Blended Spirits Ranch

Five Reasons Why Horsemanship is Beneficial to Children

Aug 20, 2010 | Posted in Articles

1) Build Self Esteem and Confidence

Horses are large animals typically weigh anywhere between 800-2500 pounds. Children often feel intimidated by their imposing presence. Accomplishing and mastering various tasks with a horse, in a non-threatening environment, establishes a sense of confidence, and self esteem in a child. Overcoming this trepidation also provides a positive experience for overcoming other intimidating and challenging situations that children encounter in their young lives.

2) Develops Self Awareness and Self Control

Horses communicate through body language. Monty Roberts studied the non verbal communication between wild horses and termed their language “Equus”. When you learn Equus, you can understand when a horse is exited, relaxed, nervous, frustrated, angry or playful. Horses have the capacity to read human emotions with amazing accuracy, thus providing a mirror image of a child’s sense of being in the present. Observed and used appropriately this interaction between horse and child can provide a unique and wonderful opportunity for the child to learn self awareness and self control.

3) Provides Companionship, Partnership, Unconditional Love and Acceptance

Unlike many humans, horses do not have to deal with a self-serving ego. Children do not have to worry about dishonesty, deception, judgment or drama when they are with their horse. Horses are honest all the time, no matter what, because that is all they know how to be. This allows the child to be who they are, to let down their guard and know they are loved by their horse companion for exactly who they are.

4) Good Physical Exercise, Outdoors, Improving Balance and Coordination

Working with horses on the ground and in the saddle can be an exciting and enjoyable way to encourage a child to want to be outside in the fresh air and exercising. It is both a good physical workout and fun! Physical benefits include improved strength, coordination, balance and endurance. Often, children who learn horsemanship will continue to work with horses into adulthood, encouraging a fit and healthy lifestyle.

5) Teaches Responsibility, Empathy and a Sense of Caring for Others

Horses require daily attention and can teach a child responsibility very quickly. Teaching a child to care for the well being of their horse fosters a mutual dependence and will develop empathy between child and horse. Children learn what it is like to be needed by another being and the self fulfillment that comes with caring for others and reaching outside themselves.