If you didn’t know already, horse riding as a competitive sport or just as a hobby has many benefits for both our physical and mental health. In recent times, we’ve become increasingly aware of the importance of physical activity for our wellbeing – no matter what form of exercise you find works for you. For those that perhaps find running, strength training or hiking isn’t for them, horse riding is a fantastic alternative that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Whether you’ve been riding for a while or never tried it before, here are just some of the reasons that horse riding can improve our health.
It counts as your weekly exercise
Studies have proven that horse riding (and the activities that accompany it such as mucking out the stable sand caring for the horses) meets the government guidelines for recommended weekly exercise and so is perfect for anyone that may prefer a more non-conventional way to stay fit and healthy. There has also been evidence to suggest that trotting on a horse exerts more energy than playing a competitive sport such as badminton, meaning you’ll feel those endorphins, too.
It’s a mental health booster
We all know that spending time with animals is such a boost for our mental health, so when combining exercise and animals, you’re bound to see an improvement in your approach to mindfulness. Horse riding has been found to be a reliever of both anxiety and depression.
It improves your core strength
In order to stay balanced and maintain good posture in the saddle, your core muscles are going to get a good workout as you ride your horse. Strengthening your core can help towards endurance, prevent injuries and improve your overall fitness.
Joining a stables or having horse riding lessons can be a fantastic way not only to keep fit but to also expand your social circle. Horse riding is a fantastic way to meet new, like-minded people, whilst getting fresh air and improving your fitness levels and stamina at the same time.
Presents new challenges
For anyone looking to focus on a new challenge, horse riding could be the one for you. Once you’ve learnt the skills needed and had plenty of practice on your horse, there’s a whole host of opportunities for different contests and competitions that will give you a new and exciting challenge to get our teeth into!
What you will need for horse riding
Whether you horse ride regularly and would like to update your equipment, or you’re giving it a go for the first time and want to make sure that you’re prepared, there are a few essentials thing that you’ll need for horse riding. These include:
The most essential thing for riding is a riding hat and horse riding, be that competitively or otherwise, should not be done without a safety hat that meets the current safety standards. If you join a riding school, this may well be provided, but if you would like your own, make sure you have one that is fitted correctly.
Good horse riding boots are also an essential part of any horse riding kit list. A good horse riding boot will be made form good, sturdy leather and will be finished with a small heel which will protect your feet and ensure that your foot doesn’t get caught in the stirrup if you fall off the horse. There’s a whole host of different horse riding boots available and the ones that you choose will largely depend on the type of horse riding you are doing most often and whether or not you are choosing to compete in dressage.
Equestrian phone holder
If you’re out on your horse regularly, you might not feel it is safe to either leave your phone in the stable unattended or head out on your own without means of contact, should something happen. Riding with your phone in your pocket can be a hazard should you fall off your horse and can also be a general discomfort, particularly if you’re picking up the pace. The most obvious solution to an equestrian phone holder may be an equestrian phone holder belt, but when you’re in the sitting position for a long period of time this can become uncomfortable by either digging into your stomach or riding up your back. A good mobile phone holder for horse riders can come in the form of a training vest that fits easily over your riding gear and has adjustable straps for maximum comfort. The Freetrain vest makes it super easy to carry your smartphone with you as you ride and whilst you should never use your phone whilst the horse is in motion, if you come to a safe stop, you can quickly and easily check your phone to make a phone call or look at maps. Our equestrian phone holder will ensure that your smartphone is centrally located on your person, to avoid any imbalances throughout the body as you ride which can eventually lead to injury. There are also smaller pockets either side which can be used to store essentials such as keys or energy gels, if you have a long ride planned. If you’re looking for a new equestrian phone holder, then do consider a training vest.
Good quality jodhpurs
When trying on and selecting a great pair of jodhpurs, you should always consider how these are going to feel when you’re sitting in the saddle for long periods of time, not just when you’re moving about on foot. Stretchy, non-restrictive fabric is always a great choice for jodhpurs, and added grip in areas such as the knees and bum to prevent slipping is also a bonus.
With horse riding having so many benefits to our mental and physical health, it’s definitely worth considering this as a hobby or even something more. From riding hats and jodhpurs to an equestrian phone holder, there’s definitely a lot to consider when it comes to preparing for horse riding, but having the right equipment will make it all the more enjoyable. Good luck!