By: Nicky and Sam Ellis – Guest Bloggers of Horse Foals
Man and horse have shared a strong bond for thousands of years. Horses are very friendly and one of the gentlest animals. Despite their size and height, most horses have an inherently kind temperament. Many specialists from the equestrian discipline and horse owners claim to have found a best friend and a lifetime companion in their horse.
In this digital age, gaining access to technological gadgets has become far too easy. Children wish to spend a lot of time glued to the screens watching mindless television or playing games. When learning horseback riding, your child gets an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and take in the fresh air. Inhaling fresh air is beneficial for their health. It boosts their memory, keeps the mind active, and helps your children become more creative.
Learning horseback riding has numerous benefits at any age and especially so for children. It helps in boosting their confidence and makes them better at problem-solving. Children also become responsible as well as compassionate. They learn the importance of discipline. Children also get a chance to make new friends that share the same passion for the sport of horseback riding.
Apart from the many other benefits of horseback riding, one of the greatest perks, especially for children is that this activity helps a great deal in improving their focus. Mentioned below are the top three ways how learning horseback riding can help children focus better.
- Helps children improve their reading and literacy skills
- Improvement in children’s scholastic achievements
- Helps children with ADHD or short attention span to focus better
Helps children improve their reading and literacy skills
Reading is soon becoming a lost art. A few decades ago, reading was one of the most common hobbies that kids would have, however these days kids spend a lot of their time on their smart phones or on their tablets. When you get a child out of their house, you encourage them to focus and expend their energy. When they come back home, you can introduce them to reading and to improve their literacy skills.
I tried this with my son. He used to constantly avoid books. Once he started to learn horse riding, I introduced him to books on horse riding and slowly increased his interest in reading. A classic that I wanted him to read which also helped me when I was young is Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. It was a book that brought tears to my eyes when I completed it. It had the same effect on my son. Horseback riding will help your child improve his patience and if you start with horse related books like I did with my son, you will pique their interest in reading and help them to discover the world of the written word.
Improvement in children’s scholastic achievements
Studies have shown that when mounted on a saddle and engaging in horseback riding, a child’s cognitive ability is tremendously improved. Extensive research on horses has proven, when a horse is being ridden, it gives out certain vibration. These vibrations help activate the sympathetic nervous system in the human brain. When a child engages in horseback riding, it positively impacts their focus, boosts memory power, enhances their problem-solving ability and learning skills. Children who engage in horseback riding are therefore well prepared to take on academic tasks and are likely to perform well in school.
Helps children with ADHD or short attention span to focus better
Many horses are specially trained to assist in therapies for physical challenges as well as a range of mental health issues. This is known as Equine Assisted Therapy. Among many other psychological issues, one of the challenges that horses assist with is ADHD. Horses are known to mirror their handler’s or rider’s emotions. Children with ADHD can communicate better with horses as to what their expectations are. The therapist observes this exchange of communication between the horse and the child and picks up cues that are relevant for the treatment. When Equine Assisted Therapy works in tandem with counseling and other therapies, the rehabilitation process is sustainable and faster as well.
Horseback riding is a great sport. It is good for the body as well as the mind. Learning horseback riding is an excellent confidence booster. It also helps your child develop positive traits such as discipline, responsibility, and compassion. When kids spend time around horses, they begin to look after the horse. This helps them learn to be kind to others. While it is great to encourage your child to learn horseback riding, you must ensure you exercise caution. It is always a great idea to visit the facility/training school to inspect the atmosphere. You can also use this opportunity to make sure the instructors are properly certified to handle horses as well as train your child. Take a look at the safety equipment to ensure that it is not damaged and in good condition.