1. Get a full body working and a six pack of abs!
Instead of doing crunches, plank exercises, and lunges, get on a horse for one hour! Horseback riders are known for having muscular legs and a six pack of abs for a reason, they ride a 1200lb animal!
Even at a walking pace, horseback riding is a full body workout. It engages your legs, core, back, shoulder, and arms. Riding takes balance and coordination to stay in the middle, and on the top of the horse. Sitting upright with correct posture while allowing your hips to loosen is great for your core muscles and overall posture.
Horses being the large powerful animals they are, are also very responsive and sensitive to the rider's body. Riding a horse requires great hip flexibility to follow the horse's movement at the walk, trot, and canter.
Focus on letting your hips swing with the horse's movement, while engaging your core to stay stabilized. As you engage your core muscles, think of pulling your shoulders back and down, engaging your back muscles to get that perfect posture.
It’s a delicate balance of staying flexible, yet strong at the same time. To find that balance requires practice, lessons, exercise, and yoga! Even going on a walking trail ride you will find your riding muscles are being worked hard.
Next time you ride a horse, think like you are a queen or king sitting on the top of your horse, riding with your head held high, shoulders back, and your six pack of ab muscles fully engaged (even if the six pack is still hiding).
After riding a horse if you don’t ride consistently, you will no doubt be sore. Stretching out your sore muscles will help you recover quicker and get back up on the horse sooner!
2. Feel confident!
Throughout my personal life, horses have always been the most calming part of my day. Horses have the ability to bring you into the present moment and calm you down. Horses have been used as therapy animals in hospitals, senior homes, special needs people, and for people with emotional disorders and trauma.
They are large, sensitive, and very smart animals who love human attention,from being brushed, to being ridden. Connecting with a 1200lb animal is a special feeling of trust and love. That is why so many people are so ‘horse crazy’!
3. Spend less time on your phone and more time outside in the present moment
The increase of technology use has driven many people's attention away from the world around us and into the screen in front of us.
Horses require our full attention, as they are 1200lbs and *can* be unpredictable. A horse will always remind you to be present by: spooking and jumping sideways because of an invisible ghost, getting playful with a buck while you are riding, refusing to go faster than a crawling walk, or turning left when you want to go right. That is the beauty of horses, keeping us off our phones and looking up at what’s happening in the world around us!
4. Learn a new skill and lifestyle
When you decide to take part in equestrian activities, you will begin to understand why people have been involved with horses since about 4500 BC, it’s a never ending learning process. There is so much involved with horses that you could spend a lifetime and still not know all there is about horses.
You can find opportunities to get involved with horses all around the world: horseback riding lessons, a training program, owning your own horse, working at a barn or ranch, breeding horses, volunteering with horses.
Feel free to reach out to us if you need help finding an equine activity near you. You can DM us on Instagram or Facebook, message us on WhatsApp or send us an email at email@example.com
5. Feel adrenaline and excitement in your life
Riding horses can be a relaxing experience, but also an adrenaline filled adventure! Most people that have ridden a horse or even just spent time around horses have a wild story or two...After all, horses are a massive prey animal with its own mind and animal instincts.
Riding a horse is a thrilling enough experience! A horse has four gaits, or speeds. A walk, trot, canter, and gallop. A trot is a bouncy 2 beat rhythm that is fun to pick up a little speed and bounce. A canter is the next fastest gait and is an amazing feeling, typically described as a rocking horse feel. The canter has a swinging, smooth motion and is every rider’s favorite speed! I remember my first canter and having dreams about cantering through open fields.
A gallop is the fastest speed and definitely the most thrilling, however should only be achieved once you have full control of a horse at the other three gaits. A horse's gallop speed can be up to 55mph. How thrilling is that?!
6. Travel more!
Horses have been used around the world by different cultures for different uses since around 4500BC. Traveling and riding horses tend to go hand in hand, and that’s why we created Cavago. Horses help give us a glimpse into the complex history and cultures around the world. For example, Mongolians used horses for hunting, war, and still use them today for those same reasons, holding onto a lifestyle that existed thousands of years ago.
Horseback riding is available in unique places you wouldn’t have thought about for horseback riding. For example in my home town of Maui, Hawaii, we have a rich tradition of Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy) culture as horses were brought here for cattle ranching.
There are massive and diverse equestrian lifestyles around the world. Traveling to experience how different cultures used horses throughout their history is an enlightening experience to say the least, plus you will get an ab workout on vacation while having fun!