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Did you know that 2014 is the year of the Horse? And we can’t think of a better way to embrace the New Year and all of the resolutions that come with it than engaging with a horse. To help you remember your goals for reconnecting, staying fit and, well, just being happier in the New Year simply remember: H.O.R.S.E.


Happiness. As the famous author and poet Ralph Waldo Emmerson wrote, “happiness is like perfume, you cannot pour some on others without getting some on yourself.”  We think the same thing could be said for riding a horse. You can’t let the infectious feeling of freedom and happiness take you over without it spreading to others too.  Get connected. Get happier. Ride a horse.


Observe the outdoors. According to Dr. Susanne Preston, a Clinical Mental Health Counseling instructor at South University, Virginia Beach: “Research has shown that spending time in nature has been associated with decreased levels of mental illness, with the strongest links to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, in addition to increased self esteem.” Horse riding is an outdoor activity which links us back up to our first point – happiness!


Reconnect with your surroundings.  By and large, the horse is a mystery to Americans living in the hustle and bustle of urban and suburban settings. Horse barns are certainly not found on every street corner. A trip to a rodeo, race track, horse show or fair grounds is set aside for special occasions. But, horse experiences might be more accessible than you think. Perhaps it’s time to reconnect with the horse to find the benefits of equine activities and of course, reconnecting with your surroundings (not your computer or TV).  TimeToRide is designed to connect American families to horse opportunities in their local area and stay connected as a family.

Spend More Time with Family & Friends.  With the convenience of digital entertainment, many families are slipping away from an active lifestyle and getting caught in a computer-generated reality. Yet, those families that take time to engage in horse activities – perhaps after-school riding lessons for the kids, a girls-day trail ride for mom, a family vacation to a dude ranch, a date with friends to go to the races, or an outing to a horse show – are finding the time invested returns priceless rewards

Exercise. Did you know a person weighing 155 pounds can burn 211 calories just by grooming a horse for half an hour? Plus, if you make getting outside a goal, that means less time in front of the television or computer and more time of your body being in motion, so let it be riding or grooming a horse!

To find a barn or stable near you and reach your New Year’s goals, visit to get started today. And, to keep you meeting your goals, check out the great resources on Facebook and Twitter (#timetoride) to earn points for participating in the social world of the horse.  It’s a win/win/win!


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Comment by Shirley ~Light Love Hope on January 20, 2014 at 9:26pm

I love this.  I had no idea this was the year of the horse, but it is very fitting since my daughters have joined in with lessons at a local ranch.  I blogged about it previously, and I'll share the link at the end of this message.  I just smiled as this is confirmation that we're doing exactly what we need to be doing - and we are most certainly bonding as a family.  We have a trail ride scheduled for Friday!  Yea!!

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