Navigating through the world of equestrian wonders, there’s a lot to unravel. Contrary to popular belief, horseback riding is not a one-sided effort where the horse does all the work. Instead, it’s a dynamic, engaging activity where the rider and horse work in unison, offering a robust, full-body workout.
Diving straight into its essence, horseback riding stands as a pillar of holistic well-being, cherished by enthusiasts across the globe. It’s not just an exercise but a blend of unique physical and mental enrichments.
Various research studies suggest that horseback riding has many benefits for humans enhancing health and happiness.
Just see how fit professional the jockeys that will be racing among the Breeders’ Cup expert picks. All that thanks to focused exercises and horseback riding.
In this article, we unfold the myriad benefits hidden in the heart of equestrian exercises. From strength enhancement to mental agility, the sport encompasses a spectrum of health benefits, ensuring a delightful experience beyond the ordinary realms of fitness and well-being.
Is Horseback Riding Healthy for Humans?
Absolutely! Riding is more than a leisure activity; it’s a powerful exercise that stimulates various muscles across the body, acting as a formidable strength training practice.
Diving into its physical richness, riding demands a symphony of muscles to perform in harmony. The core and stabilizer muscles play a pivotal role, ensuring the rider maintains an upright position, embracing stability and control in the saddle.
This equine exercise also shines as an isometric activity, where despite the legs and core being the stars of the show, a choir of other muscles actively sings in the background, contributing to the body’s overall performance and form.
Why does horseback riding triumph as a beacon of well-being? The reasons are compelling. Initially, it fosters the engagement of pivotal muscles in the legs, core muscles, and upper body. The legs, in their communicative prowess, guide the horse with subtle yet significant cues, engaging muscles like the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
In the arena of core engagement, the abdominal and back muscles take center stage, curating the essential balance and stability needed for a gratifying riding experience.
Concluding the performance, the upper body muscles, comprising the arms, shoulders, and back, are necessary for controlling the reins and ensuring effective communication with the horse, while also maintaining a proper posture and balance.
Now that we know that horseback riding is actually a very strength-demanding activity, we can only assume what it takes to become a professional jockey.
In fact, most professional jockeys work hard on their fitness and staying in shape, even when they are not riding a horse. Being able to handle these majestic beasts while running at 40mph is a real challenge, and jockeys need to be ready.
So, if you love riding horses, maybe these equestrian exercises can help you strengthen key muscles that are needed for horseback riding.
Even if you are not interested in horseback riding or don’t have the chance to do it, these exercises can help you strengthen key muscles and improve your overall well-being.
Initiating your equestrian exercise with a focus on the upper body is like setting a solid foundation before constructing a building. By nurturing your posture away from the horse, you’re not just building strength, but you’re also enhancing your performance in the saddle.
Consider starting with these essential maneuvers:
• Crafting the ‘T’: Begin by lounging flat on your stomach, anchoring your feet firmly against the earth, and embracing your lower back with the gentle support of tightened glutes. Extend your arms to each side, mirroring the elegance of a ‘T’. With a subtle tuck of your chin, elongate your neck, gently elevating and lowering your chest and arms synchronously.
• Embrace the ‘Supermans’: Continuing in your stomach’s embrace with the earth, embark on the ‘Supermans’. Let each breath guide the rhythmic lifting of alternating arms and legs, reaching from the spacious arcs of your fingertips through to the extended lines of your legs. Engulf the engagement of your glutes, nurturing the harmony of each lift and descent with the rhythm of your breath.
• Bridges: Building Lower Body Strength: Transition now to your back, creating a supportive contact with the ground. Position your feet hip-width apart, establishing a strong base. Extend your arms along your sides, reaching your hands in the direction of your feet, orchestrating a sense of length and alignment in the body. Activate the power housed in your glutes, elevating your hips towards the sky, crafting a bridge of strength and stability.
Health Benefits from Actual Horseback Riding
Lastly, horseback riding isn’t just a relaxing and fun activity. It also comes with plenty of health benefits, both physical and mental.
Muscle Strength and Toning: As we mentioned before, horse riding requires a lot of strength and stamina, therefore it is like a full-body workout. Even though it doesn’t seem like that, our muscles are working constantly when riding a horse. Your legs and arms are in the focus helping you boost your muscle strength.
Cardio Fitness: Horseback riding also comes with cardio benefits. Your heart and lungs are working overtime to provide the necessary oxygen and blood to every part of your body. It is actually a great cardiovascular exercise that can improve endurance.
Stress Relief: Even though most people focus on their physical well-being, your mental health is just as important. Horse riding is an activity that relaxes people, which is very useful in today’s modern world full of chaos.
Improved Focus: This is also an activity that requires concentration, which after a while will improve your focus.