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The Benefits of Horse Riding



Horse riding has both cardiovascular and muscle conditioning benefits.  An hour of horse riding burns the same amount of calories as a 30 minute jog or cycle ride (according to Calorie Control Council - Fit Facts) as well as toning and strengthening the major muscle groups in the body such as the abdominals, obliques, gastronomies and thigh muscles.  It also improves respiration and circulation; improves core body strength and flexibility.


According to a survey we carried out 81% of people asked agreed that horse riding is a fun form of exercise.  One comment said “I have lost 3 stone since I got back into it and feel great, never been fitter!”


Horse riding is for everyone of any age, male and female.  It is one of the few Olympic sports where men and women compete against each other.  Many comments from our survey were from people saying horse riding is a great activity they enjoy as a family.


One rider reviewed a riding school on our website stating that he had recently returned to riding after 35 years and that he is 75 and very much enjoying it!


Not only is horse riding great for physical fitness it is also improves balance and eye-hand coordination as well as having psychological benefits.  Learning to connect with and form a bond with a horse gives you a fantastic sense of achievement plus boosts your confidence.  Being out in the fresh air enhances your well being and is a fab stress buster, one rider commented “ It is the one time in the week where I can catch up with myself and forget work, deadlines and stress.”


In July 2012, Dr Eeva Karjalainen, of the Finnish Forest Research Institute in Metla, claimed that outdoor exercise helps people to overcome medical ailments quicker than indoor activity.

She said that forests and other natural, green settings can strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, improve mood and reduce anger and aggressiveness.


The below graphs show the results from our survey and further below are comments from our survey  about the benefits of horse riding:



Tell us more why you enjoy horse riding:


There were so many brilliant replies to this question, here are just some of them.


Because it's really fun!

It makes me be the best person I can be, because I love my horse so much.Good stress relief - you can't think about anything else when riding!

It is life enhancing for me, and just being around horses is so good, they teach you so much

I love nothing more than schooling first thing in the morning, it is quiet, fresh and a beautiful time of day to ride, it's just me and my horse for a whole hour :)

therapeutic, reduces stress

Sense of achievement when you get better/improve

Riding cured my longstanding back pain and improved significantly the associated depression

I love being around horses/animals. I love the actual riding as I get a great sense of achievement from it, it really de-stresses me as I have to think about the horse and how I am riding, which stops me thinking about work or whatever else has been stressing me out. I have ridden at the same place for over 20 years and the people there are some of my oldest/best friends.

The freedom, and friendships with your partner that last forever.

Horse riding is a form of dynamic meditation for me. Additionally, I think having the responsibility of a dependent animal is good discipline

Activity that I can enjoy with other family members

I have lost. 3 stone since I went back into it and feel great, never been fitter! My kids are always outdoors and active and are happier and healthier for it.

Allows me to appreciated my surroundings & countryside in a leisurely way & see things I'd never see walking or driving.

Fresh air, exercise, responsibility, social aspect, the bond you can form with a horse, the fear!

My horse and I constantly teach each other new things, and I like it when he puts his trust in me so we can work as a team.

Being at one with your horse is like no other feeling and a good gallop is great for blowing out the cobwebs!

It gives me a chance of just being me and a great stress reliever when the going gets rough. :)

I look forward to it every week, it is like a get away from ordinary life. It is a very unique sport and had lots of extras (such as making friends and learning new things) that go with it!

i have started horse riding after nineteen years it has done me the power of good

its fun and keeps you fit and healthy also you make lots of friends

I have ridden for years and now share my love of horses and riding with my grandson. it's something we do together, and it's lovely to see him at age 5 becoming quite a skilled rider.

I enjoy the bond with the horse. There is nothing better than riding on a summer's day with the birds singing and feeling at one with the beautiful creature who is allowing you to sit on its back. Magic!

I love horses

Time with horses is my sanity. At the moment it is the one time in the week where I can catch up with myself and really enjoy being where I am at that very moment, forget work, deadlines and stress. I also love that you are always learning with horses and that I know that will never stop.


It gives me time out of my busy family and work life, keeps me fit walking out with my daughter whilst she is learning to ride, enjoy spending quality time with my daughter away from any distractions.

I enjoy all aspects of riding but particularly hacking and show jumping. I love the yard that I ride at and have made many new and like minded friends, both human and equine. I like meeting new horses! I keep on learning and growing.


Thank you to everyone who took part in our survey.