With modern life in the cities, the friendship we made with the horses that were the companions of the Turks on their journey from Central Asia to Anatolia is outdated. However, riding instructors emphasize the benefits of horseback riding, saying that horses are very special creatures that contribute immensely to the physical and psychological development of children of developmental age and whose social benefits are innumerable.
Horse trainers, who have stated that horseback riding, which is considered a somewhat expensive sport today, has physical, psychological and educational benefits, list the benefits of horses on children and adults as follows:
What is horse riding for?
Development of balance: As the horse moves, the rider’s balance is constantly disturbed and the rider’s muscles must contract and relax in an attempt to regain balance. This exercise stimulates and develops the deep muscles. The three-dimensional rhythmic movement of the horse is similar to the walking movement. Teaches rhythmic movement of leg and core muscles. The rider can exercise different muscle groups by sitting in different positions on the horse. Stopping and restarting the horse and changing its speed and direction increase these benefits.
Muscle development: Even though horse riding is an exercise, it is perceived as a hobby and therefore the longer the period of entertainment, the more exercise-related muscle development will increase in that direction.
Development of coordination, reflexes and motor nervous system: Horseback riding requires a lot of coordination to get the desired reactions from the horse. It’s easy to tell when you’ve given the right command because the horse immediately counteracts every move the rider makes. When controlling a horse, repeating patterned movements speeds up reflexes and helps plan the motor nervous system.
Stretching ligaments and muscles: Sitting on a horse requires stretching the gluteal muscles. This is accomplished by pre-stretching before mounting the horse, and the muscle tension continues to build as the rider, who initially rides a narrow horse, rides an increasingly wide horse. Gravity helps stretch the muscles in the front as the rider sits on the horse without stirrups. The abdominal and back muscles are stretched as the rider is encouraged to sit upright against the movements of the horse. Following routine exercises on the horse and by holding and using the reins, the muscles of the arms and hands are stretched.
Increased range of motion in the joints: The rider’s range of motion increases as he mounts the horse. Range of motion also increases with riding and dismounting, cuddling, grooming, and exercise during class.
Improved breathing and blood circulation: Although horseback riding is not normally considered cardiovascular exercise, running and walking a horse increases breathing and blood circulation.
Development of the digestive system: Like all forms of exercise, horseback riding stimulates the appetite. The digestive system is revitalized and the efficiency of digestion increases.
Emotional integration: Touching the horse stimulates the senses of touch. The vestibular system is also stimulated by the movement of the horse, changing its direction and speed. Various scents in a barn and farm environment also stimulate the olfactory system. The eye is used to control the horse. Various sounds in a farm also cause stimulation of the auditory system. All of these senses work together and integrate into the driving motion.
Feeling of happiness: Horseback riding is a fun activity for children. The feeling of happiness is reflected in their facial expressions.
Self-confidence: The ability to control an animal much larger and stronger than itself is a very important element of self-confidence.
Reading development: Before a person can begin to read, they must recognize the differences between shapes, sizes, and even colors. These differences can be more easily taught on horseback through games and activities. There is less resistance when learning is part of the riding lesson. Thanks to the signs to be created on the track, letters can be learned and words can be read separately and taught in words in the same way. Games with exit, danger, stop signs, etc. are useful for teaching important life skills, including reading.
Mathematical development: Counting skills are taught by counting steps taken by the horse, objects on the track, and even the horse’s ears and legs. Addition and subtraction are taught through games. Since concepts are taught through games, there is less resistance to learning.
Friendship: Although horseback riding may seem like a solitary activity, it is done in groups. The riders share a common love of horses and shared riding experiences, and this sharing is a good foundation for building a friendship.
The development of respect and love for animals: Horses require a lot of care and attention. After a while, the riders become warmly attached to the animals. As their interest in them increases, they also learn to care for them. They first learn to respond to the needs of the horse.
Increased experiences: The types of experience gained while riding are endless. From cuddling and grooming the horse to riding, horse shows and being part of the horse, the rider is constantly gaining experience and improving.
Appreciate: There is no doubt that horseback riding is fun. Riders feel more excitement and fun with every lesson they attend.
Iksir Resort Town invites you to ride a horse
Iksir Resort Town in Kastamonu Daday offers the opportunity to meet horses, which are very special creatures, with Iksir Horse Farm. There are also mini-horses for children at the İksir Equestrian Sports Center, which has indoor and outdoor rides, grass boarding areas, horse safaris, men’s and women’s changing rooms and a 500 m2 bistro where boarding can be monitored.
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