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Horseback Riding

There is something magical about horseback riding. It could be because of all those fairy tales we read when young about being swept off our feet by a prince on horseback. Viggo Mortensen aka Aragon in The Lord of the Rings has certainly helped prolong that fantasy for us as adults.

But there are more solid reasons to do it other than fulfilling girlish fantasies. Riding we muscles you wouldn't ordinarily use. It's not so much a cardio sport as it is a toning and strengthening one. During a lesson at the horse riding club, I found that it worked my shoulders and back the most.

It's also not unusual to wake up the morning after a ride with sore inner thigh muscles because of the way you sit on the horse. During your first lesson, you'll learn how to sit on the horse and do a basic trot. To get good posture, I was told to raise my arms up and point my feet downward. This elongates the body and makes the rider sit up straight.

The horse I was on, Buzz, then broke into a basic trot called the rising trot - where you_ rise and fall in time with the horse's movement. You'll also learn to control the horse. To move forward, one nudges the horse lightly on its left side with the foot. I was told to keep my arms relaxed and bent - which meant easing up on the reins as well. To halt, one simply tightens the reins for a few seconds, then releases.

During my lesson, I was led along a jungle trail where I learnt more positions as we went up and down slopes.When going up, you lean forward with your hands on the horse's neck and when going down, you lean back to stay with the horse as it leans back on its hind legs.

There is more to horseback riding than learning to coordinate your movements with those of the horse. As Sarah Finley, a riding instructor, says: "The main challenge with riding is the unpredictability because you're working with an animal; another brain. You never stop learning."

Dress Code

A well-fitted helmet is compulsory. Riders need to be kitted out in riding boots, breeches (which allows a good grip on the saddle), and a fitting polo or T-type shirt which can be tucked into the breeches.

Skills Needed

You can pick up riding with no previous experience.

The Payoff

From my first lesson, I found it worked my back, shoulders and thighs the most. It teaches you coordination and balance.

Why Is Horse Riding So Effective?

Riding Exercises Your Whole Body!

Simply put, horse riding is a lot of fan and are excellent fang of exercise! As you ride, you'll find that you are constantly thrown off balance, requiring year muscles to contract and relax in are attempt to maintain year balance.

Core Strength Builder

hiding a horse exercises the deep postural muscles of the trunk and pelvis, including your abdominals and lower back, and the large muscles of the thighs. These muscles are very ;important to year overall appearance and wellbeing. With strong care muscles, yon will enjoy a better posture and look toiler and mare confident. You will also be less prone to back aches arid tiredness. Other muscles including your hamstrings and gluteus, which shapes and adds sleekness to your buttocks, get a workout toe.

The Heart Of The Matter

Horse riding, especially trotting and cantering, hives you an excellent candle workout. In fact, the total calories used per hour riding is similar to jogging - up to 315-480 calories per hour.

A Question Of Balance

Riding also stimulates the vestibular system (the dart of the inner ear involved in your sense of balance) because of the horse's changes it direction and speed. This improves your body's inner sense of position, posture arid equilibrium.

 

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