الإثنين 27 مايو 2024

How to Maximize the Benefits of Our Connection with Horses

موقع أيام نيوز

Every equestrian knows the magic of our unique bond with our horses. It is a relationship that sits at the centre of our lives supporting us and challenging us in equal measure. Every minute spent with our horses has a big impact on our wellbeing which is an individuals personal experience of good mental health and satisfaction with life. Research now supports what horsey folks have known for years spending time with horses is good for us so much so that horses are increasingly being used as a source of therapy. Studies have demonstrated that time spent interacting with horses increases positive emotions decreasing depression and increasing social connection skills in children and adults alike.
This article will explore how horses support our mental health and why as fulltime equestrians we sometimes end up missing out on these benefits due to strong negative emotions associated with our riding. It will look at what we can do to shift our perspective free ourselves of unhelpful emotions and maximize the benefits of our connection with horses.



Research highlights several reasons why spending time with horses has a positive impact on our wellbeing
Mastery A clear sense of mastering something we care about is an important foundational buildingblock to wellbeing. When we feel ourselves improving at something we love to do we feel ontrack and content. Riding feeds our sense of mastery by giving us a path to follow with milestones that signal our progress and success.
Connection A strong sense of belonging and connection is another foundational element of wellbeing. Being a rider makes us part of a unique network or group and forms a strong part of our identity.
Flow Riding creates the perfect chemistry for flow a highperformance state of mind that happens when our skills are being perfectly challenged by the task at hand. You know youre in flow when you are completely absorbed by the present moment lose track of time and find yourself performing at your best sometimes beyond what you thought was possible.
Given all of these positive effects it might be easy to assume that everyone involved with horses must live in a pleasant bubble of perfect mental health. Wouldnt that be nice? However for most of us this just isnt true. Recent research on wellbeing in equestrian sport has shown that equestrians just like other athletes also face significant challenges to their wellbeing and mental health. These include the high