The Health Benefits of Horseback Riding


Before we all had cars to drive in, people used horses to get around, and almost everyone was taught to care and ride a horse. Today, our dependence on these large mammals is non-existent, and horseback riding has become recreational. There are many obvious health benefits to riding, including strong core and legs, but there are also many less obvious benefits, such as boost in confidence and meditation. Horses are even used in therapy for mentally disabled children, which further proves how wonderful they are!

Here is the top list of health benefits of horseback riding from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:

  • Body Awareness: Horseback riding really works the core muscles that stabilize the trunk: the abdominal, back, and pelvic muscles. However, it’s not just about the strength of the core but the coordination and stability of it as well. The more you ride, the more the body learns to move with the horse.
  • Quick Thinking: Riding a large, powerful animal with a mind and agenda of its own is a full-body workout that will force you to engage muscles you didn’t know existed and constantly adjust to the animal’s form.
  • Coordination: Many movements need to happen simultaneously while riding for the horse to be properly guided- this is what coordination consists of. Therapeutic riding programs for the sight-impaired have had a lot of success in developing better coordination.
Riding a horse requires good core strength and balance!
  • Core Strength: Horseback riding is an isometric exercise, which means it uses specific muscles to stay in certain positions, in this case, keeping balanced on the horse. Because of this, postural strength is crucial when riding, and the riders’ posture improves even in daily activities.
  • Muscle Tone and Flexibility: Along with the core muscles, the inner thighs and pelvic muscles get the biggest workout as riders position themselves. Riders often have to maintain a squatting position while they ride, constantly adjusting to the cadence of the horse. This exercise helps with good overall muscle tone and flexibility.
  • Stable Strength: Riding is not the only way this activity gives the body a workout. Working in a barn and taking care of a horse strengthens muscles and increases cardiovascular capacity.
  • Mental Exercise: There are so many mental benefits to horseback riding. Not only do you really learn about yourself as you experience time on a horse, but it can also have a meditative effect because, for the time being, the only focus is on riding and staying on the horse. While horseback riding is great exercise, the real benefit is the connection with the animal and the peace of mind that comes with every ride.

Social and Mental Benefits of Horse Ownership

Health Tips We Can Learn From Horses



  1. Once one gets beyond simply ‘staying on the horse’, a whole string of doors open.
    Doors into connection, both mental and physical.
    Doors into fun and playfulness, spontaneity and laughter. Doors into challenge and leadership, trust and respect.
    When the rider becomes so comfortable and relaxed with every gait, movement and turn of the horse, so the dance begins….

  2. There is no better feeling than riding….in the spring when the apple trees are blooming , a sweet smell, in the fall when the colors are magnificent. I have spent hours with my children and grand daughter talking, laughing, singing. Wouldn’t change all the hard work for anything.

    • I never make any excuse for riding…

      Don’t ever say: It’s me or the horse…
      I have already answered (a couple of times…) “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out…”

      By the way, equestrianism, best LIFESTYLE ever!

  3. Such a shame you start the article with a falsehood. There has never been a time when most people could ride and care for a horse. The vast majority of people in the pre-car era could never even dream of owning a horse- they were for the wealthy, the best the rest could hope for was to use one on a farm

  4. Yes horse riding is very good for you I have been riding from about a year old and I am now 65 my mum was in her seventy when she had too stop ..have a great ride today I will. .

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