Hey Mama Bear,
Are you an animal lover looking for a new hobby? Do you want a hobby with many benefits?
Well then horseback riding may be a good option. Riding provides many benefits mentally and physically. Riding can be very therapeutic, hence the reason so many therapeutic riding programs are popping up.
I am definitely happy to have horseback riding as a hobby of my own! Once I started I never looked back!
Granted I was eight or nine when I started, but as a previous riding instructor I’ve taught many first time rider moms. As well as moms who used to ride as a kid and had a long break away from horse riding. So without further adieu here is a list of reasons moms should pick up horseback riding as a hobby.
1. As a mom we may get stressed from the everyday life hassles. Horseback riding provides a break from the day to day activities and reduces stress.
It is a great way to take a break from your busy life while still having a sense of purpose, with your time. Riding help to release endorphins (feel good hormones) and lowers cortisol (stress hormone).
Your mind is focused on the task at hand, your balance and communication. You don’t have time to think about all the problems going on in your life. The horse can sense when you are stressed or tense so you must work on relaxing your mind and body.
I always notice the difference when I have a hard day. While I am riding I feel so free and after I ride I feel much more relaxed and positive.
2. As a mom, our fitness is one of the last things on our mind with all the tasks that need to get done. Horseback riding is great for improving your physical fitness.
Riding provides a cardiovascular as well as strength training workout. I notice when I ride in a lesson and I am out of shape. I can get very tired, especially when I work on sitting trot, cantering or jumping courses, I am huffing and puffing. After the ride my legs feel like jelly. The next day or two my legs feel the real pain. Then I know I got a damn good workout.
Once a week of riding is not enough to get you into good shape… I would know… I used to ride just once a week without a regular workout routine. However riding is great exercise, it builds your stamina, improves your posture and flexibility, and works your core strength and leg muscles.
If you just ride once per week, I would suggest supplementing that with a workout routine at home at least 2 other days per week. It will make a real difference in your riding. If you can afford the time and money, it would be even better if you could ride those 2 extra days a week. That’s 2 extra days of exercise and riding practice.
3. As a mom, we need fun in our life just like the kids! Horseback riding is fun and provides joy and excitement.
This is the main reason I love to ride, because I enjoy it so much, I have fun, I get adrenaline rushes, it makes me smile.
Connecting with and being carried by a 1000 pound plus sized animal, becoming air bound over fences, riding a nice balanced rocking horse canter, riding at the beach or on some nice trails, the wind blowing in your face while your galloping.
I love riding it can be a challenge sometimes but it is so much fun!
4. As a mom, we want to feel like we are accomplishing something. Horseback riding is all about setting goals and working toward reaching them.
Everyone starts at the bottom when you first learn to ride, but you set goals and milestones. As you reach each milestone you take it as a small victory and each small victory builds you up. This not only makes you feel like you are accomplishing something but also builds up your confidence.
Celebrate these small wins and overtime they will become something much bigger. Not only will your riding skills be more advanced but your attitude and perspective may changed for the better as well.
No matter how confident or skilled you become, don’t be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes. It’s okay to make mistakes that is how we learn.
5. As a mom we need to be an example to our kids. Horseback riding teaches life skills: empathy, patience, respect, discipline and perseverance, which we can pass on.
Whether you are an adult or a child, riding can improve your character. Horses are not vehicles or robots; they have a mind, and a will of their own. They have ingrained instincts and individual personalities.
Sometimes horses don’t respond the way you want them to, for a number of reasons. You must be patient and try to figure out why the horse is acting the way he is.
Horses may not respond the way we want because of pain, fear or lack of confidence, lack of clear communication, confusion, frustration. It’s our job as riders to be leaders to the horses we ride but also to respect and be patient to understand the horses we ride.
Along with respect, patience and empathy riding teaches discipline and perseverance. There may be times where you feel that you hit a plateau or you are struggling with a certain aspect of your riding.
You must keep pushing through these times, look for supplemental options to help get you past these dry places, such as riding books, articles, workouts for core and legs, stretching for flexibility, or whatever you can think of that may help.
Recognize the smallest improvements. Pushing through those times you want to just give up and it seems too hard is what develops discipline and perseverance in your life.
6. As a mom we long to connect with other woman. Horseback riding creates the opportunity to make friendships.
Sometimes it’s hard making friends living our busy lives, riding gives you the chance to meet new people, with a passion the similar to your own.
Not only can you make friends with other people you can create friendships with the horses.
You can meet people in group riding lessons, just being around the barn and talking with other riders, joining different horse clubs or organizations.
7. As a mom who loves animals, Horseback riding gives an opportunity to connect with an animal like no other.
You are working with an animal that is willing and wants to please. A very large animal that could take advantage of how large they are to be able to get what they want. Instead they have been taught to be gentle giants. They seek your guidance and leadership. You have the opportunity to make relationships with these amazing creatures.
Horses have carried us through battle. They have helped manage our farms and crops. They’ve been our transportation before there were cars. They have helped us travel to foreign lands and create new settlements. They’ve helped us create jobs. They have been our teachers. They’ve been our companions. They have been our teammates.
They are beautiful, graceful, powerful, innocent, and loyal. Now a days horses are mostly used for companionship, teaching lessons, competition, racing and some still work on farms… like cattle ranches or for plowing, etc.
It is an honor to be able to develop connection, trust and respect from a horse. And though it takes time to build that it is so rewarding.
Love To Hear From You
Answer these questions in the comments!
Do you have a love for horses?
Have you always wanted to start horseback riding or have you ridden in the past?
If you have ridden before…. Did you take riding lessons?
Happy Horse Riding,