1 Horse-riding in the Recreation and Tourism Kazimierz Obodynski, Wojciech J. Cynarski (Faculty of Physical Education, University of Rzeszow, Poland) Abstract Horse-riding was shown as a component of tourism and recreation in the context of the theory of both fields, and in holistic and cultural (literary) perspectives. There were specified recreational values of horse-riding and horse tourism with the emphasis on humanistic values educational and self-realization values. There is also essential the used-in-hippotherapy health value (medical, rehabilitation aspect) of cooperation of man with animal. Riding tourism and horse recreation constitute the chance for the poor regions, enriching the agro- and ecotourist offer. With the support of local-government, state and European institutions there increases breeding of recreational horses and there develops the sector of riding services. One may expect increasingly closer connection of tourism with active forms of recreation and connecting cognitive values (including sight-seeing) with physical recreation. In this perspective, horse tourism and recreation should further gain economic popularity and importance. Popularization of use of horse riding in medicine and rehabilitation is probable as well. Key words: horse riding, recreation, active tourism, health Introduction Let us start with terminology and definitions. How should the notion of recreation be understood? According to Tauber and Siwinski [1999, p. 5] Recreation is an expression of a certain attitude towards one s own body, conscious and active care about the development, fitness and health, the ability to organize and spend time with the greatest possible benefit for the physical and psychical health. Tourism, on the other hand, consists of individual and collective trips, a form of active rest being conductive to getting familiar with distant countries, making interpersonal contacts, gathering experiences and enriching personality ( ) the explanation for its essence should be sought mainly in humanist and physical culture sciences [Tauber, & Siwinski, 1999, p. 5]. Przeclawski [1973, p. 12] explains it in a bit different way, Tourism in a wide sense is the whole of phenomena of space mobility connected with voluntary temporary change of the place of stay, the rhythm and environment of life ad with the personal contact with the visited surroundings (natural, cultural, social). Both definitions complement each other very well. The goal of tourist travel may be foreign countries and getting familiar with exotic cultures [Podemski, 2004] or one s own country and region. Horse tourism combines these two goals and foreign horse tourists additionally make a trip in time as members of knightly brotherhoods participating in shows and tournaments or as riders realizing the archetypical need for horse wandering [Cynarski, & Obodynski, 2005]. The organizational-functional system of tourism with bio-social and technical-social subsystems [Chudoba, 1998, p. 27] may be referred to, as a model in case of movement recreation. Unfortunately the systematic theory of tourism by Chudoba does not contain reference to recreation. And in the light of cultural anthropology of tourism tourism as a form of self-realization is a part of due to the common subject of study a widely understood theory of recreation. Pedagogy of tourism and recreation, the theory of health and ecological education or andragogy [Turos, 2001, pp ] are included in both fields, important and significant to a similar degree. Moreover, as it is widely known, tourism is connected with geographical space, material goods (infrastructure), economic policy of the country [Jedrzejczyk, 2001, pp ] and the policies of international institutions [Jedrzejczyk, 2001, pp ]. Horse tourism is treated as a variety of specialist or qualified tourism since it requires that the tourist should have proper skills and that the organizers possess adequate base, equipment ad formal authorizations [Wyrzykowski, 2002]. Moreover, horse riding is one of the basic forms of outdoor recreation. Among 53 such forms S. Toczek-Werner [2004, p. 106], apart from games, exercises (yoga, taiji, martial arts), sailing, fishing, visiting historical places etc., also mentions recreational horse riding. In the marketing analyses for the needs of advertising and promotion of a tourist product amateurs of hippics of various kinds are treated, similarly to field-people, fishers, forest and mountain tourists or amateurs of bird watching, as a narrow target-group which the content of the advertisement is supposed to reach [Kaczmarek, Stasiak, & Wlodarczyk, 2002 a, p. 148]. While analyzing motives for doing horse riding, both as recreation and tourism, attention is paid to realizing social needs (belonging to a group) and individual ones of a higher rank: the needs of respect and admiration (self-confidence, the sense of one s own status) as well as the selfrealizational ones. The motives may be fashion, ambition, dreams, care for psycho-physical condition, pleasure
2 or the need for comfort and efficient service [Kaczmarek, Stasiak, & Wlodarczyk, 2002 b, pp ]. Thus, such an offer should provide good accommodation and the whole set of services for the amateurs of horse recreation and tourism. Among the varieties of alternative tourism there are eco-tourism and agro-tourism. Both forms are a result of the need for recreation in the open space (contact with the virgin nature) [Saethorsdottir, 2004] as well as for ecologically pure product. Eco-tourism is supposed to bring us closer to the nature and give fuller recognition of relations between the man and surrounding environment at the level of individual experience. Thus, it fulfills as educational and cultural function. On the other hand agro-tourism consists of rest with the use of country buildings as accommodation base. Farms specializing in servicing tourist traffic with special attention paid to e.g., horse riding, hunting etc., are becoming more and more popular [Lobozewicz, & Bienczyk, 2001, pp ; Kusnierz, Dziedzic, & Wozniak, 2005]. In the perspective of the theory of movement recreation there are predictions about the necessity and inevitability of the development of trip traffic and this kind of tourism will be accompanied by the development of museums [Siwinski, 2000]. On the other hand in the field of the theory of tourism there is a need for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies taking into account many crucial factors, semantic layers and interrelations between them [Obodynski, & Cynarski, 2004; compare: Sessa, 1983; Chudoba, 1998]. Traditions of horse riding In central Asia the horse was domesticated between 4 and 3 thousand years BC. In reference to the roots of European civilization and knighthood Tolkien showed the existential connection between the knight and the horse as well as the Goths cavalry ethos the horse was an emblem of the kingdom of Rohan and the base of its military power. Medieval knights, beginning with warlike Normans, are associated especially with heavy cavalry. Not only for the European peoples the horse was the basic means of transport and the friend of man for centuries. The nomadic peoples most frequently moved thanks to the domesticated horse. i Later owing a horse was a sign of prestige cavalry was a military formation of the nobles for centuries. Then, horsemanship became quite an elitist field of physical culture being a method of military training of the aristocratic youth. Also Polish history and literature are rich in riding facts and motives. In Poland knightly traditions and the soldier s ethos are still alive. In Warsaw only there is a square as well as a roundabout of Polish cavalry, fencing tournaments For Wolodyjowski s saber are organized, knightly brotherhoods and Wojciech Zablocki s school of traditional fencing operate. Professor Zablocki as the master of Polish fencing art may be compared to Japanese experts of martial arts. Polish traditional saber was at first the kind of weapon used by the riding soldier. Famous Polish hussars and other cavalry traditions may be compared to Japanese ones (kyubajutsu horse archery, yabusame feast shows of this kinds of archery) and others European and oriental ones [Cynarski, 2004]. Riding sport combined the military aspect with civil activity, a strictly sporting one until World War II [Urban, 2001]. Since 1142 knightly tournaments have been organized in Poland and since 1880 contemporary horseman tournaments [Urban, 1998; 2003]. Riding was greatly respected in Poland due to both tradition and usefulness. Horse riding was an important part of a young Pole s education [Gedl-Pieprzyca, 2005]. Also today border and forest officers, certain units of police and army use horses. Historical and literary tradition is transferred onto popular culture and social interest. In adventure and costume films like e.g. Zorro, Vinnetou, Three Musketeers, in westerns and other motion pictures the mass audience notice a hero whose events of life are connected with the horse his faithful companion. In particular, the horse is present in Polish literature, in poetry and art. This romanticism of returning to cultural archetypes causes that both present-day knightly brotherhoods and groups oriented towards sightseeing activities reach for horse riding. This may also include the ancient archetype of the wanderer [Cynarski, 2005] the originating from the pre-agricultural cultures nomad instinct which is a part of cultural archetype almost like an atavism. Wide spectrum of riding values Hippocrates ( BC) noticed the health values of riding. He considered it as a highly valuable form of gymnastics which stimulates the functions of an organism, influences the man s psychic in a positive way and soothes symptoms of many diseases. Also contemporarily this form of movement recreation is chosen for the purpose of improving general psychophysical condition, mood, for health, relaxation, body shaping and due to attractiveness of this very form of activity [Flandorffer, & Hajasi, 191; Rokicka-Hebel, 2004]. A very positive influence of systematic riding practice on relaxing, the development of motor skills, balance, space orientation and agility is noticed as well as the fact that it fulfills the needs of activity, social acceptance and belonging. Horse riding is a value in itself due to, among others, health, environmental, cognitive and social qualities. It opens a wide range of possibilities for expressing the people s personalities, ambitions, it shows a way to selfrealization [Rokicka-Hebel, 2004, pp ]. Horsemanship connected with recreation and tourism wonderfully realizes the functions of health and recreation, natural and cultural education, educational and cognitive function, also economic and psychological
3 (self-realizational) one as well as it shapes the ecological awareness [McIntosh, & Goeldner, 1990; Sessa, 1983; Lobozewicz, & Bienczyk, 2001]. At the same time as a form of individual psychophysical activity it shapes the character and personality of a an and allows him to know himself better a kind of test in situations requiring physical effort, perceptiveness and quick response. The recreational value caused that the number of riding horses in Europe is increasing fast and the horse industry is developing. As Naszkowska  states, horses are a good business for the fodder suppliers, vets, owners of stables for rent, the number of which is increasing, producers of harness and elegant riding outfits, blacksmiths etc. In Great Britain, the cradle of horsemen, the annual turnover of the horse industry exceeds 1.6 billion, in Holland 900 million and in Sweden 400. Also in Poland the number of private stables is increasing from several before 1989 to over 600 at present. Only in the area near Warsaw there are over 150 horse riding centers and 23 shops with horse equipment. Moreover, the EU offers funds for growing horses of endangered races e.g. the Hucul horses from the Bieszczady. Thus, the recreational value of riding has a significant reflection in the economy. At the same time in the Podkarpacie region, rich in areas attractive for horse tourism and recreation, only 16 such centers operate at present. The horse may be of service for handicapped people [Heipertz-Hengst, 1997]. Horse therapy a method of movement rehabilitation on the basis of neuro-motor activity, neurophysiology and psychomotor activity conducted with the participation of a horse is a very interesting issue. Horses used in this kind of therapy should be mild, trusting, obedient and patient with moderate temper. The horse fulfills the need of, among others, being carried [compare: Strauss, 1992; Lubersac, 1994]. Moreover, therapy using horse riding appears to be efficient in modern rehabilitation of the motion system [Malinowska, 1983; Riede, 1992; Gadula, 1994]. Thus, horse therapy was used in the USA as early as in the 60s of the 20 th century [Wyznikiewicz-Nawracala, 2001] and at present the increase in the number of horse therapy centers has been noted in Poland as well [Smolak, 1994; Splecka-Szpejda, 1994]. From the first contact with a horse, through horse trips and recreational riding to the higher riding art horse riding influences the man s body and mind. It applies, although in a different way, to both a healthy man and not fully fit one [Flandorfe, & Hajasi, 1991; Wyznikiewicz-Nawracala, 2001]. The horse is a living partner subordinate to man. It influences the emotional sphere of the rider and it provides richness of sensory stimuli, perfecting dynamic balance, improving coordination, correcting body posture, perception and space orientation training. This is used in pedagogy and horse therapy [Strauss, 1992; Solecka-Szpejda, 1994]. Horse riding as a chance for eco- and agrotourism Poor regions, which also lack in tourist values and as such they appear to be touristically unattractive, may develop ecotourism and agrotourism the economic branches with growing significance as they are at the same time fields of physical culture. Especially the areas of eastern Poland with natural flora and interesting landscapes should use this potential [compare: Wozniak, Kusnierz, Wozniak, & Herbert, 2004]. Surely, an additional advantage would be here an offer of horse tourism and recreation. Tourist proposal of active rest on an agrotourist farm in touch with nature, with ecological food of the local traditional cuisine connected with horse riding is very interesting especially for foreign tourists. Depending on the level of advance in riding they may have lessons of horse riding in the stud or they may visita given region on the horseback following set tracks [Kusnierz, Dziedzic, & Wozniak, 2005]. This form of recreational-tourist activity is already very common in the world spreading onto most part of Europe and all continents (excluding Antarctic) [Internationale Reiterreisen 2003]. Saethorsdorttir s research results confirm the choice of wild areas and the need of contact with untouched nature [Saethorsdorttir, 2004]. Of course, active tourism in natural environment is limited by administrative and legal regulations being in accordance with the regulations concerning protection of nature. For instance, the rules of admission n a national park are set by the director of the park. Moreover, in the areas of strict natural reserves any man s interference is forbidden. Riding develops as another form of recreation independently from horse tourism and localization of stud farms in the non-urban areas causes that such places are systematically visited by fans of this sport. Such an offer works as a tourist magnet. People who have tried horse riding are attracted by this archetypical form of entertainment, where a very significant roe is played by the man being in contact with this quite an intelligent animal [Pepkowska, 2002]. One may think that riding as a developing form of recreation will develop and become more and more common. It does require proper funds and acquiring suitable skills, so insufficient base and lack of qualified instructors may be an obstacle here. In the situation of growing demand one may expect he growth of investments in recreational riding sport and this will allow for wider development of qualified horse tourism [Legienis, 1997]. In turn horse tourism associated with agrotourism is a chance for economic revival of less developed regions of Poland and Europe. Of course, proper conditions and equipment, especially horses valuable for recreation [Grobelny, 1999], must be provided. Moreover, the following are crucial: clean natural environment, forest areas, field and
4 meadows suitable for horse riding, special sightseeing values of landscape, varied relief of the land, etc. Outdoor recreation requires synergy of such factors as contact with the sun, clean air, forests, lakes and fields. They all give a dynamic bioclimatic accord neutralizing harmful influences of the civilization [Grobelny, 1999]. Those conditions are fulfilled by more and more recreational centers, individual horse owners and small private stud farms [Legienis, 1997]. A more highly organized (in the structural aspect), institutionalized form of this kind of tourism is developed with the support of local authorities and tourist organizations ii. The educational dimension of riding Self-education or also education through horse recreation and tourism may be viewed on the ground of pedagogy of tourism [Matuszyk, 2003; Przeclawski, 1973] or theory of educational tourism [Turos, 1996; 2001]. Turos and Siwinski emphasize the educational and self-educational role of tourism which may be a means for realizing educational goals a source of various cognitive and ideological-moral experiences, sightseeing and contacts with inghabitats of visited areas. The humanist theory of tourism, being currently developed [Krawczyk, 2002; Kosiewicz, 2003; Cynarski, & Obodynski, 2004], with the humanist theory of physical culture and the theory of active tourism [Toczek-Werner, 2004] allow to describe properly and explain tourist and recreational activity of man. In particular horse recreation and tourism provides stimuli engaging the whole psychophysical personality of a man it shapes his sensitivity (emotional and esthetic), relaxes, strengthens physically by building the potential of positive health as well as while requiring certain effort and regularity it forms the character. Contact with new for the rider situations stimulates openness to new knowledge. As Jean Piaget ( ) claimed the essence of science is the conflict between the already acquired and new knowledge. Here, we do not have really a conflict of knowledge but verification of old ideas. Pedagogy of tourism educates trough tourism and for tourism [Matuszyk, 2003]. In both these aspects doing its horse variety strengthens educational effects by the indicated above recreational and personality-creating values. The results of research conducted for the needs of instructing tourist staff show that improvement of specialist education requires passing larger amounts of practical knowledge [Kruczek, 1991; Sessa, 1983]. Among needed professional skills there are e.g., riding skills and licenses. Education in this specialty (horse therapy and agrotourism) is realized in the Faculty of Physical Education at the Rzeszow University. Conclusions One may expect more and more close connections between tourism and active forms of recreation as well as combining cognitive values (including sightseeing ones) with physical recreation. In this perspective horse tourism and recreation should gain popularity and economic significance. It is probable to use horse riding more commonly in medicine and rehabilitation. References Chudoba, T. (1998). Wprowadzenie do teorii turystyki. Warsaw: AWF. Cynarski, W.J. (2004). Teoria i praktyka dalekowschodnich sztuk walki w perspektywie europejskiej. Rzeszow: UR. Cynarski, W.J. (2005). Rozdzial 4. Ikony i archetypy w turystyce krajoznawczej. In B. Sawicki & J. Bergier (Eds.), Uwarunkowania rozwoju turystyki zwiazanej z obszarami wiejskimi (pp ). Biala Podlaska: PWSZ. Cynarski, W.J., & Obodynski, K. (2004). Tourism in Humanistic Perspective Scientific Conference. Tourism Today. The Journal of the College of Tourism and Hotel Management, 4, Cynarski, W.J., & Obodynski, K. (2005). Jezdziectwo jako forma turystyki i rekreacji. In J. Ozdzinski (Ed.), Rekreacja, turystyka, kultura w zagospodarowaniu czasu wolnego (pp ). Gdansk: AWFiS. Flandorffer, T., & Hajasi, J. (1991). Jezdziectwo moje hobby. Warsaw: PWRiL. Gadula, E. (1994). Metody niekonwencjonalne w nowoczesnej rehabilitacji. Hipoterapia, 1-4, 19. Gedl-Pieprzyca, I. (2005). Jazda konna elementem kultury w wychowaniu Polaka. In Z. Dziubinski (Ed.), Sport jako kulturowa rzeczywistosc (pp ). Warsaw: SALOS RP. Grobelny, J. (1999). Przyrodnicze i antropogeniczne uwarunkowania rekreacji jezdzieckiej w opinii jej uczestnikow. In K. Zaton (Ed.), Problemy kultury fizycznej w badaniach naukowych (pp ). Wroclaw: AWF. Internationale Reiterreisen weltweit. Pferd & Reiter. Internationale Reiterreisen, 2003, pp Heipertz-Hengst, Ch. (1997). Jazda konna dla osob niepelnosprawnych. Warsaw: PWRiL. Jedrzejczyk, I. (2001). Nowoczesny biznes turystyczny. Ekostrategie w zarzadzaniu firma. Warsaw: PWN. Kaczmarek, J., Stasiak, A., & Wlodarczyk, B. (2002 a). Produkt turystyczny albo jak organizowac poznawanie swiata. Przewodnik do cwiczen. Lodz: UL.
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