How Horse Riding Can Help Children’s Development


You might be aware of the benefits of horse riding for people, both physically and mentally. But have you thought about how it can help children’s development? Here, Katie Allen-Clarke from Horse & Country details the benefits.

Horse riding is a very beneficial form of exercise for everyone — it uses every part of the body and offers a way to get out into the fresh air, which is extremely good for mental health. It can also benefit children’s development in a number of other ways.

horse riding
Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

1) Increased confidence

One of the best aspects of horse riding, is that it’s extremely good for developing children’s confidence. This is because the sport presents kids with lots of little tasks and decisions to overcome, and solving them can give little ones a great sense of achievement. Things like mastering different paces with their horse and doing small jumps can really show a child what they are capable of, and allow them to build up their confidence in a new environment.

2) Improved social skills

Horse riding requires children to communicate with both people and horses, and can be very beneficial for their social skills. Horses rely on non-verbal communication, and often mirror the body language of the people around them. This can be very reassuring for children, especially those who are shy. They’ll also have the chance to work with instructors and form friendships with other riders, making riding a good environment for kids to build their confidence with social interactions.

horse riding
Photo credit: Pixabay, Uschi (Uki_71)

3) Increased responsibility

Horse riding can also bring a sense of responsibility to children. When they are horse riding, they are taking responsibility for themselves and their horse, learning about how to stay safe, and often how to take care of their horse too. What’s more, they can explore the concept of responsibility while under the supervision of instructors and helpers, meaning they are still kept safe.

4) Improved focus

Many children struggle with their concentration during the school day, and riding can be excellent for teaching children how to stay focused. There is a lot of problem-solving involved with horse riding, as they have to be aware of their horse’s temperament and handle real life situations as they happen. This can keep kids’ attention and make sure they are always engaged, and being increasingly comfortable solving problems and remaining focused can translate into other areas of their life.

horse riding
Photo credit: Pixabay, Alexa (username: Alexas_Fotos)

5) Life lessons

Like with any hobby or activity for children, horse riding can also teach little ones some useful life lessons that they can take with them throughout life. For instance, if something goes wrong or they fall off the horse, they learn to get back on and continue once the situation is safe and the adults have checked that they are unharmed. This is a very useful confidence boost, and can teach children resilience. As well as this, they will learn how to stay calm and relaxed in less predictable situations.

From building confidence to teaching them valuable life lessons, horse riding can bring many benefits for children. With all these positives, riding could be the right activity for your child or children to take up, and maybe even enjoy throughout their lives.