Almost every parent goes through the “pony nagging” stage. It’s that stage where your child suddenly wants a pony for their next birthday and won’t stop crying until you either buy them one or let them ride one. 

When it comes to the second option, most parents are often skeptical because they assume that it’s a traumatic activity. Contrary to popular opinion, horse riding is actually safe (probably even safer than getting on a rollercoaster). 

Whether your child is aiming to become an essay writer or professional athlete in the future, horse riding can get them off to a great start. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the hidden benefits of horse riding for children.

Improves mental and physical health 

According to experts, physical activity or exercise is a critical element of early childhood development. Fortunately, riding a horse is a great exercise for kids that helps to keep their muscles active. This activity requires a great amount of strength and stamina, making it an ideal exercise for growing children who need improved health and fitness. But that’s not all yet. 

Riding a horse can equally have immense psychological benefits on your kids. Making connections with an animal will help reduce anxiety and stress. This explains why horse riding is commonly used as a therapeutic measure for children with disabilities and psychological traumas. 

Boosts children’s social skills

There’s much more to horse riding than just getting on a horse or feeding it treats. The riding community is known for sociable rides, trips, and general interaction. Thus, your child will get the opportunity to meet and interact with other kids from different walks of life. This way, they can develop social skills and form a deep sense of friendship with kids their own age. 

If your child is introverted or shy, learning to ride a horse might be just what they need to get them out of their shell. 

Helps children learn important life lessons

While you might try to instil certain life lessons into your child, there are some lessons that only experience can teach. Riding a horse requires focus, understanding, and a calm temperament. As such, your child will learn the art of self-discipline and control at the end of the day. 

In the same vein, falling off a horse (which will most likely happen) and getting on it again will instil perseverance and other valuable life skills in them. 

Teaches your child to take responsibility 

It’s common for many children not to understand the full scope of responsibility. From messy rooms to broken dishes, children seem to demonstrate their rampant behavior in all ways possible. However, riding a horse can help solve this problem.

Riding and taking care of a horse involves a great deal of responsibility because looking after a horse (or any pet at all) is hard work. The child will learn to ensure that the horse’s basic needs such as feeding, mucking, and grooming are met. 

When children learn to take care of their horse, they subconsciously become more responsible, empathetic, and selfless as they begin to put the needs of an animal before theirs. 

It’s fun

Away from the psychological and social benefits of horse riding, this activity is also a great choice for children because it’s just fun. Children need to constantly engage in activities that stimulate and make them excited, and this one takes the cake. Although there are tons of animations and video games that will probably have the same effect on them, you definitely don’t want your child to have excessive screen time

So by getting them on a horse, you can teach them the love for nature and let them have lots of fun. 

Final Thoughts 

Horseback riding certainly brings a lot of surprising benefits on children’s development. This activity helps to keep them active while teaching them incredible social skills and life lessons at the same time. If your child has been itching to go horse riding, now’s the time to finally say yes and let them try out this fun activity. 

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