As a child I always loved horses. I always wanted my own but of course, that was never going to happen and lessons being so very expensive wasn’t something I did.
I didn’t stop me wanting them though and I was very lucky in that I had a friend in Secondary school who did have her own horse and let me ride it when I went over to the stables with her. For me it was better than having lessons, as there were no payments to make and I didn’t have to pay in order to equip myself with the proper attire, just help Emma muck out which I was happy to do in order to have a ride or two.
Of course, not having proper lessons meant getting to grips with the basics was a little harder, especially as Emma was an experienced rider and prior to that I had never been on a horse, but I was determined to pick it up and I loved riding so much, even if it wasn’t very often.
I soon learnt to groom the horse, muck out, saddler up and to mount and dismount properly, although the dismounting was always far from glamorous and mounting required a step stool, the downside to being one of the shortest in my class.
I even learnt how to jump small jumps and could ride bareback, although the last time I ever dared to do that was when I was thrown off and I landed right next to a pile of manure, so I wasn’t brave enough to try again after that.
Emmy has a love of horses and she has for a very long time. We have a friend who lives on the grounds of a stables/fishing lake, so when we visit, she likes to go to the stables to see and stroke the horses.
She has asked to ride so many times but the ladies at the stables are always busy when we go that it hasn’t happened yet.
We know she would love it, maybe this is another reason we are a little lax in sorting out a trial ride. She would love it then want lessons weekly which isn’t something we could do at the present time, as it becomes rather expensive to kit out for horse riding, even the basics all add up – boots, jodhpurs, shirts, helmets, riding crop – the list goes on! Thankfully we will never own a horse ourselves otherwise there are far more things to buy including saddles, bridles, horseshoes, horse rugs, then there would be the vet’s bills and stable fees along with far too many others.
Maybe in a year we will look into it properly for her and with her birthday coming up in February I am currently looking into a block of lessons for her just to see if it is something she would actually carry on with – there is nothing worse than spending out hundreds of pounds of kit for her to wear if she gets scared and refuses to carry on is there?
I know how much I loved riding and it wasn’t just being around horses I enjoyed, there are so many other benefits to riding.
Riding is an isometric exercise, which means it uses specific muscles to stay in certain positions, in this case, keeping balanced on the horse. This also helps to improve postural strength.
Balance and Coordination:
Balance and coordination are very important factors in horse riding, they become more challenging the faster the horse moves.
Riders develop coordination skills to move their body with the horse in order to help the horse stay balanced.
Muscle Tone and Flexibility:
Along with the core muscles, the inner thighs and pelvic muscles get the biggest workout as a rider position himself or herself. This exercise helps with good overall muscle tone and flexibility.
Depending on the type of riding and the speed and agility of the horse, horse riding can require more effort, energy, and cardiovascular capacity. It increases your heart rate and burns calories too.
It also helps to teach responsibility while caring for their animal, and also patience and self-discipline as it helps to increase self-confidence.