7 Reasons Why Horseback Riding Is the Best Therapy

Elkhorn Ranch AZ Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Elkhorn Ranch, AZ

There’s no denying that climbing on a horse at the end of an overwhelming day can be quite liberating. But what if we told you this ancient mode of transport is the best therapy? Believable? Not to worry, this article aims at shading light on therapeutic horseback riding and its benefits.

What is Horseback Riding?

Therapeutic horseback riding is a form of equine therapy that focuses on forming a partnership between patients and horses. It combines sport, recreation, and education and is especially proven helpful for people with disabilities with results showing improvement in their cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being.

Sundance Trail Kid Arena

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, Colorado

Importance of Horseback Riding

Riding a horse is FUN! Now imagine using it for therapy. Nothing can beat that combination. Still doubtful? Below are 7 reasons that might convince you to get on that horse and commence your galloping adventures.

Why Horseback Riding Is the Best Therapy

 

1. Emotional Strength and Control

Yes, you read it right. Horseback riding keeps your emotions in check. How you ask? There’s no room for anger or fear. This is only possible if the rider stays vigilant and focused on the surroundings, and at the same time monitors the behavior of the animal. It’s as if the horse’s mind and yours are in sync. Lose focus for a second and the horse begins to wander.

The assertion is one way to build your emotional strength. After all, you are in charge of the horse and not the other way around. Instruct it to go faster, and it will do just that. However, we can’t ignore the fact that a horse has a mind of its own and may sometimes refuse to cooperate with its rider.

2. Strengthened Muscles

Therapeutic horseback riding is much more than emotional health. It’s also used as physical therapy for disabled riders. While horse riding, small muscle movements are necessary. They often consist of hand movements when selecting reins or holding them while riding. Large muscle groups also play a huge role. How? Horseback riding stabilizes the trunk by actively engaging the core muscle as the rider rises and sits to the horse’s rhythm.

3. Improved Balance and Confidence

The rider is a continuously thrown-off balance as the horse moves. As a result, the muscles contract and relax in an attempt to regain balance with the exercise reaching the deep muscle tissues considered inaccessible in a typical physical therapy. By stopping or starting the horse or changing direction, the rider’s balance can be further improved.

Children living with disabilities sometimes feel trapped in a body they have little control over either through difficulty in walking or confinement to a wheelchair. Now imagine for the first time these kids, through horseback riding for children, get to command their horses with smiles on their faces. Nothing could beat that. Also, a child’s connection with an animal and the opportunity to master horsemanship skills boost their confidence.

4. Positive Sensory Stimulation

Horseback riding stimulates the senses in different ways that are especially beneficial to people with mental disorders. A good example is a horseback riding therapy for autism spectrum. The rider’s sight, sense of touch, hearing, and smell are all triggered by the sounds, smell and the feel of the horse itself. Introducing horse riding games for kids could help create both sensory enjoyment and appreciation of the act of riding itself. For children with personal horses on the farm, tending to the horse with products for horses is also another exciting way to improve the bond. 

Red Rock Ranch Horseback Riding is the Best Therapy

The Red Rock Ranch, WY

 

5. Demands Focus

What better way to forget about the worries of this world than a horseback riding southwest ranches expedition. Therapeutic horseback riding requires your complete attention. This way the rider has no time to think about a problem or stressful situation.

6. Teaches Patience

The art of horseback riding is not acquired overnight. It involves endless trials and an unresponsive horse. However, this is no reason to get discouraged. Sometimes, you have to relax, take a breath, and then give it another shot. This way you’ll acquire patience which is hugely therapeutic and beneficial in other areas too. What’s more, finding a ranch in the U.S should be an easy task, so you don’t have to worried about where to go horseback riding.

7. Develops and Improves Social Skills

Sometimes, people with disabilities may have a hard time interacting with others. Horseback riding offers a way for them to improve their social skills. It starts with the bond naturally formed during the horseback riding lessons between the rider and horse. Once they get used to this, it becomes easier for people with disabilities to build a relationship with the instructors and later on with the community at large. Therapeutic horseback riding also provides an avenue for people to positively channel emotions over their disability which at times hinders social interaction.

Conclusion

Nothing beats a few hours spent with a horse, man’s best therapist. You are assured of experiences worthy of a lifetime. Ever tried therapeutic horseback riding? Feel free to engage us in an email at info@duderanch.org.

 

Author Bio

Betty Wilson having recently finished a masters degree in Biodiversity Conservation. Her passion is horse riding. Together with allpetsexpert.com she actively participates in charity events in support of stray animals.

 

There’s no denying that climbing on a horse at the end of an overwhelming day can be quite liberating. But what if we told you this ancient mode of transport is the best therapy? Believable? Not to worry, this article aims at shading light on therapeutic horseback riding and its benefits.

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5 Ways a Dude Ranch Vacation Can Heal You

The U.S. Travel Association reports a strong correlation between leisure and a person’s overall well-being and even attributes annual vacations to improved health. With that in mind, it makes sense that a trip solely planned around healing would yield powerful restorative results. While the term ‘dude ranch’ usually brings to mind images of cowboys and cattle drives, dude ranches are surprisingly perfect destinations for reviving your mind, body and spirit. Below, please find an overview to help you discover the healing power of dude ranches on your next vacation. In keeping with the belief that wellness starts from within, many DRA-accredited ranches offer a variety of rejuvenating activities and programs specifically designed to heal what ails you.

Yogi in the Rockies: Now in its ninth season, the “Experience Yoga and Horses Retreat” at The Home Ranch, led by two fabled Cowgirl Yoginis, is the ultimate girlfriend getaway. The retreat invites adventuresome cowgirls of all ages to a legendary all-inclusive week of restorative horseback riding, soothing yoga, fine dining, wine pairing and relaxation. With a million acres of Rocky Mountain Wilderness at your doorstep, you’re sure to have the most memorable experiences of your life.

Change you’re Pace: C Lazy U Ranch, a premier luxury guest ranch getaway located on 8,500 acres in Grand County, Colo. and easily accessible from Denver, recently launched its Outlaw Fitness and Wellness program. Guests can enjoy 60-minute yoga classes, personal training sessions and fitness activities that incorporate the ranch’s natural surroundings, as well as area activities such as hiking and mountain biking. The wellness sessions are designed to rejuvenate mind, body and spirit as guests retreat from everyday life, and complement the traditional ranch stay through stretching and guided fitness regimens.

Step into Zen: Smith Fork Ranch is the perfect destination for not only fun and adventure, but also relaxation and wellness. After an arduous hike or an exhilarating mountain bike or horseback ride, indulge in various selections at The Spa at Smith Fork Ranch, including healing massages, renewing facials or soothing foot treatments. Enjoy massages in one of their tranquil rooms or creek-side at the ranch’s Massage Outpost, situated among the serene beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Trained and attentive staff melt your pains away and take care of all the details, so all you have to do is relax.

Practice Your Balance: If there was one phrase to capture Echo Valley Ranch & Spa’s wellness philosophy, it would be “Sabai Sabai,” a Thai term used to describe balanced harmony of mental, physical and spiritual health and wellbeing. Everything at this destination wellness resort and luxury spa in British Columbia sets the stage for the perfect wellness retreat. The water you drink is even taken from one of the five natural springs located on the ranch! Echo Valley also offers two types of spa experiences: a Thai-style spa offering a range of authentic Thai therapies and a Western-style spa offering contemporary aesthetic services.

Harmonize with Horses: Tanque Verde Ranch is one of America's old time cattle and guest ranches. Nestled amongst the Rincon Mountains and adjacent to Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest in Tucson, Az., Tanque Verde Ranch offers a unique opportunity to enhance your ranch vacation. Harmony with Horses will provide you with extensive horsemanship skills, improved riding ability, better self-understanding, and one of the most unique vacation experiences amidst 60,000 acres of Tucson's most breathtaking desert landscapes.

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