A CLOSER LOOK….

Delivering Fresh Insight To Today's Health Challenges

Horseback Riding More Than a Hobby

LEG-UP-Therapeutic-Riding

Despite living in “suburbia” Pittsburgh, I’m finding there is a surprisingly large number of people who frequent horseback riding in my community. After a bit of research, I found each year, the number of riders in the U.S. is increasing and is estimated at over 7 million people.  Though that may not surprise the everyday rider, what may surprise you is, many do not ride just for sport or hobby!

As research continues to discover, the popularity of horseback riding for therapy and exercise is on the rise.  In fact, it is now considered a moderate-intensity exercise after the 2011 publication of a study commissioned by the British Horse Society. Riders may develop better reflexes and a sense of balance and coordination as they use their entire body to guide and propel the horse forward.

Additional benefits include increased core strength and stability as evidenced by spinal posture studies.  There is a significant amount of evidence showing improvements with Cerebral Palsy patients. Aside from gains in physical strength, my patients have cited less stress, improved mental clarity, improved breathing and increased joy! Riders have also expressed the companionship and the social benefit it brings is unparalleled.

One thing I learned was how intelligent horses are and how they can express themselves rather easily with their owner/rider. Though the number of times I’ve been on a horse can be counted on one hand, I find the excitement expressed by horse lovers, to compel me to get back in the saddle…. and maybe you should too!  

About the author:

Dr. Jerry DalCanton is the owner of Kids First Chiropractic and BrainCore Therapy of Western PA. He is certified in Neurofeedback and successfully treats ADHD and developmental disorders routinely in his Murrysville, PA location. For more information, email KidsFirstChiro@windstream.net or call 724-327-0148.

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