There are millions of pet owners in the United States, with the majority keeping a dog or cat as a trusted pet. However, one often-overlooked sector of pet guardians is those who own horses. One 2017 census revealed that out of the over nine million horses in the country, almost four million are pets that are ridden recreationally. Owning a horse can have many benefits, but one you may not have considered is how it can positively affect your health. Understanding these advantages can help you make a more informed choice if you are seeking an equine friend.
1. Riding Works Your Core
Getting rid of belly fat and building defined abs can be a serious challenge when you want to get in shape. While it might seem that riding a horse is more exercise for the animal than for you, balance and core strength is required if you want to stay in the saddle. There are several riding techniques you can use to strengthen this area of the body as you work on your balance at the same time.
English-style riding requires a certain kind of body movement called posting, which can help make trotting more comfortable and less jolting for you. In posting, you rise slightly out of the saddle with every other step of your horse’s front legs. With each rise, you work your core. After a period of riding and posting, you might notice shrinking belly fat and firmer abs.
2. Improved Muscle Tone
Do you remember the first time you rode a horse and how sore your inner thighs and lower back felt the following day? The reason for this is simple: when you ride horseback, you use muscles that you might not otherwise, which can lead to them feeling tender. Riding several times each week can tone the muscles in your thighs and legs, making them more flexible and less prone to damage or injury. This is why jockeys who ride for End Zone Athletics company and other corporations that own racehorses train so diligently.
Isometrics, or exercises that require you to hold the muscles in a certain position, also encourages greater flexibility and strength. You can achieve this by riding dressage, which requires a great deal of strength on the part of the rider to gain ultimate control over their mount, or by practicing the posting trot, which works this muscle group as well.
3. Equine Sports Burns Calories
Riding a horse requires more of you than simply sitting in the saddle. You must be aware of your body position and which movements you need to execute to work in tandem with your animal. High-velocity sports such as horse racing, where businesses like End zone athletics own and sponsor thoroughbreds, can mean a major calorie-burning workout for both horse and rider.
Taking care of your horse also requires many tasks that can help you burn calories. Cleaning out stalls is a major cardio exercise, as is hauling hay bales, water, and grain. All of these activities can help you improve muscle tone and lose weight, and you may be having so much fun with your horse that you do not even realize you are exercising.
4. Improved Mental Health
Riding horses has been proven to be beneficial for disabled and autistic children, which shows that the connection between horse and rider is one like no other. Taking a long trail ride and spending time with your trusted horse can help clear your mind and lessen anxiety. Riding is also helpful for ceasing racing thoughts, as it requires you to focus on balance and control.
Owning horses can be a joy and give you a meaningful connection to these smart, elegant animals. The physical and mental health benefits they provide may also help you improve your overall well-being and allow you to understand the true meaning of horsepower.