All Greenbrier Academy students have the opportunity to participate in our equine therapy program as well as our school of horsemanship. You don’t have to have any prior experience to feel at home and a part of the equine program here. It begins with the basics, where the girls learn how to feed and care for horses, as well learning basic guidelines for equine safety. Our riding program is appropriate for all levels of experience, and includes jumping, dressage and western lessons.
While learning how to ride and care for horses can be an exciting part of your daughter’s therapeutic boarding school experience, these lessons also provide a wealth of physical and mental benefits.
Physical Benefits of Our School of Horsemanship
One of the top physical health benefits of horseback riding is the development of core strength. As an isometric exercise, riding uses certain muscles to help the rider remain balanced on the horse. This engages the core and assists with postural strength.
As the girls gain more riding experience they will be able to learn additional horse moves, such as cantering, jumping and galloping. This has a physical component as well. Each move requires balance and coordination. Regardless of their abilities when they begin, each student’s balance and coordination will improve over time and they will have the satisfaction of moving with their horse more easily.
When riding, the core muscles aren’t the only muscles getting a workout. In each position, the rider’s pelvic and inner-thigh muscles are exercised as well. This leads to better overall muscle flexibility, tone and strength.
Even when your daughter isn’t riding, she can still get a good workout by taking care of the horse. This is called stable strength and refers to activities like bathing and grooming the horse, mucking out stalls and carrying feed. These exercises help increase strength and endurance.
Mental Benefits of Our School of Horsemanship
The mental benefits of equine therapy are so vital to the therapeutic experience of Greenbrier.
- Confidence- This comes from learning how to interact with and handle such a large, powerful animal.
- Relaxation- Horseback riding is a grounding experience. Our students find that they have little time to focus on their own personal worries or stresses when they’re connecting to a horse through the riding experience.
- Peace of Mind- As the girls become more comfortable around the horses, they often find the experience to be calming. Many feel a sense of peace and wellbeing just walking into the barn.
- Bonding- As students care for the horses and learn how to ride them, they develop a special bond with these animals. This can increase their self-confidence with the world around them and help reduce overall anxiety.
The School of Horsemanship at Greenbrier Academy
At Greenbriar’s all-girls boarding school, we know how beneficial horses can be in therapy. For girls who want to take their experience a step further than our equine therapy program, our school or horsemanship is the answer. Here girls can grow into competent equestrians with the help of well-schooled horses and knowledgeable instructors. We specialize in multiple disciplines of riding to cater to each of our student’s individuals needs.
Greenbrier Academy is proud to offer equine therapy as part of our program.
Want to learn more? Call today.