Why Horseback Riding Is So Therapeutic
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”-Winston Churchill
…or a woman 🙂 I’ve been horseback riding for a little over 2 years now, and I feel so blessed and grateful to have this opportunity manifest in my life. Growing up, I never thought I could do such things as horseback riding on a regular basis. I thought that horses were only for extremely wealthy individuals and no one else.
That’s a BIG reason why I felt compelled to start our brand new Trail Riding program at Fire Stables. Ever since “The Happy Aisle” came into existence, I knew I wanted to make horseback riding (and it’s amazing benefits) more accessible to people who aren’t able to take regular lessons, own a horse, or show horses. I am beyond excited to present this incredible experience to the Kansas City community starting June 1st, 2019. Whether it’s with your family, friends, your partner, or solo, it takes self-care Sunday to a whole new level!
Horseback riding is an amazing form of self-care.
It nourishes you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually… it is mindfulness and a moving meditation in and of itself! When you’re with (or on) a horse, you are nothing but completely present in the moment (which is the essence of mindfulness). You are emotionally, physically, and energetically connected to this giant, sentient being that is so large and powerful, yet so gentle. You are literally putting your life on the line, so establishing trust in the horse (and yourself) is crucial, not to mention powerfully healing to trust something so much bigger than you.
Horseback riding is a huge confidence booster.
Once you build confidence in your ability to groom, tack up, and be around a horse, it’s an incredible feeling for young people and adults alike. The more you ride, the more you increase your skills, and you feel like you are on top of the world! Once you are able to walk, trot and cantor–or if you’re doing Western, jog and lope–it’s such a fun, freeing catharsis. You feel as if you are in control and an unstoppable force, which gives you a superhero like confidence as you glide through the arena.
Trail riding is an extremely centering and grounding experience.
Just like hiking, it connects you directly to nature. From a spiritual perspective, the moment you are disconnected to nature, you are disconnected with yourself. You’re not going to be distracted with ruminating thoughts, your to-do list, or your cell phone when you’re on (or with) a horse. You’re acutely tuned into all your senses: how it feels to be on the horse, the movement of the horse, how it feels in your body, the horse’s majestic energy, the sun shining down on you, the wind blowing in your hair, the sounds of birds and other wildlife surrounding you, and all of the beautiful scenery. Which is exactly what we need in our fast-paced, technological world. These are the moments where I feel so incredibly present, still, grateful for life and Mother Earth herself.
Horses are extremely therapeutic.
Anyone who may be struggling with self-esteem issues, confidence, trust issues, anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, or anyone who’s been through a recent trauma can benefit from being around horses. Even individuals with disabilities such as Autism greatly benefit. Equine therapy can be even more therapeutic, and an amazing alternative to talk therapy. I am thrilled to announce that I will be officially EAP (Equine Assisted Psychotherapy) certified on June 10th, 2019 through OK Corral series. Equine therapy follows attachment theory, emotional regulation, and is a practice of external biofeedback. Basically, the horses mirror back to us our own emotions and experiences, which can be extremely powerful and healing. Especially since so many of us project onto others. I am honored to be able to offer equine therapy at Fire Stables in the near future.
“Equine-assisted work honors the natural behavior of horses and herds. Horses are skilled at keeping themselves safe and adept at survival; their natural behaviors are optimal for mental and physical health. In many respects, humans have lost the instinct to keep themselves safe and healthy. We entrust horses to show us the way back to health. Work and observation in the horse world lends itself to extremely powerful metaphors into our own patterns, strengths, and the nonverbal messages we send out. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy implements the power of equine-assisted principles and exercises to introduce therapy clients to themselves in a modality that has been found to be more efficient and less threatening than traditional talk therapy.”-OK Corral Series
Horseback Riding + Yoga is a match made in heaven!
One of my other self-care passions, besides horses, is yoga. There are so many similarities between the muscles used in yoga and horseback riding. They compliment each other so well, that I can’t wait to marry the two and turn more yogis into horseback riders, and more horseback riders into yogis. They are both amazing self-care practices that I personally benefit from, and they nourish all four areas of self-care: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. If you think horseback riding on it’s own is relaxing, try it after you’ve practiced some sun salutations!
Trail Riding at Fire Stables
Trail rides start this upcoming weekend, June 1st. We have our first Fire Stables Trail Riding kick off event on Saturday, June 15th titled: Yoga at the Barn. The event will include yoga, trail riding and an equine therapy / horse experience (for those who don’t want to trail ride, but still want a horse experience,) and of course wine via our wine tasting bar! There are 3 different ticket options depending on the level you’d like to be involved with the horses.
If you’re in the Kansas City area, specifically Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, DeSoto, or Lawrence Kansas areas and you’re interested in horses, Add a Little Wander to your Weekend and book a trail ride! To schedule, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 913 422-0550. And stay tuned for more info on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy very soon!
Now I would love to hear from you.
Have you experienced horseback riding or trail riding? What did you like or dislike about it? Did you find it therapeutic? Have you tried equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP)? Let me know in the comments below and I look forward to connecting and going deeper with you. Sending much love, self-care, and gratitude.