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Horses: Kids, therapists and team players!

By GoLove|Fri Apr 19 2024|Outdoors, Wellness
Horses: Kids, therapists and team players!

(Read time: 2 minutes)

When you think of team sports for your kid, you probably conjure images of sweaty bodies running about on a football field, cut-up orange quarters, and sitting in the sunshine on a Saturday afternoon watching a cricket match. Maybe your kids play basketball or soccer, and you spend your weekends driving all over the place to get them to training and their next game.

But what if I told you there is a sport in which your teammate does not speak the same language as you and is not even the same species? I’m talking about horse riding. Many people will say, “Horse riding is not a team sport,” and I am here to tell you that you could not be further from the truth.

A child’s pony weighs around 120-250 kgs, while a larger horse weighs 650-750 kgs. That is a lot of weight to tell to move around if you are not working as a team. Horses don’t run around a show jumping course by themselves or perform a dressage test without a rider. Of course, not all horses are show horses, and not all riders want to compete, but all horse people will tell you that they and their horses are a team.

Being herd animals, horses naturally have a high EQ (emotional quotient). They can understand body language and emotions from other horses, which helps them survive in the wild – but it also translates to humans, which means you can create a strong relationship with a horse without speaking words. If you are nervous, the horse knows. If you are sad, angry, or relaxed, the horse knows. So, as well as being able to understand how your child is feeling without them having to say a word, horses are also very good listeners and will hold onto the secrets and stories of every child who has ever loved them.

Giving children the gift of experiencing horse riding is like introducing them to a best friend who will carry them, listen to their secrets, and take them on amazing adventures. So whether your kids are competing in the show ring or simply enjoying a gentle trail ride with friends, connecting with and spending time with horses offers children a unique and special opportunity to find a teammate in the animal kingdom.

Guest Writer: Belinda Dew Belinda is a GoLove Community Parent as well as someone who has been training and working with horses since childhood

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