5 Health Benefits of Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is more than a fun activity to do alongside a cute animal – it is a fairly intense sport with numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. Horseback riding can be used alongside treatments from The Institute of Natural Health or a healthy diet to aid weight loss, or can be therapeutic for anyone who needs to relax and recharge amidst high levels of mental stress.

Here are just a few of the many benefits that horseback riding can have on your physical and mental health.

Improves Coordination

Horseback riding requires that an equestrian coordinate their movements with the horse they are riding. This requires the use of both arms and legs, as well as directing the seat in order to direct the horse and avoid obstacles in your path. This can improve your sense of balance and coordination over time.

Engages Core

In order to steer your horse around obstacles, you must engage your core throughout the duration of your ride. The posture that should be maintained during a ride also engages your core, making horseback riding one of the most challenging yet effective core workouts you can do.

Corrects Posture

In addition to your core, maintaining the posture required for horseback riding also requires you to engage your back and chest muscles, as you stay balanced and keep your body in proper position. This can lead to an improvement in your overall posture throughout time, which can reduce strain on your back.

Increases Mental Sharpness

When riding horseback, an equestrian must stay constantly alert and able to make decisions based on rapid changes in the horse’s behavior (such as speed, direction, or attitude) and any obstacles that might be encountered on the trail. This can improve problem solving skills and increase mental awareness skills.

Boosts Mood and Lowers Anxiety

Horseback riding requires complete focus on the trail at hand, giving riders a break from other stressors from outside factors such as work, relationships, etc. Both spending time in nature and bonding with animals are shown to increase levels of serotonin in your brain and lower anxiety, while boosting your mood.