Horse riding lessons are fast becoming more and more popular as extra-curricular activities for kids these days. Even adults enjoy the many benefits from horse riding You will find equestrian centres and horse riding venues that cater for beginners to more experienced riders, in Gauteng. Browse the list below.
There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse - R.S. Surtees
Benefits of horse riding for kids
It is with good reason that horse riding has gained attractiveness in recent times. Aside from the interaction with horses, there are so many good things about horse riding that will benefit young people.
- It develops confidence and control as well as good balance and core strength.
- Kids are naturally attracted to horses and this encourages a love for animals.
- Horses make wonderful childhood companions, unlike the TV, xBox or playstation!
- Horse riding lessons will improve overall fitness of children and is a great full body workout.
- It also assists in developing stronger muscles as well as muscle tone and concentration.
Horse riding competitions and shows
Depending on the equestrian centre you choose, you will find that some of them host competitions for the kids to participate in. Horses are used in different ways in competitions which can include dressage, endurance riding, eventing, reining, show jumping, tent pegging, vaulting, polo, horse racing, driving and rodeo.
Dressage involves the progressive training of the horse to a high level of impulsion, collection and obedience. Competitive dressage has the goal of showing the horse carrying out, on request, the natural movements that it performs without thinking while running loose. (Wikipedia) Show jumping comprises a timed event judged on the ability of the horse and rider to jump over a series of obstacles, in a given order and with the fewest refusals or knockdowns of portions of the obstacles.
Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln found that 4-H horse shows were much more than just an enjoyable activity for children. They also found that participating in these shows enhances important skills, including goal-setting, self-reliance, and follow-through.
Horse riding for special needs children
Therapeutic benefits of horse riding are numerous. Kids who struggle with concentration, have been diagnosed with ADHD or have disabilities can all enjoy the calming feeling of interacting and riding horses. They will see a marked improvement in their coordination, muscle tone and concentration. Click here
for a list of extra murals for special needs children.
What to expect when you start horse riding lessons
- As with any other extra mural, you will start by learning the fundamentals about horses and riding. Safety is important not only for yourself or your child but for the horse too. Good riding instructors will teach your child all they need to know before even getting on the horse.
- In general, riders will need to have a riding helmet, comfortable pants and in the long run, riding boots too. Usually the equestrian centre would have a contact to supply these easily.
- Basics taught are (among other things) mounting, balance and control, steering and stopping and later how to get the horse to trot, walk, canter etc.
Begin your search
Horse riding lessons are found mainly on the outskirts of the city, on small holdings or farms. Click on the suburb search button above to find a suburb close to you where you will find horse riding lessons. Alternatively if you donít mind the traveling, scroll through the listings and see what each one offers. Good luck and happy riding!