Recreation and participation-based activities include trail riding, horse camping, backcountry riding, driving, advocacy, volunteering, and just enjoying horses in general. There are also huge health benefits of participating in equine activities.
The Benefits of Getting Involved
Participating in equestrian related activities is fun and has numerous physical and mental health benefits. Riders build strength throughout their body by constantly adjusting to the horses’ movements. Time with horses provides a break from worries—horses require their handlers to focus on the task at hand. Spending time with horses releases serotonin, a mood-enhancing hormone, lowers stress levels, and fosters a sense of well-being.
Time spent with horses increases:
- Distress tolerance
- Emotional awareness
- Impulse control
- Social awareness
- Social relationships
However, looking after horses also requires dedication and work. They must be fed, watered, exercised, and groomed—activities that can all be therapeutic. These routines and caring for and nurturing horses can also help build empathy.