Ride in sympathy with your horse

Keep Fit by Learning to Ride

Horseback riding has many benefits, including physical and psychological benefits. These benefits include a more toned body, enhanced coordination and greater confidence, among others. If you are an active person, you can add horseback riding to your exercise regimen to reap the benefits. It may also be easier for an inactive person to take up horseback riding over other forms of exercise since it does not involve hard exercise like other forms of activity. Horseback riding may also be a form of exercise that is easier to maintain than other forms of exercise, due to the relationship between the rider and the horse, scenic routes and therapeutic benefits of horseback riding.
The major physical benefit derived from horseback riding is the muscle tone that you receive when riding a horse. When you ride a horse, you must adjust your body to match the rhythm of the horse’s movements. As you re-position your body, you work different muscles. Your muscles also contract and then relax as you adjust your body. This constant adjusting provides an increase in muscular strength. Muscles that are targeted include the postural muscles, adductor muscles, abdominal muscles, dorsals, quadriceps and hamstrings. This exercise can also help strengthen the joints and lead to greater flexibility. Arm muscles can also be strengthened if the rider must pull the reins frequently.
Another benefit that horseback riding provides is cardiovascular exercise. The faster a person rides the horse, the more his respiratory and circulatory systems have to work. Difficult terrain can also make horseback riding more strenuous and this can increase a rider’s heart rate. A slower trot can be therapeutic and can help regulate the rider’s heart rate and blood flow, as well as decrease stress levels.
Horseback riding can also help a person become fit in other ways. A rider must learn to maintain his balance and use appropriate posture, which helps decrease back and spinal problems. Back pain can often be lessened by horseback riding. Coordination can also be improved by horseback riding. Fine motor skills and gross motor skills can be enhanced through horseback riding. You can also increase your eye hand coordination and your reflexes can be triggered more quickly. Horseback riding can also result in weight loss since a 150 pound person can burn up to 480 calories per hour of horseback riding.
Psychological benefits can also be acquired through horseback riding. Riders often experience an increase in their confidence level by becoming an expert in something. The rider also develops a feeling of control by maneuvering the horse to the preferred destination. Horseback riding can also lead to an introduction into a new social group, possibly resulting in lifelong friendships and companionship. Taking a horseback ride after a busy day or week can help decrease stress and can stimulate relaxing breathing. Caring for an animal also helps a person feel compassion and protective impulses. Studies have shown that horseback riding is very therapeutic and can help people recover after an injury or traumatizing event in their lives. Horseback riding requires the individual to concentrate on the task of tending to and controlling the horse. Horseback riding also makes a person responsible for the well-being of the horse. Another psychological benefit includes the self-discipline that a rider must acquire in order to successfully ride the horse.
Horseback riding provides many benefits to the rider. Muscles are toned and strength is increased. This cardiovascular exercise stimulates the respiratory and circulation systems. Breathing is improved through horseback riding. Balance, coordination, flexibility, eye-hand coordination, posture, fine motor skills and gross motor skills are all enhanced with a routine of horseback riding. Horseback riding also helps to lower stress levels and improve confidence. Helpful bonds are also formed between the horse and the rider, as well as with fellow horseback riders. These benefits make horseback riding an excellent addition to your exercise regimen.

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