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Youth and Horses - The Benefits

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

The Benefits of Being Around Horses for Children and Teens


There is a reason that equine therapy has become so popular in recent years. Horses can provide an array of benefits to those that they are around regularly. Being around horses can help children and teens alike to develop communication skills, increase their confidence, and learn to focus more effectively. Horses are uniquely sensitive to emotions and non-verbal cues, which makes them the perfect therapy animal. At Harness your Power, we believe in the healing power of horses and are dedicated to guiding you through the process of using that healing power. We offer youth programs to help children and teens take advantage of the mental and physical benefits that being around horses can provide. Here are a few of the benefits of being around horses for children and teens.


Build Trust


Horses can help children and teenagers to build up trust. Many children and teenagers with emotional difficulties have had difficulty trusting people in the past. This can be due to abuse, neglect, or an array of other circumstances. Horses help them to let down their walls and gain trust, because horses don’t ever have a hidden agenda or secret purpose. In addition, riding a horse helps them to build trust in themselves, because they will learn to rely on their own skills and capabilities.



Be Mindful


It can be particularly difficult for children and teenagers to stay mindful and in the moment, especially if they are easily distractable. Horses can help children and teens to learn how to be more mindful and stay in the present moment. When they are engaged in caring for a horse, spending time with a horse, or riding the horse, they will stop focusing on their worries and relax. This will help them to enjoy spending their time in the current moment.



Learn Better Communication


Being around horses can help children to learn better communication skills. Children often have difficulty reading body language or other non-verbal cues, which can lead to frustration in their social interactions. However, horses simply can’t talk so the child will have to learn to communicate a different way. The only way to communicate with horses is through paying attention to and responding to their non-verbal cues. Additionally, horses are sensitive to emotions and the non-verbal cues of the child, which helps them to understand the impact that their own emotions and behaviors can have on those around them.


Nature has a Positive Impact


In general, nature has a positive impact on most people. Being around horses ultimately means that the child or teenager is spending time outdoors and in nature, rather than, say, in front of a television screen. Spending this time out in nature has been shown to aid in stress reduction, handling anxiety, and lessening symptoms of depression. By spending more time outside, children and teenagers will often see these benefits in their own lives.


Companionship


Horses are incredible companions. When a child or teenager is able to spend time around horses, they will build a sense of companionship that can help to alleviate feelings of loneliness. Horses can help a child to learn how to form personal and emotional connections that can create a sense of well-being and happiness. This sense of companionship is particularly valuable for children that have struggled with loneliness or forming deep relationships.


Improved Confidence


There are many ways that being around horses can help to improve the confidence of a child or teenager. For example, riding a horse requires a certain level of skill and capability. When a child or teenager develops these skills, they will increase their own confidence in their abilities. In addition to this, being a peaceful leader for an animal as large as a horse and being able to work along with them can be an incredibly empowering experience for children and teenagers alike. This only further serves to enhance their confidence.


Health Benefits


Horseback riding is a great way to get more exercise! When a child or teenager spends more time riding a horse, they will be adding more physical exercise into their routine. This can help to build a strong core and provide other health benefits. The exercise also tends to release powerful endorphins that lead to increased feelings of happiness. Children and teenagers alike are likely to reap an array of health benefits when they start to ride a horse on a regular basis.


Develop Leadership Skills


The skills that are learned by being around horses can help children and teenagers to develop great leadership skills. These skills can be utilized in all aspects of their life, such as better social interactions and improved work performance. From learning how to guide a horse to working along with other people, these leadership skills are a valuable benefit that comes from being around horses.


Better Focus


Being around horses on a regular basis often allows children and teenagers to focus better. The act of riding a horse requires a great deal of attention. They have to be aware of their surroundings and focus on what they are currently doing. Horseback riding requires a particular posture and a harmony between the mind and body. By regularly engaging in this level of focus, they can develop better skills. This helps children to learn to be mindful and develop a sense of self-awareness. The increased development of focus, mindfulness, and self-awareness can lead to better academic performance and a great deal of other advantages.


Understanding the benefits of being around horses for children and teens can help you to make the right decisions to help your child. Many people become frustrated with the slow progress of traditional therapy, especially when they are feeling desperate to help their child. Supplementing this with equine programs, such as our youth programs at Harness your Power, can often help your child to make effective progress and learn valuable skills. To learn more about our youth programs and the many benefits that being around horses provide for children and teens, contact us at Harness your Power today!





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