Monday 14 September 2020

5 Reasons Why Horse Riding Makes A Great Hobby For Kids

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As a parent I think it is really important for our children to have their own hobbies. Now I might not be saying that when I am ferrying around two children to a variety of sports and after school clubs! But deep down I think having a hobby or taking part in activities outside of home and school is so important for our children. It gives them a sense of doing something they love, trying new things and of course they make new friends along the way too. 

James's main hobby is swimming, which takes up a lot of our time. But he still manages to squeeze in some football too, with training one day a week and some games occasionally on a Sunday. Evelyn does her swimming lessons but she also does horse riding. If I am totally honest I don't know where her love for horse riding came from, it isn't something she had done before or something any of her friends do. So when she had seen a few video's on You Tube and asked me to try it out I went with it. uncertain of how it would go. 

But I have to give her credit where it is due, she absolutely loves it and has seemingly (well for now anyway!) found a hobby she absolutely loves. It has been amazing seeing her so happy and it is one of those hobbies which isn't widely thought about, so today I wanted to share five reasons why horse riding makes such a good hobby for kids. 

Meet New People & Make New Friends

Taking part in any hobby is going to give your child the opportunity to make new friends and meet new people which is always a positive. It allows them to expand their friendship group beyond those in their school or class and as they grow older and develop different likes and dislikes, it can be really positive for a child to know they have friends who like the same things as them hobby wise. 

At horse riding, the groups are often fairly small (around 4 people at a time) which works well as the kids get to know each other and it feels a little more personal and relaxed in a small group. It also means the kids are able to develop a good relationship with their teacher as well as any older teens who might be helping out at the stables. Younger children will often look up to the older children and it can be a great way to learn about the thing they love too, horses. 

Try New Things 

Whilst school opens up a wide range of activities and experiences for kids there are some things, like horse riding which simply cannot be experienced at school. That is why it is so important to allow our children to experience new activities and experiences through hobbies outside of school. It may be that they try something and don't like it, but at least they will know and can say they have tried. On the other hand though they may try something they have never tried before and love it an that's how they find new loves and interests too.

Evelyn has loved riding different horses too and trying to remember all of the horse's names, I think her favourite might be Jimmy though who is in the picture above! 

Great Exercise (Body & Mind) 

Not only are hobbies lots of fun but they can provide a great source of exercise too, any "extra" physical activities is going to offer great physical and emotional benefits to a child. However horse riding in particular, whilst it might look like you are just sitting on a horse whilst the horse does all the work, is actually a very physical hobby. It requires lots of core and leg strength to maintain balance, position and control when riding. 

Horse riding also helps a child to learn how to be more mentally alert too. This is because they will need to take on lots of knew knowledge, learn new skills and then put them into practice. Skills such as adjusting position on the horse, guiding the horse and thinking one step ahead at all times and planning your next move before it happens. This all helps enhance a child's multi-tasking abilities which can then be applied to other areas such as school. Also, the comfort of your child while riding is closely linked to the comfort of the horse. It's important to educate yourself about the various types of saddle pads for horses and make a well-informed decision when purchasing one. A high-quality saddle pad is crucial for the rider's safety, so it should be chosen in the ideal size and material for the horse.


If you can find a good horse riding stables, the experience is about so much more than just jumping on a horse and going for a ride. They teach young riders about how to tack up their horse, they have responsibility (checked by a teacher of course) of ensuring their saddle, stirrups and equipment is right for them. They learn about what it really takes to care for a horse, the work that goes into it and exactly what is expected.

If your child really enjoys horse riding then there is also the possibility to look into things like "own a pony days" which many stables will now offer, usually in school holidays. These days usually last for several hours and teach the kids the real ins and outs of owning a pony/horse. They take on the responsibility for a pony and learn how to clean out the stables, groom the horse and of course then get to enjoy a hack or lesson too. 

Gain More Confidence 

Many children can find it quite daunting meeting new people or trying new things and can often appear shy and quiet. However finding a hobby they love such as horse riding can do amazing things for helping them really find themselves and more confidence, it certainly did for Evelyn.

Finding something they love to do and learning a new skill is a great confidence booster. It also helps kids make new friends and feel more confident talking to other children when they are surrounded by kids who love the same hobbies as they do. If your child is particularly shy or lacking in confidence finding a hobby that offers a small group to begin with where your child can really get to grips with everything and get to know people in a smaller setting can be a good way to start. 

There are so many positives about children taking part in hobbies and horse riding in particular has been a great way for Evelyn to really find herself and let her confidence grow. Of course every child has different interests whilst some may know exactly what they love, others may be unsure and so it is important to allow kids to experience a wide range of hobbies and activities to enable them to find one they love. 

Does your child have a favourite activity or hobby they love to do? If so let me know in the comments below what it is. 


**This is a collaborative post.**

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