Rocky Valley Veterinary Service

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Horseback Riding and Mental Health

We talk a lot about the health of your horse. But what about your mental health? We love each and every horse owner we serve, and recognize that when you feel good, your horse feels good, too; and that makes you both healthier. These amazing creatures have the capacity for empathy, love, compassion, and forming a deep emotional connection with their owners and handlers that can be comforting and therapeutic.

There are many mental health benefits for YOU and your horse when you regularly ride. Here are some that come to mind:

Stress Reduction: Riding a horse can be a calming and relaxing activity. The connection between rider and horse can reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Physical Activity: Being outdoors and engaged in physical activity can boost your mood. Riding a horse requires balance and coordination, which can be mentally stimulating.

Mindfulness: Riding can promote mindfulness as it requires your full attention. Focusing on the horse’s movements and your own can help you stay in the present moment, reducing negative thoughts.

Social Interaction: If you ride in a group or at a stable, it can provide social interaction and a sense of community, which is essential for mental well-being.

Confidence Boost: Successfully controlling and communicating with a horse can boost self-confidence and self-esteem.

Sense of Achievement: Setting and achieving riding goals, whether they are related to skill improvement or simply enjoying the ride, can provide a sense of accomplishment.

Nature Connection: Being in nature while riding can have a calming effect on the mind and promote a sense of connection to the natural world.

If you find yourself struggling, maybe it’s time to reconnect and go for a ride.

horseback riding and mental health