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FW: AHC WASHINGTON UPDATE - AHC Seeks Information on Health Benefits of Riding

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  • Sally Aungier
    From: Bridget Harrison [mailto:bharrison@horsecouncil.org] Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 12:33 PM To: bharrison@horsecouncil.org Subject: AHC WASHINGTON UPDATE
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6, 2010
    From: Bridget Harrison [mailto:bharrison@...]
    Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 12:33 PM
    To: bharrison@...
    Subject: AHC WASHINGTON UPDATE - AHC Seeks Information on Health Benefits of

    <http://www.horsecouncil.org/WashingtonUpdates/WU-8-6-10.html> View as Web

    <http://horsecouncil.org> header

    August 6 , 2010



    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.

    AHC Washington Update
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