Many of us would probably not associate horseback riding with good health or view it as a good work out.
After all it’s just about sitting on another creature letting it do the hard work of running around; one may well think. But, actually horse riding can be very strenuous activity and a great workout. Here’s why:
- When the horse moves, the human rider moves their pelvis in time with the horse’s gait.
- The muscles of the abdomen and the back are also called into use when riding a horse; muscles that don’t receive much stimulation in the ordinary course of the day.
- Posture gets an instant fillip when one learns to sit on and ride a horse. Since the back is required to be kept straight, the rider does this automatically.
- In order to balance on a horse, the rider is constantly required to flex and contract muscles to stay atop.
- The deep postural muscles of the trunk and pelvis and the adductor muscles of the thighs are worked out by riding.
- The quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes (depending on whether the horse is trotting, cantering or galloping) also receive a good work out.
- Horse riding is low impact exercise which helps to improve the circulatory and respiratory systems.