A scientific study has revealed that an involvement with horses boosts the life skills of young people.
Horses, the study found, acted as both teachers and friends for young people.
Youths who learned horsemanship skills showed better decision-making, thinking, communicating, goal-setting and problem solving.
Working with horses helped them develop positive values and life skills that are transferred to a young person’s daily life.
The findings will hardly come as a surprise to parents such as Samantha Armstrong. “The daughter who won’t lift a finger in the house is the same child who cycles madly off in the pouring rain to spend all morning mucking out a stable,” she says.
Aside from life skills, young people also benefit through the physical demands of riding and horse care.
“Horseback riding is a complex and demanding physical sport,” the report says.
“Additionally, the daily care of horses further develops physical fitness and instills a source of regular physical activity in a child’s life.
“Horseback riding teaches teamwork in a very immediate way.
Working with horses improved young people’s self-esteem and confidence, the study found.
“Daily horse chores play a role in developing a sense of responsibility, empathy and compassion; important skills for starting and maintaining relationships with others.
“The horse also provides unconditional acceptance, as well as emotional support for their young caretaker.”
Horses serve as both teachers and friends, and in both roles, positively impact the physical, mental and emotional well-being of youth.