The benefits of riding
The benefits of learning to ride go well beyond the amazing feeling of riding a horse (which is worth it all on its own!). It will help you get fit -- riding develops more fitness then the average non-horse-person would ever imagine; there's a *reason* it's in the Olympics!
Horses are also the ultimate teammates and teachers. They teach patience, responsibility, empathy, fun, teamwork, and confidence among other things. Children who grow up with horses gain a maturity which prepares them to function in society in ways far beyond the average suburbanite child. Tracy Meisenbach's well writen article Because My Daughter Grew Up With Horses furture elaborates on this concept.