The thirteenth of December is recognised as National Horse Day, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to highlight our We Love Pets pony pals! We think horses make great pets for loads of reasons (seriously, we could write about them for days), but we’ve managed to narrow it down to just a few of our favourite things about them, and how they help make us better people.

They improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Horses are lively, and require a lot of exercise, so when you own a horse, you can count on getting a full daily workout! Having a horse encourages you to be physically active; not only does it burn calories and increase your cardiovascular and muscular ability, but it also enhances your coordination, balance, and flexibility. Besides riding, maintenance activities such as mucking out, pushing wheelbarrows, and carrying heavy equipment are sure to get your heart rate up too!

In addition to the benefits of physical exercise, having a horse as a pet provides excellent mental exercise as well. They’re gentle giants, and studies show that animal interaction has been linked with decreased stress levels, and often acts as a natural mood booster – especially when you’re able to get outside in the fresh air with your horse, and break away from the day-to-day routine. Working with horses can also encourage goal creation, either in training or competition, and achieving those goals will increase your bond with the horse whilst giving you a healthy sense of purpose and fulfilment.

You’ll learn valuable life skills.

There are so many positive life skills that can be learned from horses. From training to competition, and everything in between, working with horses is a great way to get hands on experiences that carry over into all areas of life.

Anyone who has horses will tell you that training them isn’t easy! A large part of how your horse performs comes down to you as an individual, and how you interact with them. Horse training teaches patience, kindness, and compassion, which go a long way in and out of the stables.

In many cases, horses are trained for competition, so if you compete with your horse, you’ll likely learn valuable skills such as how to communicate effectively, become a supportive team member, and exhibit good sportsmanship. And while owning a horse can be pretty pricey and time consuming, it provides you with a platform to develop smart financial and time management skills – tools that are particularly beneficial in the real world!

The equestrian world has a widespread social network.

It’s easy to blend your love for horses with your social life, as there’s a massive network of equine lovers across the UK. Whether you decide to attend competitions, join a local club, or even just go for a hack down the road, you’re sure to find plenty of people that are equally as passionate about, and interested in, horses as yourself!