Reasons to Take Horseback Riding Lessons

Horseback riding lessons are fun, but there are other reasons to take them. Here are just a few.
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Many kids ask for a pony for Christmas and never get one. Horses are expensive creatures, but horseback riding lessons, whether for a child or an adult, can be a valuable activity for several reasons.

Get Physically Fit While Having Fun

Horseback riding is great exercise, burning about 379 calories per hour, according to fitday.com. By doing it on a regular basis (especially in combination with a sensible diet), riders can expect to lose a little weight and build muscle. They will likely become more physically fit at the same time—stronger and fitter cardiovascularly as well. The bonus is, the rider is having so much fun that he hardly notices he is exercising.

However, in order to burn the most calories, the rider needs to do more than just amble down the trail at a sedate walk. He needs to trot and canter, and horseback riding lessons are a great way to learn to do that. The instructor will help the rider stay focused and motivated while teaching him to be a safe and effective rider.

The improved balance, added strength and increased body control learned in horseback riding lessons carry over into every-day life. Riders can handle themselves physically better than they could before in normal social situations, while playing sports, etc.

Develop a Special Bond Through Horseback Riding

Horses are social animals, enjoying the company of humans just like dogs do. Their hearts are easily won with a carrot or a kind pat, and treating them well while working around, grooming and riding them is a good way to develop a bond with them. Many a girl has cried her woes into her horse’s mane or mentally worked out her problems while riding down the trail with the horse turning a sympathetic ear. The unconditional love and companionship with a horse can be very therapeutic and enjoyable.

On top of the animal companionship, riders generally meet a lot of other people who all share a love of riding and horses. Most horseback riders like to have fun, and friendships formed at the barn often span many years and trickle over into life away from the stable as well. They learn compassion for animals and how to work as a member of a team - where the other team member does not speak English.

It is important to remember that not everyone has the same experience or gains the same benefits when taking horseback riding lessons. It is important to consult a doctor before starting this, or any other exercise regimen. Not everyone will learn to ride like the Olympians, but everyone can benefit from the physical and social benefits that come with taking horseback riding lessons.

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Using Horses for Children and Adults with Challenges

Riding horses addresses several key symptoms affiliated with challenges like autism:

  1. communication and social skill

  2. slowered sensory skills

  3. motor skills

  4. response to verbal cues and external stimuli.

Riding horses is much more than just a physical experience. While the movement of the horse is great for improving circulation, muscle control, and coordination, there is also a very profound bond that riders–healthy and disabled–develop with their mounts. Horses are companion animals. They look to their riders for direction and love. They are attuned to the smallest movement, attitude, and emotion; a rider cannot hide anything from a horse. Horses can tell if you are angry, nervous, happy, excited, tense, or relaxed and they respond accordingly. They aren’t demanding. They want to understand you and for you to understand them. Because of the love and trust they give, their fine-tuned responses, and desire to please, they are extremely effective in creating a bond with autistic riders that encourages communication and interaction.

Autistic riders learn to communicate verbally and physically with their horse, and they can see the immediate result of their communication when the horse reacts. They learn to focus on something outside themselves, an important step for austistic people. They also learn to communicate and interact with other people as they work with instructors and volunteers who are leading the horse or walking beside them. They learn to respond to verbal cues from the instructor as they complete specific tasks. Plus, riding horses is good exercise and a whole lot of fun.

Most importantly, kids and adults with autism learn to connect with horses, building a trusting relationship that is fun, rewarding, and life-changing.

Hippotherapy vs. Therapeutic Riding Programs

Hippotherapy and therapeutic riding differ primarily in practice and cost.

Hippotherapy is performed by a licensed physical or occupational therapist and has very specific physical tasks and goals. It is therapy using the horse as a living tool. It is very expensive (can run $150-200 per session), like any therapy, and is sometimes covered by medical insurance.

Therapeutic riding, also known as equine-assisted activites, on the other hand is more like riding lessons for physically and mentally disabled as well as kids and adults with behavioral or emotional issues. Cost is significantly less (generally $25-50 per session). Equine-assisted activities are taught by riding instructors with the help of volunteers who lead the horses and sidewalk next to the riders to ensure their safety. Therapeutic riding students learn to ride horses using verbal and physical cues like any other rider. Lessons are often taught in groups, which helps students to make friends and build confidence.



I Love Horses

There are many social activities related to horses. From hanging out at the barn with friends to going to shows or group trail rides, horses keep their owners in touch with other humans. Horses give you an instant common bond with other horse admirers. This bond overcomes cultural and societal differences.

Get started now or continue to advance your horsemanship call me now, John at 815 603-4595

All ages welcome

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Horses

1. Inspiration.

2. Fun!

3. Riding is all around great exercise.

4. Social life.

5. Positive mental health and relaxation.

6. Encourages a Healthy Active Life Style.

7. Sense of freedom and power.

8. Horses teach us about ourselves.  

9. Keep you close to nature.

10. Friendship between the species.

John Bautz

815 603-4595


Mokena, IL