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Benefits of Horse-riding

There are many benefits for children interacting and building relationships with horses. Learning to ride comes with its obvious physical benefits (balance, hand/eye coordination, fitness, muscle strengthening), but there is so much more to know.

Some of the additional benefits are:

- Resilience  

- Confidence

- Empathy

- Kindness

- Perseverance

- Following instructions

- Sequencing, patterning and motor planning

...and many more!!

Read on for more information on the areas. Contact us to discuss your child's individual needs and to see what we can do for support.

 

Benefits of Horse-riding

RESILIENCE

If you wonder if your child would benefit with support with their resilience, that is, the ability to bounce back from difficulties, then training horses could be the answer.


Children interacting with horses will be faced with challenging tasks to deal with. These challenges can be as simple as putting on the girth to more difficult moments of cantering for the first time. Throughout the entire session, there will be different obstacles for your child to overcome. Interacting with horses is a great way to practice and build resilience in a safe environment.

 

Benefits of Horse-riding

CONFIDENCE

Confidence has big implications for children and their approach to many different tasks in their everyday life. The belief in their own ability to achieve something can have an impact on the way they view problem-solving and giving new experiences a go. Working around horses, both handling and riding, can help to develop confidence in your abilities. Initially, students might think they can't achieve something new. Eventually they will see that with practice, patience and determination...they can achieve a new skill and they can get better at it!

 

Benefits of Horse-riding

EMPATHY & KINDNESS

 Empathy, the ability to understand and share how another is feeling, is crucial for our children today. When working with horses, we can show children how their behaviour and decisions impact on those around them - and horses give instant feedback! We can then teach children kindness. Using the Equitation Science principles helps explain to children, from the beginning of their journey with horses, that we need to make training a calm and positive experience for all involved. The happier the horse, the safer we are with them. Treating horses with kindness springboards treating all others with kindness. 

 

Benefits of Horse-riding

PERSEVERANCE 

To persevere when something gets tricky is a skill that most children can do with developing. In our modern day, children are used to instant gratification. What horses show children, however, is that sometimes you have to practice...sometimes you have to be patient...a lot of the time you need to keep trying. What a great skill to learn.

 

Benefits of Horse-riding

JOY

"Nothing without joy" Loris Maluguzzi

A wonderful way for a child to develop all of these skills when having fun...

 

Benefits of Horse-riding - an example

In-hand Training

In this video, Rose demonstrates what she has learnt about in-hand training. 

In terms of horse training principles, Rose is showing:

- Negative reinforcement (pressure release)

- The correct timing of the release of pressure

- Positive reinforcement - rewarding Gypsy when she has got the correct answer

- An understanding of the GO signal (go up a gait, go quicker)

- An understanding of the STOP signal (down a gait, slower)

Rose has also:

- Developed her resilience by continuing to train when times got tough (Gypsy hasn't always lead so beautifully!)

- Grown in confidence in her own abilities

- Learnt to overcome her fears or concerns

- Developed a huge amount of kindness towards horses and ponies

Rose often talks about her involvement with horses as 'training'. She understands that she is learning about horses, which is key for safety and enjoyment, but she also realises that with each encounter, the horses are learning from her. 

Well done Rose for all of your hard work and commitment to being a kind and effective horse trainer.