You might be aware of the benefits of horse riding for people, both physically and mentally. But have you thought about how it can help children's development? Here, Katie Allen-Clarke from Horse & Country details the benefits.
Horse riding is a very beneficial form of exercise for everyone — it uses every part of the body and offers a way to get out into the fresh air, which is extremely good for mental health. It can also benefit children's development in a number of other ways.
1) Increased confidence
One of the best aspects of horse riding, is that it's extremely good for developing children's confidence. This is because the sport presents kids with lots of little tasks and decisions to overcome, and solving them can give little ones a great sense of achievement. Things like mastering different paces with their horse and doing small jumps can really show a child what they are capable of, and allow them to build up their confidence in a new environment.
2) Improved social skillsHorse riding requires children to communicate with both people and horses, and can be very beneficial for their social skills. Horses rely on non-verbal communication, and often mirror the body language of the people around them. This can be very reassuring for children, especially those who are shy. They'll also have the chance to work with instructors and form friendships with other riders, making riding a good environment for kids to build their confidence with social interactions.
3) Increased responsibility
Horse riding can also bring a sense of responsibility to children. When they are horse riding, they are taking responsibility for themselves and their horse, learning about how to stay safe, and often how to take care of their horse too. What's more, they can explore the concept of responsibility while under the supervision of instructors and helpers, meaning they are still kept safe.