2017 Senior Start Dates Classes are offered the following weeks on Tuesdays 12-1:30 or Wednesdays 10-11:30
March 7-April 11
April 18-May 23
May 30-July 11 (no class on the 4th or 5th)
July 18-August 22
August 29- October 3
October 10-November 14
Get in shape by exercising while on horseback. Whether you’ve never ridden a horse before or you’re an expert, we will get you moving with the horses. Did you know that a one hour English riding lesson is the equivalent of a 45 minute aerobic workout? Well it is, and many people with joint problems, arthritis, and low muscle tone improve their overall health by riding. That’s why horses are used for therapeutic riding.
Grooming and caring for your horse is a pleasure everyone enjoys and you get to exercise while moving at your own pace. Extended mounting blocks are used to make it easy to get on and off your horse. A certified therapeutic riding instructor will teach the class and make sure everyone is moving in the right direction. Our horses are safe and well-trained for beginning riders. So come on out for a breath of country air and try something new. It can make you healthier, and you will have some fun while doing it.
Weekday classes are offered for persons 50 and over. Anyone with major medical problems will need to have a doctor's form filled out. All equipment is provided. Wear long pants and closed-toed shoes.
Each Senior Class has a maximum of 6 students. Each class is held for 6 weeks and the lesson is one and one-half hours long. Classes may be combined if attendance is low. Please read the barn rules. Download a copy of our Liability Form. Classes are paid in full upon registration. No refunds will be given without a doctor's letter. If you sign up and cannot attend you may change to another class up to a week before the other class starts, depending on availability.
Don't forget the reason that Wildwind can offer these classes so safely is because we are using a therapeutic riding instructor who is not only a trained horse person but a certified therapeutic riding instructor who has been working with horses and people with special needs for more than 30 years. Many of Wildwind's horses are trained for this program as well, and that means we have some of the best-trained, quietest horses in the area for this type of work.
Seniors and Horseback Riding
Just as your muscles need exercise so does your mind, and following directions at the same time as operating different body parts is a great way to keep your mind sharp. Research has shown that riding helps prevent memory loss. It is an active avenue for keeping your brain exercised, and keeping the connection between the brain and muscles working well as you must learn to give your horse instructions by using your brain that must then transfer the instructions to your muscles and other parts of the body in order for the horse to understand what it must do.
As people grow older they have a tendency to do less and less. Riding is a year round activity that helps keep you outside in a healthy atmosphere and continues to let your world expand. If riding is something new to you it will also introduce you to a new group of people and a new way to meet friends. Riding is helpful for reducing stress in the body and mind and doing something new that you can be successful at.
Each rider in our program progresses at their own pace. Some people will need to spend more time just getting to know the animals while others will be ready to ride the first day. Your actual riding lessons will also be done at each person's comfort level, some people will move faster and some slower and what is nice about riding is there is no time frame you have to keep up with.
Weight & Riding
Many people think that when riding a horse the horse does all the work but that is not true. A 160 lb. adult riding twice a week will burn about 1,000 calories and a 200 pound person will burn about 1,200 calories. That’s the same as walking quickly for 50 minutes, five days per week.
Keeping in balance on the back of a horse uses isometrics, where your muscles work against each other to maintain an upright position. Riding reaches the deep postural muscles of the trunk and pelvis and the adductor muscles of the thighs. During a rising trot you also use your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutei. People with urinary complaints get better. Riding helps increases the respiratory and circulatory systems as well as cardiovascular system. Seniors who started riding had far less urinary complaints because of the exercise and the stimulation of the urinary track and circulatory systems, helping keep the kidneys flushed.
Riding quickens reflexes and memory. Since riding is so enjoyable the person thinks less of exercising and more of having fun and therefore tends to ride more often and for longer periods of time. Try our Introduction to Horses class on offered on Saturdays, then get your friends and come out for some fun.