Do Horses Support Our Mental Health?

This year has been quite a challenging one. With not just one but two lockdowns, Covid-19 has made some impact on us and how we live our lives. Most of the time, we are finding ourselves stuck at home disengaged and often with no plans or activities to look forward to, which can affect our mental health and wellbeing.

Thankfully, our beloved dogs, cats, and other pets make the perfect support companions giving us much needed emotional support during these challenging times.

Especially at Jon William Stables, our horses have been a shining light in the dark since March. There truly is no better feeling than being with our horses, and it got our minds thinking – how is it possible these majestic beasts can lift our moods?

Ability to understand human emotions

Horses are amazing animals. They acquire qualities unique to other animals, they are not only beautiful and fun animals, but they are also known to be able to understand and respond to human emotions. This is why equine-assisted therapy has been a popular method of therapy for years.

Equine therapies are treatments involving different activities with horses and is known to promote physical and mental health. Because horses can understand us and mirror our emotions well, this method of therapy can help us become more self-aware. We will have a better understanding of ourselves and how we are feeling, which is an essential step towards feeling better.

Outdoor activities

For those who are lacking exercise due to your preference for outdoor activities, horse riding can be the perfect solution. Exercising is known to help us stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Still, the additional benefit of going horse riding comes from having physical contact, emotional interactions, and bonds with our horses.

Having a long horse ride by the countryside will also expose you to outside surroundings and nature, helping your mind wind down. It will reduce your heart rate, blood pressure, and other stress hormones so all those unpleasant feelings such as anger, fear, and stress can be dramatically reduced, and you can find your calm self again.

Self-trust and confidence boost

A horse riding lesson is a great way to build our self-trust and confidence. As you attend these lessons day by day, you will gradually see yourself learning and improving, which can be a great confidence booster. Additionally, having these riding lessons will mean that you have something to look forward to each week, and having a routine is a great way to feel like we are in control again.

Although these weren’t available during the lockdown, most are ready to be back open with social distancing measures in place.

Supports our health and immune system

There have been several researchers who suggest that merely petting your horses can slow down our heart rates which can be beneficial for those with heart problems. Moreover, interacting with horses is also known to release biochemicals that can boost our immune system and enhance our health.
This also means that if you are unable to go horse riding, you can spend some time in the stable grooming, feeding, or playing with them and still experience health benefits.

A great mood booster

Several studies demonstrate that spending time with horses can help us think more positively and make us happier. Why not plan and setup dates ahead of time to visit your stable or attend riding lessons, it will give you something to look forward to and keep you motivated and excited about something new and different.

Remember, horses are also quite a family orientated animal. Like humans, horses thrive in groups and suffer from loneliness when isolated meaning times spent with your horses are not only beneficial for you but also your horses.

It is quite clear that our horses can do wonders for our mental and physical wellbeing. Nevertheless, it is also vital that we appreciate these magical animals by ensuring that they too aren’t suffering from any physical and mental health issues. Ensure that their living circumstance matches their natural instinct, for example, keep them around other social animals, feed and provide sufficient water, do regular health checks, give them toys to play with and make sure that they are getting enough exercise.

Are you looking for high quality and durable stables for your horses? Call us on 01380 850965 and speak to one of our team members about your plans. Meanwhile, have a look at our Intro, Ideal, and Elite range stables here!


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