Weight Loss

The benefits, harms and contraindications of riding

Horses are smart, beautiful and graceful animals, so people from the most ancient times have sought to communicate with them and tamed them. But horseback riding is especially exciting and can be beneficial to your health. But still, such an activity has some peculiarities, and they must be clarified before the first horse ride.

Why is horse riding useful?

The benefits of horseback riding have been studied for a long time, and at the moment several directions of the impact of horseback riding on the body have been identified:

  • A horse ride is a full-fledged hippotherapy session, that is, treatment with horses, the effectiveness of which has been proven by scientists. Communication with these amazing animals gives a lot of positive emotions, helps to relax and forget about problems, as well as enjoy the fresh air and stunning views, having achieved unity with nature. But the positive impact is not only on the psychological and emotional, but also on the physical level. The fact is that the body temperature of a horse is slightly higher than that of a human, and when moving, it rises by several degrees. And such a kind of thermal effect helps to normalize blood circulation and improve blood supply to important systems and organs.
  • Horse riding is a great workout for almost the entire body. During horseback riding, the respiratory and cardiovascular systems are actively working, which helps to improve their functioning. And the vestibular apparatus helps to maintain balance, which means that it will also receive a moderate load, thanks to which you will acquire dexterity and improve coordination of movements.
  • Regular exercise is good for weight loss, because walking at a fast pace is comparable to active walking or light jogging. In addition, the rider makes a lot of effort to stay in the saddle. In this case, almost all muscle groups are involved: femoral and calf, inguinal, abdominal, chest, biceps and others. This is a full and fairly intense workout.
  • Horseback riding is useful for a woman, especially planning a child. During a ride, blood actively rushes to the pelvic organs, due to which they receive more nutrients and oxygen and function much better.
  • Regular exercise will improve digestion, since the rush of blood to the pelvic organs stimulates the peristalsis of the intestinal walls and, thus, eliminates constipation.
  • You will become much more resilient, healthier and more efficient and active.
  • During riding, posture improves and forms, because the rider must keep his back straight, only in this position can you be in the saddle. Gradually, you will get used to this position and will not notice that your back remains straight even outside of class. And a beautiful posture means attractiveness, a gorgeous gait and the health of your spine.
  • You can become more self-confident, more attentive, more collected, as well as more feminine and attractive. And it will definitely come in handy in your life.
  • Horseback riding can give you a lot of new and interesting acquaintances.
  • While driving in picturesque places, you can enjoy the beauties of nature and get aesthetic pleasure that will help develop a sense of beauty, exquisite taste.
  • Communicating with horses will awaken the best qualities in you, such as kindness, gentleness, honesty, moderate and appropriate pride, loyalty, and many others. Often animals become a great example for people.
  • Horse rides are also beneficial for the body because they improve blood circulation and blood supply to almost all internal organs, and this normalizes their work.

It should be added that such a useful and exciting activity is suitable for everyone: women, men and children.

Can horseback riding hurt you?

The potential harm to riding lies primarily in the danger that the animal can create. For example, it can kick or suddenly accelerate the pace of movement, which will lead to injuries, including serious ones. But such risks can be minimized if security measures are followed.

There are also some contraindications:

  • serious injuries or diseases of the spine (during walks, the load placed on it increases);
  • some gynecological diseases of an inflammatory nature (during horseback riding, blood flow to the pelvic organs increases, and with inflammation it is harmful);
  • diseases of the prostate gland in a man;
  • thrombophlebitis, thrombosis and other diseases that increase the risk of blood clots (during active driving, one of them may come off);
  • hypertension and some other diseases of the cardiovascular system, accompanied by heart rhythm disturbances (driving provokes an increase in heart rate);
  • diseases of the kidneys and genitourinary system (such a contraindication is associated with a rush of blood to the pelvic organs);
  • exacerbation of hemorrhoids;
  • pregnancy (during horseback riding, the muscles of the groin and abdomen are strongly strained, which can provoke hypertonicity of the uterus and premature birth);
  • severe mental illness.

How to make horseback riding as useful as possible?

So that horse riding is only beneficial and not harmful, follow the recommendations:

  1. It is important to choose the right clothing and footwear. It is not necessary to purchase a special outfit (a jockey suit), you can choose tight pants or breeches made of breathable fabric, as well as a light jacket. Be sure to put on a helmet on your head, it will protect the brain in case of a fall. Optimal shoes are boots with high tops that will keep your feet comfortable (they will not come into contact with the protruding parts of the stirrup). Small heels are acceptable and appropriate, they will help to fix the feet. It is also best to choose shoes made from natural materials that minimize perspiration. Clasps are discouraged as they can cling to gear and be very distracting. Gloves can also be purchased to protect against slipping of the reins and rubbing of the palms.
  2. Contact a professional equestrian club, and choose one that has an impeccable reputation and positive reviews.
  3. If you are a beginner rider, then training is mandatory, involving practical sessions with an instructor, and not one or two, but at least 5-10. It is also useful to study information about horses, it may come in handy.
  4. It is important to choose the “right” horse. As a rule, beginners are offered calm and balanced animals, but in any case, you should establish contact and suppress fear in yourself, if any. So before your first trip, chat with your new cloven-hoofed friend, get used to him and let him get used to you.
  5. It is imperative to observe safety precautions. So, next to the horse, you should not make loud sounds and make sudden movements. Also, you cannot approach the horse from behind, he may get scared and unintentionally kick you. Be sure to learn how to sit up and down, as well as sit in the saddle. Before the first walk, be sure to go through the obligatory instructions, and during the lesson, follow all the instructions of the instructor. If the horse suddenly picks up the pace, pull yourself together, group up and do not try to jump off immediately, such a rash step in most cases leads to injuries. And before the lesson, check the serviceability of the equipment, your safety depends on it.
  6. Remember that horse riding should be fun in the first place. So if you feel nothing but fear and disgust, then you should choose another activity.

If you are still hesitant to sign up for a riding lesson, then do it as soon as possible!

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