Equestrianism — it’s not only sports.It’s love, which turns into passion and life-style. Each minute spent with the horse is a moment of joy and happiness. What is really important, is that horse riding is not only the time spent in the saddle. It’s time spent with the horse. Man, after domesticating a horse, took responsibility for it, and burdened himself with the duty to take care of these beautiful creatures. That is why, horse riding is also caring, cleaning, feeding and taking care of horse’s physical and psychological health.
- What is equestrianism?
The term equestrianism (or simply horse riding) describes all equestrian sports from dressage to combined driving. International Federation for Equestrian Sports recognizes 7 disciplines:
- show jumping
- combined driving
- endurance riding
- Benefits of horse riding
Horse riding helps to correct bad posture and decrease tonus. Rider, while sitting on the horse, has to work with his whole body to preserve balance and not to get thrown off from the horse (it's not that hard as it sounds). It stimulates and tones up muscle groups unavailable during typical therapy and exercises. While mounting a horse, we stretch our lower limbs. While acquiring good posture (maintaining balance) and moving rhythmically with the horse, we tone up back, stomach and lower limbs muscles (not to mention the rib cage and repository efficiency). While controlling the horse, by sitting on it properly and using reins, we tone up shoulder girdle and upper limbs. As you can see, riding keeps our whole muscular system busy.
- Contact with the horse
While horse riding, one can get to know and develop oneself. Horse training is really training oneself — without progress in our skills, horse will not show progress either. Experienced instructors teach horse riding in our stable, but the horse itself is the best teacher. It teaches us patience, calmness and brings out the feeling of empathy. When we speak about a horse and it's rider, we refer to them as a couple. It's a duet, where human is the leader.
- Who can ride a horse?
Everyone can learn how to ride a horse — willingness is the only criterion. Everyone starts this adventure with riding on the longe line. At that time the rider acquires basic knowledge and skills. After that, the rider can start riding alone. Children younger than 7 years old start with pony rides. It's an opportunity for the child to learn good posture and to stroke the large and hairy creature which the horse is. Feel free to bring carrots or apples.
- What else is needed?
Comfortable trousers with slim trouser legs and flat shoes make the basic rider's equipment. A safety or equestrian helmet is also essential, but it can be rented in the stable. You can also have gloves, chaps and a safety vest. There is nothing more needed when it comes to riding. Remember! Horse riding is not something one can learn in a day. You should constantly improve your skills and when it comes to progress all credit goes to you, your predisposition and classes frequency.