At some point or another, all kids fall in love with horses. And who could blame them? For centuries we’ve enjoyed a special relationship with the powerful and stately creatures. They’ve carried us into battle. They’ve helped us to sell our wares. They’ve been instrumental in tilling our farms. Even today workhorses are still helping to fulfill the same agricultural duties that they’ve performed for hundreds of years. Horses are majestic creatures and can be a great companion for your youngsters. But while you may not yet be in the financial position to get a horse of your own, that doesn’t mean your child can’t have a special relationship with one.
Many youngsters beg their children for horse riding lessons, and it’s understandable that parents may be reticent. After all, riding isn’t the cheapest of hobbies. There’s equipment to be bought from Equisupermarket. Not to mention the cost of the lessons themselves. However, with gentle encouragement, discipline and focus, kids can enjoy a whole host of benefits from horse riding.
It teaches problem solving, discipline and concentration
Getting to know your horse is a fundamental skill in riding. And while all horses that work with children are well trained, kids need to put effort and patience into building that relationship. As they get to grips with the mechanics of riding, they’ll learn to use creative problem solving to overcome the difficulties they encounter. They’ll need to exercise discipline when things don’t go the way they planned. And they’ll learn the importance of focus and concentration as they pick up on the signals that the horse gives that lets you know their mood and state of mind.
It improves fitness and health
Like all outdoor pursuits, horse riding can be great for improving kids’ physical and emotional health. But horse riding also requires kids to engage their strength and flexibility. They need to engage their core to stabilize themselves and work in tandem with the horse’s movements. As such, kids who don’t tend to gravitate towards other sports may find riding a great way to keep fit.
It improves social skills and empathy
The ability to form relationships is central to a happy and emotionally fulfilled childhood. And when kids take riding lessons, they build relationships with their horses that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. The bond between horse and rider doesn’t come overnight. But when it does, it can be a wonderful thing. What’s more, it’s a great opportunity to form friendships with other like-minded youngsters.
It improves confidence and maturity
All of the above can be extremely helpful in bringing shy kids out of their shells and couch potatoes into the great outdoors. When riders gain in experience, knowledge, and skill, they inevitably start to feel more confident, both on and off their horses. And that confidence and self-assurance can help them through their adolescence and beyond, helping them in their studies and their social lives.
As you can see, there are lots of great reasons why kids benefit from getting on that horse!