Horse Sport Ireland Supporting World Mental Health Day 2023

  • 10 October 2023, 09:54

It is well accepted that participation in sport has a positive effect on both physical and mental well-being. Whether it is simply going for a walk, a cycle, a quick hack or training towards a specific goal, as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day is good for your heart, your head and overall wellbeing.

But there are a few things that make participating in equestrian sport particularly special. Horse riding is a full body work out, improving your core strength, balance, co-ordination as well as cardiovascular health!

Not only is it a beneficial form of physical exercise, but it also has many therapeutic qualities and emotional benefits. Horses have long been used in various forms of physical and emotional therapies and creating a good relationship and having a connection with your horse is a very rewarding experience.

So overall, participation in equestrian sport is good for your mind, your body, and your mood!

However, we all know that despite our best efforts, balancing work, home life and even our horses can sometime bring its own stresses.

One in eight people globally are living with a mental health condition, including an increasing number of young people, so minding our mental health has never been more important.

Understanding and identifying what can causes stress can also help with adopting healthy coping mechanisms to address and reduce it. Some coping strategies are better than others, and what works for one person might not work for someone else.

The Stress Bucket can be a helpful tool to reflect on your own mental health and wellbeing. Everyone has their own Stress Bucket. Things that bring you stress flow into your bucket, and your coping mechanisms help you to manage the flow so that your bucket doesn’t over fill.

Some buckets are larger than others and everyone has different ways of managing their load. The key is knowing when your bucket is getting too full and making sure you have ways and means to lighten the load.

Is your bucket too full and overflowing?

What coping mechanisms do you have in place to help release the overflow?

Recognising when your bucket is getting too full and identifying the things that you enjoy and that help you manage the flow will ultimately help to build your resilience to stress and improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health, they are intrinsically linked, and one will always affect the other.

So it’s important to remember, we all have mental health.

World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10th and provides the opportunity for each of us to reflect on our own mental health and wellbeing and creates the chance to open the conversation with our friends, family members and colleagues.

If you would like to know more or get involved in World Mental Health Day activities and events near you, or if you would like to know more about the supports available, please see the following links.

Mental Health Ireland

Mental Health First Aid

Jigsaw National Centre for Youth Mental Health

Horse Sport Ireland One Good Coach eLearning Course