Horses and human well-being - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-31-2012, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Horses and human well-being

Does being around horses help you cope with life's difficulties? I've just written a book about a girl with a cleft lip & palate who finds comfort in the company of her horse, and reading around the subject I found there's growing evidence of the benefits of riding for human well-being. I've put some of the things I found out in a blog post, if you're interested (Jo Jenkins | author of GIRL PERFECT)

My mum always says that as teenagers my sisters and I were pretty straightforward because whenever we were stressed out or angry we would go off with our horses and return to the house much more chilled. So my question is this: do you think horse riding helps with your own psychological well-being? I was also wondering if you know of any films or books that illustrate this beneficial relationship between horse and rider.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions!
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-31-2012, 05:01 PM
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Yes, definitively!! Very calming and relaxing to go outside and go for a nice ride, or even a groom.

Read the preview of that book- awesome!

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-31-2012, 05:06 PM
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It's a cheap form of therapy for me. Cleaning stalls may be hard work but it is a stress reliever. Just listening to the horses chewing or breathing is the greatest sound in the world. They listen without judgement and are always happy to see you. I think it's one of the best kept secrets to relaxing and enjoying life.

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post #4 of 11 Old 03-31-2012, 06:39 PM
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Whenever I'm having a crappy day; no matter what I feel like. I always feel better after a barn visit :)
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-31-2012, 06:46 PM
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I can actually feel my blood pressure drop when I see the barn.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-31-2012, 07:19 PM
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I have to confess that I used to get high every week. The thing is, it was whenever I gave riding lessons or made progress with a spoiled horse. Unfortunately my high would last well into the night so guess who'd get up dragging her butt in the morning. Because of this high, I could stand in a riding ring for 4 or 5 hours and only when we were done did I realize my lower back was hurting, big time.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-31-2012, 07:43 PM
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Most people's hobbies make them happier. Horse riding has the added bonus of being outside with sunshine and fresh air, and exercise - all things that improve well being. Also, animals have been shown to have positive effects in people. So I think it does have a good effect.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-31-2012, 10:26 PM
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Oh my god, yes! Whenever I'm really ticked off I imagine I'm riding a beautiful horse through a spring meadow like its nothing! And when I am riding, I just forget the world, if only for an hour!!!!
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-02-2012, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all your replies!

Originally Posted by Madisonluvshorses View Post
Whenever I'm really ticked off I imagine I'm riding a beautiful horse through a spring meadow like its nothing!
I love this idea and I'm going to use it!

caseymyhorserocks, thanks for your kind words about the book.

Any thoughts on novels or films that show this beneficial relationship? Warhorse and The Horse Whisperer are obvious examples. Any others? I'm planning to put a list together for a blog post, so any suggestions gratefully received.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-02-2012, 04:42 PM
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Wild girl is a pretty easy book about that. Also horse fire.
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equine assisted therapy , psychology , therapy , well being

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