Grooming, saddling, riding, and leading horses increases balance, strength, and coordination enabling the riders to increase their core muscle tone and strength.
The motion of a horse's back simulates the same movements as a human pelvis when walking. Tight muscles with high muscle tone are loosened by the warmth and gentle stretching of being astride a horse. Riders with low muscle tone become stronger de to the work that is involved in staing in the middle of the horse.
Walking in deep sand, lifting heavy saddles and pushing wheelbarrows develops strength and coordination. Riders quickly learn that riding horses is hard work and takes strong muscles, and they are proud of themselves when they can accomplish those tasks by themselves!
Increasing Social Interaction
Learning, safety, respect, teamwork, routine, and how to follow instructions are all supported in MESA are life-skills we develop in and out of the arena. Riders practice the skills of spacial awareness, taking turns, and looking out for each other and their horses during lessons.
Horses give immediate feedback with natural consequences to their riders regarding how they are being treated. They can be wonderful outlets for nurturing trust & empathy. Horses are very good at recognizing thier riders' emotional concerns and act accordingly. They are fantastic resources that allow the riders to see how their emotions and actions affect others around them.
increasing self-esteem and confidence
Horses allow riders to set obtainable goals and master the skills necessary to be able to ride independently. In this case, it isn't the humans who tell the riders whether or not they reach their goal...it's the horses. Many of their accomplishments in the arena can be carried home to their everyday lives.
The life-skills developed from MESA lessons adn working with horses help these riders gain the confidence they need to be able to participate in school functions, sports, and other events they wouldn't normally try. Horses are big animals; when a rider learns to communicate effectively with an animal of that size and get that animal to do what they ask, riders soon develop a sense of self-worth, accomplishment, and determination that is hard to beat!