In this digital age, many kids find entertainment indoors more often than out, and getting kids engaged in physical activities can be a challenge. But one of the best ways to motivate many children and teens is with the help of an animal friend. Horse-riding, in particular, can be beneficial to kids of all ages. Skip Drish of Tampa, FL, an avid horseback rider, explains three reasons to consider enrolling your child in an equestrian program.
1. Boost physical health.
Although horses do most of the “work” in equestrian sporting events, from racing to rodeos, horseback riding also requires physical awareness and effort on the part of the rider. An isometric exercise, riding requires the rider to utilize the core muscles and inner thighs and pelvic muscles to maintain balance and stay upright in the saddle. Practicing this long-term can improve posture and spinal health as well as muscle tone. Advanced riders build even more strength from using the leg muscles to coordinate with the horse during complex or fast riding sessions.
2. Improve mental health.
Skip Drish noted mental health is of equal importance to physical health, and horse riding is a great way to reduce stress* and boost confidence. Research* indicates, in addition to reducing the stress hormone cortisol, riding a horse can also improve learning, memory, and problem-solving abilities, which could drive kids’ success in the classroom and beyond. Interacting with animals, including horses*, has also been shown to have emotional benefits and reduce anxiety and depression.
3. Cultivate character.
In 2006, the American Youth Horse Council sponsored a study that found participating in consistent horse riding activities can contribute to character development and life skills acquisition in kids and teens. One of the study’s co-authors, Ann Swinker, Ph.D., a professor of Animal Science at Penn State University said, “Handling, riding, and caring for a horse or pony can develop a host of positive traits in a child, including responsibility, accountability, patience, level-headedness, empathy, kindness, and self-discipline.”
More on Skip Drish Tampa
Skip Drish is a true Renaissance man who has worn many hats throughout the decades. After serving in the U.S. military as a Military Police/Investigations Corporal and Squad Leader in the U.S. and Europe from 1981 to 1984, during which time he earned a U.S. Army Medal for Heroism in the line of duty, he served in various roles within local, state, and government law enforcement arenas, beginning with a position as a Chicago Police Department officer. He has also worked in security, medical services, and investigations. If that weren’t enough, Skip Drish helms his own construction firm, Worldwide Contracting, Inc. Headquartered in Lutz, Florida, the company has affiliate offices in Illinois, Delaware, Georgia, and Texas. Skip Drish said he is looking forward to expanding with more national offices in the future.
Skip Drish of Tampa has also earned numerous certificates and licenses throughout the decades, including a 100-ton boat captain’s license and International Convention of Standards Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers certifications. When he is not providing maritime tours or aid himself, he trains others at local and state levels in subjects such as CPR-AED-First Aid and Search and Rescue – Airboat, ATV, Motor and Equestrian Operation. In addition, he is a consultant for Range Operation for Firearm Manufacturers and Advanced Driving Techniques (VIP Services), Gang & Terrorism Task Force Officer and Homeland Security Advisor in the U.S and abroad.
Reduce Stress – https://www.apa-hai.org/human-animal-interaction/haib/effects-of-equine-facilitated-learning/
Research – https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00008/full
Horses – https://www.verywellmind.com/equine-therapy-mental-health-treatment-4177932