The Benefits of Horseback Riding

It goes without saying that we love horses at the Gros Ventre River Ranch. Naturally, our guests do, too. As a famous ranching saying suggests, while small details of a dude ranch vacation will be forgotten with time, one never forgets the name of the horse they rode. While it is obvious that horseback riding is fun, there are many more complex benefits to saddling up and going for a ride.

The term “active vacation” poignantly describes a guest’s experience at our ranch. While all activities are optional and evenings are relaxing, there is always an opportunity to get moving in the fresh mountain air whether it be riding, hiking, fishing, swimming, or mountain biking. We offer two horseback rides a day, and the physical benefits are remarkable!

Firstly, riding a horse uses many muscles. Rider’s use their thigh group muscles to stay centered and balanced in the saddle by lightly gripping either side. The abdominal group is also activated in order to maintain proper posture on the horse, with a straight spine from the tailbone up. These muscles are exercised at any gait, but will be especially targeted at a trot or a lope. Riding at a faster pace also provides a cardiovascular work-out. Finally, studies have shown that because riding is not a high impact sport, it loosens muscles, and improves joint health. While riding provides excellent physical health benefits, it is also important to acknowledge the incredible mental and emotional effects of riding.

Many riders agree that riding has a joyful, meditative quality. In fact, in a study completed by the British Horse Society, upwards of 80% of riders surveyed claimed that horseback riding made them feel “quite a lot” or “extremely” cheerful, relaxed, happy, or active. The theory is that when riders are focused on their horse and riding properly, they are less likely to be bogged down in the distractions and worries of everyday life. The steady rhythm of a horse’s walk can also be soothing; comparable to sitting in a rocking chair, or sailing on a smooth day. Additionally, today we live in a world that centers on technology and virtual connection. Horseback riding (and vacation at the Gros Ventre River Ranch) offer guests the opportunity to truly unplug, and immerse themselves via a unique perspective into the gorgeous nature of the American West.

We hope you can visit us sometime soon, and experience the magic of being on horseback at the Gros Ventre River Ranch!

Sources consulted:

This entry was posted in Horses. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *