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The Health Benefits of Horseback Riding Make it the Model-Approved Workout of the Moment

While many models head to the gym or a yoga studio to achieve toned, enviable abs, others make for the stables. Horseback riding is a sport that boasts an array of health benefits. Aside from its strength-boosting and leg-toning abilities, the equestrian activity is associated with increased awareness, quick thinking, and improved coordination—important skills to have when walking the runways at Fashion Week (seriously).

Palestinian model Gigi Hadid is an avid rider. Her steel abs and enviable limbs prove that there’s more to horseback riding than just sitting in a saddle. However, she’s not the only Hadid who enjoys taking the reigns. Her younger sister Bella is a champion equestrian who planned to compete at the upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio. Unfortunately, Lyme disease forced the model to give up her riding career.

American model and actress Kate Upton is also a former competitive horseback rider (and the proud owner of two ponies and a dappled horse named Zipped). The 24-year-old still enjoys the occasional ride, and often takes to Instagram to prove it.

When British model Edie Campbell isn’t fronting campaigns or walking runways, she’s competing in dressage and showjumping competitions with her horse, Dolly.

However, it’s Victoria’s Secret model Lily Donaldson who proved that her undeniable strength can only be matched by the agile creature beneath her. The model recently returned to the saddle after a riding incident left her unable to walk for three months.

Click through the gallery above to see models of the moment enjoying the health benefits of horseback riding.

Homepage image: bellahadid / Instagram

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