Horse riding, more than just a leisure interest

Horse riding, also sometimes referred to as equestrianism, is not just a hobby, but it is also one of the oldest forms of sports. In the opinion of many it is rather an instinctive thing; not that it doesn’t require any training. To master horse riding, you would need to put in hours of practice, and might need a trainer too. But the love for horse riding, that of course is instinctive, would determine how quickly you can learn and master the art. If you are passionate about horse riding, have some innate love for horses, and understand how thrilling and exciting can horse riding be, it wouldn’t take long to learn.

Horse riding as a hobby

Horse riding as a hobby can be very beneficial. Children should not be discouraged from picking it up as their leisure pursuit, and in fact rather be emboldened. Horse riding as a hobby is not just a good way of exploring surrounding area, it also opens a corridor that would lead you closer to nature; put your worries to rest, get a whiff of fresh air and admire the ineffable beauty of nature. You can never experience this on a four wheel closed stifling car.  You can see the landscape and appreciate the terrain with a vintage style and perspective. The cool fresh breeze away from the metropolis’ hum and buzz is soothing and healthy. Horse riding can be a very relaxing experience for the rider. The worries slowly let go of you and mundane pressures of everyday life seems to disappear while you are astride a horse.

Horse riding can be equally enjoyable for both adults and children, but it can be very worthwhile activity particularly for young kids, for this hobby helps to inculcate in an individual the sense of responsibility. Children will learn the responsibility of taking care of the animal, the horse that is, which they are supposed to ride. They would learn to keep the area clean for their horses, where they are kept. And we all know, the horse needs to be washed, fed and groomed on regular basis. These duties would enhance the feeling of responsibility and guardianship in a kid.

Horse riding can eventually turn into much greater than just a hobby, for the passion for this keep on increasing; increasing exponentially, till it becomes something that your life revolves around. Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.”

Horse riding as a sport

Horse riding is one of the oldest sports. It fulfills every definition of the sport (for those who doubt horse riding being a sport). It is not as easy as people think it is. It’s because people often see equestrians, on TV shows, riding horses effortlessly, that they get the impression that it is not that difficult a thing. What they don’t see is the effort being put to reach the professional level that these equestrians have achieved; the hours of practice put in everyday for years; the sores and bruises that the rider has endured to finally become the rider that he today is.

Horse riding involves the display of athleticism and aerobics, like any other sport. Besides, it is as much a mental exercise as it is physical. Strategy building, reasoning, utilizing skills, memory and confidence are required in all kind of sports, and it is no different for horse riding too.

There are many sports disciplines that involve horse riding, recognized by International Federation for Equestrian Sports. Show jumping, Dressage and Eventing are three Olympic horse riding disciples. Additionally, combined driving, endurance driving, horse-ball, reining, tent pegging and vaulting are some other horse-riding sports. Horse racing is one worldwide popular sport too. Polo is played in a lot of countries as well, and many tournaments are organized worldwide.

Getting started with horse riding

Horse riding can be very exciting but at the same time you need to know the basics before you start. The time when you think you should start learning this art of horse riding , first thing that you need to do is find someone who really knows how to ride a horse rather than some inexperienced person. Follow his instructions carefully and act accordingly so that you can learn this thing early as possible. You don’t need to be in any hurry when you are at the start of your learning process, you might feel dejected when you are not able to do something that your instructor said you could easily do. So being patient and following instructions carefully is something that will lead you toward your goal of learning horse riding.

Once you know the basics of riding a horse with your instructor, you might need to learn how to groom the horse before you can buy your own. This really is very important because grooming your horse will make your bond with your horse stronger and that will really help you in the long run if you want to ride the same horse over and over again. At the start there are some safety precautions that you should take to avoid any unwanted situations or injury to you or your horse. When you are at your very beginning you should practice horse riding in an open area away from any fences or tree branches that might hurt your or your horse. Feed your horse on time and do check your horse after every ride, and make sure it isn’t hurt.

When you are done with your lessons and you want to buy your own horse, you should know that buying a horse really is big responsibility that you have to bear and when you think you are ready to bear this responsibility, you need to take someone who knows about this art so that you can buy a good one.

Benefits of Horse-riding

A casual onlooker might have the impression that what horse rider does is just sit atop the horse, while the horse does all the work. But anyone who knows the basics of horse riding must know that this is not the case. There is far more to horse riding, than people generally presume. The enjoyment of riding the horse aside, it has great benefits to the physical and mental health if the rider as well.

Horse riding helps to develop balance. It improves muscle coordination and motor function. Your reflexes get better. Muscles get strengthened, and you’ll experience less cramps. It has great cardiovascular advantages too. It increases the blood circulation and improves your visual perception. Riding a horse can stimulate internal organs too. It aids in liver function. It can thus be very effective physical therapy. Riding a horse can be an excellent way to do away with the extra fat on your body. It can be a good and healthy work-out. You can burn all those extra calories, and refresh yourself at the same time. Rearing a horse and riding it off and on can bring some positive changes in your personality. It infuses in people responsibility and patience, and increases self-discipline and self-confidence.

Just like our muscles, the mind too needs exercise to remain young and working. Researchers say that lifelong learning can help prevent or at least minimize memory loss. Horse riding is an active way to exercise your mind. Step wise learning of horse riding can augment your problem solving skills. With every step, you will realize that there is always something new to learn.

Many people find peace, tranquility and solace in company of their horses. They can ride a horse and stride away anytime, away from all the problems if their lives. It helps to give them a break, which they need. And for some, horse is a comrade, a companion that helps to lift their mood; a friend that is always there, and does not at all judge you. Horse riders are often at peace with their emotions and feelings. So, horse riding can improve emotional wellbeing of a person. Sir Winston Churchill has put it this way, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.’’

Horses are absolutely gorgeous creatures. They come in different breeds of course. But every single one of them is beautiful in their own way. Steeds and stallions are popular among adults, while children prefer to have ponies. For centuries, they have been used for riding, working and as companions. Horse riding is popular among humans for a long eon of time now. Taking horse riding as a hobby is wonderful, but become a professional horse rider is a whole different story. Great amount of training and dedication will be required to become a reputable equestrian.