Children’s Cognitive Abilities Enhanced by Horseback Riding

A study by Mitsuaki Ohta, a professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture, proves that memory, learning, and problem-solving are all boosted benefits of horseback riding.

A horse’s movements create vibrations that activate the equestrian’s sympathetic nervous system while riding.

This is where Ohta proved, through testing children with simple response and mathematical tests before and after riding a horse, that the effect of these vibrations ultimately improves learning in children.

Not all activity with vibrations are created equally. The specific movements horses produce are, as Ohta explains, “three-dimensional accelerations” which are unique to horses and the experience of horseback riding. These accelerations lead to these cognitive improvements in our children from “the movement of the horse’s pelvis [which] provide motor and sensory inputs to the human body.”