids start making these traits a permanent part of their personality.

The character building associated with horse riding is evident from the fact kids who are raised in an equestrian lifestyle tend to show moral values.

Photographer: Fernanda Greppe | Source: Unsplash

Take-Home Message

When kids and individuals are becoming more involved in watching TV than healthy sports, it becomes necessary to engage them in outdoor activities.

Kids with traits like patience, perseverance, leadership, and good character can go successfully through the thick and thin of life. It’s a significant investment to develop these essential life skills in kids with the help of horse riding. So, let your kid in the saddle and see the difference in his personality.

Head over to our lessons page to learn more about horse riding lessons for kids.


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PHR Director

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