Horse-riding is the perfect form of exercise for autumn, whether you’re an absolute beginner or an experienced rider. It’s a good activity for the entire family to try together. There are riding stables which o er lessons, gentle hacks or more strenuous activities in many of the region’s towns as well
as on the outskirts of the city itself.

You may think the horse does all the work, but your leg and bottom muscles will soon convince you otherwise! Riding provides improved core strength, enhancing the back, abdominal and leg muscles and really improves your awareness of your body and co-ordination. A rising trot will soon demonstrate the need for a sense of balance and rhythm. You’ll also benefit from improved flexibility and toned muscles and a gallop can also provide a cardio workout. Horses tend to have a mind of their own, so working with them encourages focus, concentration and helps with mindfulness and being in the moment.

Getting the basics such as your riding posture is important, so taking lessons with a reputable, qualified instructor makes good sense. Look for BSJ qualifications, good reviews and well cared for mounts. Once you’ve progressed, there are pony clubs and advanced options such as jumping, cross-country and dressage and you may

want to consider buying your own horse. If you’d prefer a horse or pony for companionship, the Scottish SPCA at Drumoak often have animals  available for adoption.

Riding also offers tremendous mental wellbeing benefits, from bonding emotionally with your horse to simply letting go of every day cares, so a couple of hours away from the world can also prove truly relaxing and re-energising.

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