The overall development of a child depends on a lot of factors from all aspects of their lives. All these factors come together to form a child that is confident, well-informed, active, observant, physically and mentally fit, etc. While good food and timely education might be the primary of those factors, there are many other social activities that help assess their development.
One such activity that helps a child’s development majorly right in the early ages of their life is horse riding. As much as horse riding is a physical activity, it has the ability to affect every aspect of a child’s development, including social, cognitive, and mental developments.
Typically, kids can start riding a horse or a pony as early as when they are 2-3 years old. However, it should only be done under strict professional supervision. Children should first be given a trial lesson and then be enrolled in the whole program. Children should first be made friends with the animal before beginning the lessons.
Now, let’s discuss some of the main reasons for introducing your children to horse riding:
It helps in maintaining better physical health
Physical activity, done in any form, always has a significant and positive impact on the overall fitness of a human being. Horse riding is no different. However, persuading children to be consistent with their exercises could be a tough task. This is when horse riding can come in as a fun activity that they will enjoy, and it will also help them maintain better physical health.
Facts say that riding works just about all the different muscle groups and builds strength, stamina, and better coordination to promote better physical health and fitness. Horse riding also helps children in improving their balance and enhances their core strength.
However, it is extremely important that children should be doing this activity under the guidance of a professional at all times.
Helps in developing better social skills
Having an animal around can do wonders in enhancing the social skills of children. And most children do not find it difficult to make friends with horses. In fact, they tend to build an emotional connection with the horses and get to make new friends in that environment.
Going out for horse riding lessons gives them an opportunity to meet people from outside the school and family. This gives them a chance to interact with those people and to make friendships outside of their regular circle. This, in turn, helps them in developing their overall personality and gives them the confidence of being in a social space.
It helps in developing a sense of responsibility
Just like any other animal, horses need to be taken care of as well. When a child gets associated with a horse for their practice, it builds a natural emotional connection between them. Children often tend to be very responsive to things they get emotionally attached to. They are very likely to start taking care of the horse in the ways they can and then start treating them as one of their own.
They start feeding their horses regularly, giving them regular baths, or even talking to them, for that matter, as a sign of responsibility. It instills in them a sense of responsibility that goes a long way. It also teaches them how to deal with and take care of animals and then humans in turn.
Horse Riding indirectly helps them in learning the importance of discipline, respect, and a range of additional skills in a caring and nurturing way.
It helps in making them more analytical and reasonable
Along with all the social and physical developments, Horse Riding also helps in the cognitive development of a child. Horseback riding improves learning by activating the sympathetic nervous system and also increases memory.
Horse riding helps in increasing the concentration power and focus of a child. Riding provides a wider sense of understanding of situations and inculcates a problem-solving attitude in a child. They learn not only how to face obstacles but also overcome them.
This trait of their personality is likely to help them even in the longer run. They will tend to make reasonable decisions and will develop the quality of analyzing situations before making any decision.
As they get older, they may want to consider a career in horse riding, of which there are many avenues to go down. Who knows, they might end up garnering the same success that equestrian rider and trainer Freddie Vasquez Jr. has had recently!
It helps in boosting self-confidence and enhancing self-esteem
Horse Riding as an activity also helps in boosting the confidence of a child. Taking care of an animal twice their size gives them a sense of confidence and superiority. Constant encouragement and appreciation will let them have greater self-esteem.
Having a feeling that they have befriended such a huge animal gives them the confidence to interact with other people as well. If they are even partially successful in dealing with their ponies, they experience a sense of achievement that acts as little things that add to their overall personality development.
It helps with ADHD and self-regulation
Children with ADHD often struggle with impulse control and concentration. In the realm of ADHD parenting, horse riding can become an invaluable tool in managing and improving a child’s focus, behavior, and self-regulation. The structure, discipline, and physical engagement of horse riding can provide a unique environment where these children can thrive.
Through horse riding, they learn the importance of calming themselves to avoid startling the horse and the value of attentiveness in handling an animal of such size and strength. Moreover, the natural, outdoor settings typically associated with horse riding can provide a soothing and stimulating environment, away from screens and urban distractions, encouraging children with ADHD to channel their energy in a positive, constructive manner.
Must-have horse riding accessories
Before you send your child to begin their horse-riding classes, it is important to provide them with all accessories. Those accessories might not only be important to them during the process but will also ensure their safety. Some of those accessories could be:
- Helmets: These helmets will come to their rescue if they happen to face an accident during the process.
- Horse Riding Boots: These boots are safe and provide the children with the grip that they need for maintaining their balance.
- Breeches: Breeches are great for first-time riders and are very comfortable during riding.
- Kids Horse Riding shirts: Kids riding shirts are those, whichever long enough to be tucked in and have short or long sleeves. They ensure comfort.
- Kids English Saddle: Choose a kids western saddle that is neither too big nor too small for your child, and that is comfortable for your child.
Including horse riding as an all-time activity for your children right from early on has proven to be a major factor in their overall personality development. The above mentioned are the reasons why horse riding should be encouraged.
Horse Riding could be a great and one of the most effective ways that keep them connected with the world outside and give them an opportunity to explore their strengths and work on their weaknesses.