There are benefits to working with horses that you may not have considered. Working with horses, whether it be as a groom, or by being involved in a from-the-ground-up horsemanship program, has benefits that most people never think about or imagine. Even if you weren’t born with a love for horses, but like animals in general, working with horses will still benefit you. Being a groom gets you involved in the day-to-day care of horses. It will include handling from the ground, may include vet and/or farrier visit handling, cleaning stalls, barns, paddocks, etc. Being involved in a from-the-ground up horsemanship program means that you will learn how to handle horses from the ground, learn about their care, maintenance, pre and prost ride care, how to ride, etc.
Either as a groom, or a horsemanship student, you will be physically active. Which means you will burn calories and get in better physical shape. Being physically active is necessary for us humans to have a chance at staying healthy.
As you work with horses, your self-esteem and confidence will grow. Being able to handle horses kindly and safely promotes self-esteem and confidence. You will get in tune with the emotions and personalities the horses have, as well as your own emotions. This can lead to developing friendships with horses you care for. Horses have been known to help people reduce stress and/or depression, heal from a traumatic life event, learn to communicate better, learn patience, how to trust, how to be a good leader, how to overcome fear and more.
You develop a heightened sense of responsibility and learn about commitment. Horses have to be taken care of 365 days a year. Domesticated horses count on their human caregivers to provide them their daily needs consistently. Horses are habitual creatures, so there are some things that need to happen close to the same time every day. Breaking the pattern too much for some things, like feeding, can lead to a horse becoming stressed. So, working with them also helps you learn time management skills.
Here at Meadowsweet, as well as other equine facilities there is often the opportunity for students to barter for lessons. Sometimes they are even able to earn some pocket money too. Rescues are often looking for volunteers to help care for the horses in their custody which is another way of being able to spend time with horses that will benefit you, as well as the horses residing at the rescue. Livery stables, therapeutic riding facilities, a friend's backyard horse are some other ideas of places that you may be able to find a horse or two to share some time with. If you decide to add time with horses to your life, I'd love for you to share with me some time the benefits you feel you received.