FW: AHC WASHINGTON UPDATE - AHC Seeks Information on Health Benefits of Riding
- From: Bridget Harrison [mailto:bharrison@...]
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 12:33 PM
Subject: AHC WASHINGTON UPDATE - AHC Seeks Information on Health Benefits of
<http://www.horsecouncil.org/WashingtonUpdates/WU-8-6-10.html> View as Web
August 6 , 2010
AHC WASHINGTON UPDATE
AHC Seeks Information on Health Benefits of Riding
There is a growing concern with childhood obesity in America. In the Spring
President Obama established a Taskforce on Childhood Obesity to address the
mounting problem of overweight children.
The AHC is looking for any documents, studies, articles, etc. that highlight
the physical benefits of equestrian sports and recreational riding. Being
able to document that riding is good exercise for children would be very
helpful in making the case to the Task Force. If you have such information,
pleas email them to the AHC.
The AHC has already submitted some comments to the Task Force proposing that
riding be included in the scope of expanded opportunities for physical
activities that the Task Force focuses on to increase physical activity
among the young. (Copy attached.) In its comments, the AHC noted that:
Competing on horseback is a complex and demanding physical sport. Riders
must develop muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination,
balance, and fine motor skills. Riding can also improve posture and
cardiovascular health. Though there is often the perception that the horse
is doing all the work, riding certainly requires athletic skills and
activity from the rider that develops muscle and burns calories.
Additionally, the daily care of a horse such as mucking out stalls, stacking
hay, grooming, etc promotes physical fitness also. Riding for pleasure on a
regular basis has many of the same benefits as competitive riding.
Today a great many individuals who are involved in equestrian activities are
young people. In fact there are many equestrian organizations specifically
geared toward youth like the United States Pony Club and the National High
School Rodeo Association. Additionally, most equestrian organizations have
youth programs like the United States Equestrian Federation's "High School
Equestrian Athlete" program or the American Quarter Horse Youth Association.
A Pennsylvania State 2006 study (Impact of Equine Activities on Youth
Development) found that once children became involved in a youth horse
program that 90.8% stayed involved for more than four years and 58% stayed
involved for more than 8 years.
The AHC needs as much information as possible to continue making its case
for the health benefits of riding. Please email
bpendergrass@... with any information regarding this issue.
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