8 more reasons to encourage your little one’s love of ponies
Most of us are aware of how wonderful horses and ponies are but have you ever considered that our love of our equine friends may bring us actual health benefits as well as joy? What happens we are introduced to our four-legged friends in our formative years? In short, LOTS! The mental, social and physical benefits increase exponentially if that interaction begins in childhood. Here we look at eight of the top benefits of spending time with our pony pals.
You might not realise it but horse riding besides being fun, is also aform of exercise. Horse riding is a great way for children to get some fresh air and to fit some exercise into their day in a fun way.
“I like that when my children come home from school they don’t sit in front of a screen, but go out and ride or groom their ponies. I think this is much healthier for them both physically and mentally.”
British Show Pony Society judge, Fiona Dymond
2. Increases well-being
Older children who take up a new sport or hobby have a much lower chance of continuing that new pursuit into adulthood. The long-lasting positive effects of having a long-enjoyed pastime include equipping one with the ability totake time out from daily stresses.
3. Helps make new friends
Increasing time spent on digital pastimes means thatchildren are spending more time alonethan ever before. Getting a child into new situations and environments is a great way to help children, particularly quieter children, to make friends.
“The friendships gained within riding disciplines are often life long, and it can be beneficial that children have different sets of friends to only their school friends.”
- Show rider Natalie Reynolds
Learning to care for an animal that’s much bigger than them is hugelyconfidence boostingto children, especially girls. Indeed it's been proven that learning to command an animal so much bigger than them helps to develop girls' leadership skills which will benefit them hugely in later life.
5. Instills valuable life lessons
There’s no doubt about it, horse riding is fun - but it is also hard work. Grooming and mucking out stables can take a lot of time. Horse and pony riding and care also encouragesempathy, patience and kindness.
Spending time around horses teaches kids lots about respect and discipline. Riding a horse requires a commitment to bothrespect and behave responsiblytowards the animal at all times – qualities which will be of huge benefit to the child as they make their way towards adulthood.
Lottie MD Ian Harkin at the Childvision Centre in March 2018
7. Equine Therapy
Did you know that horses can be hugely therapeutic to children with conditions such asautism, Asperger’s and ADHDamong many others? Earlier this year, Lottie dolls partnered with Ireland’s oldest equine therapy centre, Childvision, in Dublin, Ireland to launch a gifting drive to promote the value of such therapies. You can read about the great work done byChildvisionand our collaborationhere.
8. It’s fun!
Childhood is anexciting time, full of adventure and imaginationso learning to ride and ‘playing ponies’ can only add to the enjoyment! Check out ourLottie Stableswhich is made from real wood and contains remarkable attention to detail.
The Lottie, Finn & Friends range has something for everyone!