The Proof Is in the Music

Over the years Ruth Hogan Poulsen has studied and researched the effect of music on a rider. She documented her findings and shared what she has learned:

  • Studies show that music affects our physiology. Slow music slows the heartbeat and the breathing rate as well as brings down blood pressure. Fast music speeds up these same functions.
  • Listening to your favorite music is good for your cardiovascular system.
  • Researchers have shown that joyful music has a healthy effect on blood vessel function.
  • Riding to music increases your endurance and stamina. Studies show that exercising to music improves endurance by 15%.
  • Riding to music increases our sense of well-being (those cool endorphins!).
  • Many hospitals use music to treat patients with stress-related illnesses to stimulate the brain and relax the body.
  • Music affects both sides of your brain. So, whether you’re a left-brain logical thinker or a right-brain artistic thinker, music helps you ride better.
  • Music puts you in a more positive state of mind, and helps to keep depression and anxiety at bay.
  • Even animals react differently to various types of music. Given a choice rats will choose calm classical music over hard rock every time.
  • Music can also influence brainwaves.  Faster beats make you more alert and slower beats help you relax.
  • Music brings lasting benefits to your state of mind, even after you’ve stopped listening.
  • Music filters out background noises so that you and your horse can concentrate better.
  • Music acts as an internal metronome to help you maintain a regular rhythm.

“The bottom line is – it’s fun to ride to music!  Rhythm and relaxation are essential for everyone, including dressage riders, trail riders, hunter riders, and western pleasure riders. I know how much music helps my riding and my horses,” notes Ruth. “And because I want to share these benefits, I created Riding With Soul™.”


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