We discovered some of benefits of horse riding and why you might want to try it for yourself and for the good of your health.

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1. Good exercise

Anyone who has ever taken up horse riding regularly will tell you the most infuriating sentence you can ever hear is “but the horse does all the work…”.

I can confidently tell you that is far from the truth: just like a car won’t go anywhere without a driver, a horse will not move unless told, and on more stubborn horses and ponies that can take some work.

A light trot metabolises enough calories to qualify as moderate intensity exercise.

2. Core strength

To stay balanced and keep from bouncing around in the saddle, you’ll have to use your core muscles

This is an isometric exercise, which is where specific muscles are targeted to stay in a certain position.

It’s worth a try to get those abs of steel.

[Read more: Swimming: The perfect exercise to add to your fitness regime this summer, whatever your ability]

3. Improved posture

As a result of sitting in these specific poses to keep balanced, it’s likely that your posture out of the saddle will improve the more regularly you ride.

4. Muscle tone

In addition to the core, you’ll get a good work out in your back, your inner thighs and pelvic muscles.

This mainly again, down to the importance in the sport of maintaining a good position, adjusting to the horse’s gait to help both you and your horse keep balance.

5. Stable strength

Out of the saddle with your feet firmly back on the ground, you’ll continue getting a good work out by doing other horsey activities.

Whether you’re mucking out, grooming, pushing wheelbarrows and carrying buckets you’ll be burning calories and improving your strength as well.

6. Balance and co-ordination

As the horse moves and turns quickly, you’ll have to be able to support yourself.

At first you can hold on to the front of the saddle but the more you do it, you’ll soon get the hang of keeping upright without holding on.

7. Mental state

With all of this going on simultaneously, it’s a lot for your brain to take in and stay focused on the task at hand.

Furthermore, both exercise and spending time with animals are believed to raise levels of the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin, so it’s good for your body, brain and emotions.