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Equestrianism: Relieve Your Stress Through Horses

Every person who has encountered a horse is aware of the healing effects their presence has on us — the serenity of their breath, the relief of their touch, the comfort of their company. Problems subside while interacting with a horse.

Their healing power is so significant that many pursue the option of horse therapy to battle mental illness, physical disabilities, and more. They give people a sense of purpose, and above all, hope.

While some partake in a formalized therapy program, there are countless ways to relieve stress as a horse owner; from barn chores to brushing to riding. There are numerous methods to tackle the problems we face. 

Battling a big decision

When we are caught up in making a huge decision, whether it be for our education, relationships, occupation, or other essential factors of our lives, sometimes it is best to spend time cleaning stalls for a while. Picking stalls is routine for many of us, and it is easy to go through the motions without much thought. This allows you to ponder your thoughts in the peace and seclusion of a stall. 

Do not underestimate the power of stall cleaning. It is more impactful than one may realize and can significantly help in evaluating a complication in your life.

Dealing with frustration

Everyone experiences days when nothing seems to work in their favor.  We can become irritated in countless ways, whether it be over something as small as forgetting your sunglasses to something as significant as losing your job. 

No matter the problem, it is best to release the pent-up rage through tough, exerting work.  Scrub all the water buckets and carry them back to the stalls full of water. Stack hay bales. Landscape around the barn. Anything you know will make you sweat…do it.

When you feel irritated, it is best not to ride your horse. This can result in overreacting and punishing your horse for no reason, which will damage your horse’s trust in you. 

Improving self-discipline

Self-discipline is vital to work on, as it is how we motivate ourselves to complete both desirable and undesirable tasks daily. Riding 5 to 6 days a week in a routine schedule is a great way to maintain regulation. 

Some days, it is difficult to motivate yourself to ride because you may be sore, tired, the weather may be poor, or your previous rides have been frustrating. We all experience this lack of drive on occasion, but the best way to overcome it is to get in the saddle. Even if you only ride for 10 minutes, it is better than not riding at all. This will significantly improve your self-discipline at the barn and in other tasks, such as going to the gym, as well.

Regaining order and organization

It is common to feel disastrous, especially after a chaotic week. You feel as though everything around you is a mess, and it seems daunting to straighten it all out. When you are struggling at home to organize, take a break, and go to the barn. Spend time cleaning all of your tack for a while, wipe every bit of dirt off of your saddle and mud off of your boots, until everything is sparkling. 

Not only are you helping yourself for your rides in the following days, but you are also gaining control of something mindless and straightforward to complete.  It gives you time to plan other tasks you must accomplish, as well as take a deep breath and sit down for a while.

Overwhelmed with sorrow

When we have a tough day, experience a tragedy, or get trapped in a harsh situation, we often need time to cry. While some go to a person close to them, others go to the barn. Brushing your horse, sitting in their stall, combing through their mane, and so much more, can help relieve the distress and give you a comfortable place to cry.

Your horse will silently accompany you during this time. Listening to them chew their hay, brushing their tail, or petting their nose, can have an incredibly relaxing effect that cwill lift your spirit.  There’s nothing a fuzzy nose can’t fix.

No matter what challenge you may be facing in life, the barn will always provide a solution. There are countless ways to deal with your troubles. When in doubt, get out and enjoy your time in the barn. It can make even the most daunting hindrance achievable.

About the Author: GoHorseShow writer, Emily Ambrose of Chardon, Ohio, is a junior at Kent State University. She trains under the guidance of Seth and Amber Clark from Pierpont, Ohio. Emily avidly shows her horses, Play for A Minute, known as Ralphie, who is a 13-year-old all arounder, and Super Yellow Doc, known as Doc, who is a 23-year-old ranch horse. Her love of showing has been strengthened with the support of all of her friends in the Quarter Horse community and will continue her passion through and following the completion of her college career.