When children take horseback riding lessons, they learn a lot more than just how to ride. They learn valuable life lessons that can help them in other ways. Here are five lessons that children learn from horses.
- Putting others first. In a lesson program, riders are taught that the horse always comes first. They learn to be respectful and mindful of their horses, and that their horses’ needs always come before their needs. For example, they are taught to offer their horse a drink before taking a drink themselves, and make sure their horse is brushed and put away before cleaning up their tack or doing other things.
Patience. Riding takes a lot of patience. Riders learn that they have to be patient both with themselves and with their horses. Learning how to do something takes time and effort, and horseback riding is no different. A large part of horsemanship is learning how to connect with your horse, and riders learn that if they are calm and patient, their horse will be too.
- Persistence. Very often, it is very easy for a new rider to get frustrated when they start riding more challenging horses. Horses are all very different, and some are more stubborn or will occasionally try and test their riders. Horses like this will not always do exactly what an inexperienced rider tells them to do, and this is where riders learn persistence. Riders can only improve by riding more challenging horses, and they have to learn how to keep trying working through the challenges.
- Perseverance. For many children who have never been around a horse before, horseback riding can be a little scary. Horses are big animals, and it can be a little intimidating for a child to sit up high on a horse’s back. With a little encouragement, children learn to persevere and overcome their fear. They learn that even if something is a little scary at first, they can still try it.
- Get their hands dirty. Children who spend time around horses learn that no matter how fancy the barn is, there is nothing clean or easy about taking care of horses. In this day and age, so many children are dependent on their electronic devices to keep themselves entertained. They spend more and more time inside, and rarely get the chance to go outside and get their hands dirty. By taking care of horses, they learn the value of hard work, and how there are no shortcuts to avoid getting their hands dirty.
Horses teach children so many valuable lessons, other than just riding. Children learn how to be kind, well-rounded individuals, who are aware of how their actions affect others, and who aren’t afraid of hard work. These are all lessons that will last children through their lives.