Equitation, or horse-riding, is a noble sport that offers many benefits, both at the physical and psychological level. Although it might seem like a passive activity from an outsider’s perspective, it is in fact an intense training exercise for the entire body, which helps burn calories and strengthen the muscles. During their first riding lesson, most people realize that even keeping your balance on the back of the horse requires a lot of balance. There has to be perfect synchronization between the moves of the rider and those of the horse, which requires all muscle groups. One single hour of riding is the equivalent of 30 minutes of jogging in terms of burnt calories and it makes a very good cardio exercise.
As you can probably imagine, riding visibly improves your tights, as well as the abdominal muscles and the arms. During riding lessons, the legs are the most solicited parts of the body, especially the tights, which are problematic areas for many women. When riding, you have to keep the inner part of your legs very tense, otherwise you won’t be able to sit on the horse. These muscles are supported by tendons and buttocks, which are required to guide the horse. In other words, equitation helps you get a strong and supple body and unaesthetic fat deposits will be gone for good.
Stretching exercises might not be very fun, but if you decide to take up equitation it’s important to know that flexibility is essential. The position your body takes when on the horse automatically stretches muscle groups, so, whether you’re aware of it or not, their flexibility increases in time. This is a really important benefit, because it lowers the risk of accidental injuries when you’re making physical efforts.
Those who try riding for the first time realize how difficult it actually is. Any movement of the horse implies the presence of several factors that have to unfold correctly and simultaneously. If you’re not paying attention to the coordination of leg pressure, harness and the position of the body, the horse will not listen to you. In time, you’ll get to known what moves you need to get the result you want (for example, making the horse go towards a certain direction or walk in circles). You’ll start having a fast response time, stable and effective movements, which will be seen in everyday life, not only during equitation classes. Few sports require such high concentration and attention to details. There are even special therapeutic equitation classes for those with bad eyesight or who need to practice their coordination.
Whether it’s a hobby or a way of staying in shape, equitation is the perfect training form that can make you stronger – both physically and mentally.