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The Benefits of Horseback Riding on the Body and Soul

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Tatiana Cober

Tatiana Cober

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Tatiana Cober, Millenials Staff Writer

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Though horseback riding can seem pretty intimidating to someone who’s never ridden before, I can say that after almost 11 years of riding, there are more benefits to the human mind than at first glance. Riding has helped me mentally and physically heal, especially with dealing with current experiences. I’ve been able to find a lot of mental help through the creatures, as well as the physical healing capability of horses.

After a week or two of stress, getting away can seem quite nice. That’s the first point: horses are always farther away from cities and a city dweller’s daily life in general. The barns and arenas are so far out in the country for some that all you’re left with are the horses, staff, and the sound of the trees and birds around. This in itself is very calming, having some time to yourself but also knowing you’re not totally alone and lost.

Another way the animals help the mental side of the wellness triangle(mental, physical, and spiritual), is the actual riding part. I know that every single time I go in for a ride, whether I’m in the mood to or not, I always leave the ride or lesson feeling more at ease than I had in the past week. The connection with the horse is powerful and they have feelings and experiences in the same way we do. They have rough days, tiring days, and sometimes being able to connect with them really puts the mind at ease. Most of the time the horse will do something that takes your mind off the stressors and worries of the previous or coming week. That doesn’t mean they do something bad, but it’s usually a communication error or an accomplishment between the two of you, which can initiate the melting away of problems.

Yet another reason the horses help to maintain a healthy mindset is just the nature of the animal. They are, for the most part, very kind creatures and the communication and bond a human can create with one is the same kind one might make with a dog or cat, just on a bigger scale. After having personal experiences with so many in the past years, I can say that some relationships with the horses I’ve met are almost like the ones I have with friends, just without the human conversation. That isn’t to say I don’t talk to the horses and they respond, as I do that as well, they just have their own way or expressing their thoughts and feeling.

On the physical side of the triangle, horses are very therapeutic. The way their body moves can help to rehabilitate those hurt in crashes, help someone through aches, make a rider stronger in their core, legs, and arms, as well as building brain power. Most think that riding is very simple, that a person just sits atop the horse, but in reality, it’s quite a difficult sport. The strength required to ride well is impressive, especially because an equestrian uses their body for all of the cues, the reins only there for speed control. All of the parts that play a role in riding strengthen the body. At the same time, it can improve someone’s lifestyle and communicating methods.

Though riding may seem terrifying sometimes, it’s all about a genuine want to improve and connect between both the horse and rider. Equestrianism has many therapeutic components, as well as just being a fun hobby.

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The Benefits of Horseback Riding on the Body and Soul