By: Kyra K.
Many people don't think that horseback riding is a physical activity because to them you're just sitting on a horse, but it is far more than just sitting on a horse. One thing that horseback riding helps a lot with is your balance especially when you ride bareback, because you are essentially balancing on a moving object. There is also a lot of leg work going on especially if you are standing up in the saddle or posting (when the rider is going up and down with/to the beat of the horses stride). Then there are the really amazing times when your horse spooks or is just in a bad mood and you have to fight with you horse to keep you safe and in the saddle, which is using plenty of muscles. There are some negative effects from horseback riding physically which would be when you fall off your horse or have an accident, but you should just keep at it as long as it's safe for you and the horse. If you aren't comfortable in the saddle there are stall many fun things that you can do with your horse like ground work and some ground work like trotting your horse in hand requires you to run next to the horse. Horseback riding also helps your posture because when you ride you are riding with your back straight and are building up those muscles in your back, which can in turn help your social life by having good posture. So horseback riding is a fun physical activity that people can do.
Horseback riding can help improve your mental health because you are always focusing on achieving something to better your abilities as a rider and the abilities of your horse. This allows you to feel good about yourself after your hard work has paid off by accomplishing what you wanted. Maybe you want to see how you fair at a competition, in some shows even placing is a feat because the horse competition is huge. There is also so much work has been put into every horse so the fact that you and your horse were able to get into that ring with people watching you is huge and can help you feel better about yourself. Your horse is also a very good teacher as to how to handle your stress because if your stressed when you work with your horse your horse will let you know loud and clear that you need to calm down and watch your stress which can help you just calm down about stressful things. Horses can help you change the way you view the world into a more positive outlook because they just want to have fun too and by looking for new fun things to do with your horse you are being positive. So horses and horseback riding can help improve your mental health.
Horseback riding helps with social life because you are building a relationship with others when you choose to compete with them or if you choose to go to a horse related event. It also involves a lot of team work because you are responsible for making sure that you and your horse understand each other and can work together to have fun or win a competition. It also allows you have a friend that truly wont judge you unless you do something really stupid right in front of your horse, because horses are very good friends and really want to create a bond with you. By communicating with your horse you are actually far more in-tune to how you feel and it helps you control your feelings like frustration because your horse will let you know that he is feeling that too because he is tuned into you. You also meet many people that can help with both your horse problems and who just want to get together and talk. So horseback riding can lead you into a better social life.
Horseback riding can help with your intellectual health because when you challenge yourself and your horse to try something new you then begin challenging yourself to do that by yourself as well. You are also more likely to be able to adapt to new things because you're going to need to be able to be ready for anything when you're on a horse should something happen to spook your horse, and you will need to learn to adapt quickly from the calm sweet horse to the horse that is terrified of something as simple as a tree. It also helps you focus by clearing your mind of all the troubles of the world and focusing in on your horse to know if he senses something off or if he has an injury which he may try to hide but his pace will show you through the movement you feel. Horseback riding also encourages you to learn because you must learn how your horse reacts to things and normal movement of your horse and if you want to try out a new style of riding you have to learn that new style because each style if different. So horseback riding can help with your intellectual health.