Hoof prints on your heart : Horse Riding4/10/2009 04:24:00 AM
"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I love horses." nothing but this got to be the statement to start with. As a kid, I grew up listening to the stories of "Chetak", Maharana Pratap's beloved horse. I love sketching friend horses, I kinda like the whole personality if it, the most good looking animal on earth, in my own submission, my favorite of all. I go over my history, My interaction with horses, would have had been through, those movies, and serials, with the cow-boys shouting whoaa, the great warriors of the past, fighting their battles of on their powerful obedient studs. those were the days bygone, in the recent times, its been chariots in the village, called "taangas" and probably watching polo and/or horse races on TV. the closeness is far gone.
Centuries gone, and now the horse-riding is no longer a hobby and sports for the riches. well, owning one is certainly a dream for a horse lover like me, but learning horse-riding is par reality and possible. the start point could be anything from the little interest in interacting with this lovely animal, or a small time hobby, or as one of the adventure sports in school, and taking it up as a passion the door is wide open. its wonderful, its thrilling, and its a great exercise too, treated as one of the best recreational activities in recent times.
The word Equestrianism is commonly used to express this activity with in all its purposes and skills. the horse riders are called Equestrians. depending on personal interest, one can learn it and opt for games like fox hunting , polo etc, or can take it up as recreation activity. there are multiple styles of riding a horse, like English and western styles mostly differentiating in purpose, and bareback horse riding, pretty much the most therapeutic of all. In one of these styles, the rider doesn't communicate to the horse at all, while in other the communication and ordering being one of the the major elements of riding a horse.
Horse-riding is one for all sport, be it kids, adults or old country folks. the people who are avid animal lovers, they apart from learning new skills of riding one, can enjoy heavy petting, can be around with the people and environment they could relate well too. one of the therapeutic effects of this sport is that it brings confidence to the person no matter of what abilities and disabilities physically or mentally, he or she is. it brings discipline in life, is a great stress-buster itself hence tend to make a person more jollier and functional in all facets of life. more than anything it brings a person much close to the nature, making him more respectful towards the animals and the mother nature herself. As Enctrc stats, the following to be the physical benefits of learning horseriding.
- Improved balance and muscle strength
- Improved coordination, faster reflexes and increased motor planning
- Stretching of tight or spastic muscles
- Decreased spasticity
- Increased range of motion of joints
- Improved respiration and circulation
- Stimulates sensory integration
- Improved visual spatial perception
- Improved eye-hand coordination