Horse riding has always had some pretty high and mighty fans, and today is no exception with celebrity enthusiasts ranging from Prince Harry to Madonna, and it is perhaps no surprise, because aside from the general enjoyment of it all, when it comes to keeping fit horse riding is an all-encompassing experience. Of course, there is rarely a better example of that than watching professionals (the England Polo team being a case in point), particularly at the rather prestigious Audi International Polo Series this month.
So, what is so special about horse riding exactly?
Well although from the outside it kind of looks as though riders are just sitting down and letting someone else do all the hard work, horse riding has a twofold effect in that it is physically and psychologically beneficial.
Full-Body Workout …
When it comes to physical fitness, it is a cardiovascular and muscle conditioning workout. An hour’s activity can burn a similar number of calories to that of a 30 minute jog, and it doesn’t just target the muscles you can see, but that all-important holy grail of fitness – core strength. It all comes from what is essentially an unrelenting balancing act which sees you reacting to the movements of the horse and using deep postural muscles in the trunk, and pelvis as well as adductor muscles of the thighs … The upshot of course, is that if you haven’t been horse riding before, or for quite some time, you are likely to feel a few muscles you didn’t know you had the following day.
Psychological Soother …
Perhaps the most exciting thing about horse riding are its therapeutic qualities – the need to be calm around the animals, learning to control and care for an animal, and being outside in the fresh air are all wonderful stress-busters, and confidence boosters for all age groups providing an all round sense of well-being.
Nonetheless, being on horseback isn’t for everyone, so if you can’t join them,
watch them! We have teamed up with the Beaufort Polo Club to give Spabreakers the chance to win a pair of adult admission tickets for the Audi International Day on Saturday 16th June! For full details visit our Facebook page!
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