"You can go for an hour or two and really switch your brain off," the rapper explains
Iggy Azalea and Kesha have both faced challenging times recently – from cheating scandals to ongoing lawsuits, but it seems the friends are channeling their pain into a healing outlet together – horseback riding.
Speaking to PEOPLE on Saturday night, just before serving as guest of honor at Sunday’s Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade with Elvis Duran, Azalea explained that horseback riding has been her greatest therapeutic release. “Sometimes I say they really saved my life and gave me my confidence back,” she says of the animals.
Ironically, the Aussie rapper, 25, got into riding when she realized music couldn’t serve as a secondary outlet for her anymore. “I just really wanted to have a hobby while I was recording my album and taking some time off. I felt like – OK – well, music used to be my hobby before it was my job. So, I’ve sort of lost my hobby.”
After accidentally discovering a rescue stable when she went to return a guinea pig that fiancé Nick Young‘s son was too afraid of, the “Fancy” rapper says, “I started riding, and six months into that I was just enjoying it so much, I wanted to get my own horses. Now I have two!”
Azalea is so hooked, in fact, that she wants to share the hobby with both friends and those in need. Of bringing Kesha, 29, along for the ride (literally) she says, “She loved it so much afterwards, she asked me so many questions about riding … she was like, ‘I think I really might want to get into this, I really like this. It just feels so relaxing.'”
The rapper further explained why she thinks the experience was so appealing to Kesha, who has been embroiled in a long battle with Dr. Luke. “When you’re going over jumps or riding a horse, there’s nothing else that your brain can think about. You don’t have the time to think about those other things – you just have to think about staying on the horse. It helps to be able to mentally have the space where you can go for an hour or two and really switch your brain off.”
Azalea has taken her love of the sport one step further, working with stables to bring horseback riding to inner city kids with the program Horses in the Hood. The star says she wants to make sure, “other people have access to something they wouldn’t usually think of doing.”
As for her own issues, Azalea says she openly embraced them on her upcoming album, Digital Distortion, and that, for now, all is well with Young. “We just like to do things to keep it fresh and keep it fun,” she says of their life together.