Why I love to . . . horse-ride

Brian Purcell, broadcaster & PR consultant

The benefits of horse-riding are endless – it is great for strong core and legs as well as cardio and discipline. Photograph: Chris Bellew

The benefits of horse-riding are endless – it is great for strong core and legs as well as cardio and discipline. Photograph: Chris Bellew

 

For years I loved competing in GAA, rugby and boxing, but it all ended after injury, which was devastating for me. I discovered horse-riding purely by chance, after randomly chatting to members of a riding club. My first lesson was on a giant called Hercules. I fell off him about three times but I was hooked for life.

These days I can’t get enough of these graceful, caring creatures and I try to ride at least four times a week. The benefits are endless – horse-riding is great for strong core and legs as well as cardio and discipline. When you are riding, I find that I cannot think about anything else – you have to concentrate on the animal – which can weigh up to 700kg. If you do something wrong, the horse will let you know and there will only be one winner! Stress just disappears when all you can do is think about the “now”.

Horses are extremely sensitive and become amazing friends. Spending time with a horse can make you a better person. There’s no doubt about that. And they teach you humility because they teach you that you’re going to be wrong sometimes, especially when you fall off. Nobody made you fall off but yourself. It’s never the horse’s fault and you learn to handle mistakes and keep learning.

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