What is your favorite wellness activity?
Horseback riding (jumping)
How long have you been doing it?
How did you get started?
I started as a kid at summer camp then began taking lessons and finally got my own horse in middle school. I stayed involved with competition through medical school. In residency and fellowship, I still found time to ride although I did not have my own horse during those years.
How does this activity impact your mental, physical, and / or emotional well-being?
Riding horses is a completely immersive experience. Mentally, riding requires full concentration and careful planning about how to best navigate a course of jumps. It also offers the opportunity to develop mental toughness when the horse isn’t behaving the way I would like it to. Physically, it is good exercise at the advanced level I participate as well as with the side demands of taking care of the horse. On an emotional basis, going out to the barn is like entering another world where work stress simply does not exist. In conjunction with being outside and meeting up with other riding friends, I always leave feeling refreshed.
How does this activity bring wellness to your life when other activities have not?
Horseback riding has been the most effective for me because it’s one of the few activities in which I can truly find flow and it allows me to be outside. Horses are also good at teaching life lessons that can be transferred to other environments and connect me with a unique community of other “horse people.”