Caring for and befriending a horse is an adventure all its own, but it can also be beneficial to the health of the caregiver. Horses need social interaction to thrive, and so do you.
The benefits of working with horses are many, and seniors are especially responsive to the care and interaction of horses. Take a few moments now to consider what your favorite senior citizen might stand to gain by working with horses.
Getting the body moving
Working with horses means that you have to move your body. Brushing and other grooming tasks will help a senior body get moving. Physical activity is crucial for the aging body, as a sedentary lifestyle often leads to a slew of health problems.
Well equipped assisted living facilities often use equine therapy to help enrich their senior’s physical activities. If riding isn’t a wise or safe choice, there are still plenty of other ways to interact with a horse.
Social benefits to reap
Going to a horse ranch to visit horses will grant plenty of opportunity for social engagement. The engagement with the horse is one of the best social benefits.
Horses are very personable, and they love to listen and interact with people. Seniors who don’t have much social interaction can find other like minds when visiting a ranch and tending to the horses.
Riding gives you a feeling of freedom
If seniors are physically healthy enough to get on the horses and go for a ride, there are even more benefits to be enjoyed. Riding a horse gives you a sense of freedom and confidence that is hard to match otherwise.
Riding a horse is also great for boosting your physical agility. It takes all the muscle groups in your body to remain perched on the back of a horse while they’re trotting. Seniors have a lot to gain from riding horseback.
The sunshine is a healthy benefit
Simply getting outside in the sunshine is extremely beneficial to aging seniors. Your body needs vitamin D from the sun, and a little exposure every day can do a lot to boost mood, digestion, heart health, and a long list of other areas of the body.
Seniors have the most to gain from the fresh air and sunshine you’ll find when working with horses. Seniors are more likely to have a deficiency of vitamin D in the body simply due to aging.
Strength and balance
If horseback riding is a safe activity for your favorite senior, maintaining and building muscle strength and balance is a huge benefit seniors will experience when working regularly with horses. Even if they’re just riding in circles in a controlled environment, seniors have a lot to gain physically from holding their bodies steady as the horse strolls.