Riding a horse is not as easy as jumping on the back of a horse and saying “Gitty up!”. Here are a few Horseback Riding Tips to get you started.
It takes actual skills and knowledge to ride a horse. Thinking you can just jump on and ride a horse can be a dangerous mistake. Never forget that a horse is a very large animal and it would not be wise to treat it as anything else. These basic tips will help you get a good start in the very beginning. These are the Horseback Riding Tips that Every Newbie Should Know.
The very first step – Approaching a horse
The very first thing you should know about is how to approach your horse. Horses have a very good sense of people. They can sense if you are nervous or scared. This may have an impact on the attitude of the horse. Always approach your horse confidently and with a calm demeanor this will help keep him calm too. It is good to have a clear path to move out of the way in case your horse gets spooked.
Getting on top of your horse – Mounting
Mounting your horse is very important and having a proper mount for your horse will help you establish trust with your horse. If you are a beginner then have someone help you steady your horse while you mount. It is good to mount the horse from the left side and use your left hand to grab the mane of the horse. Place your left foot in the stirrup and when ready throw your right side over. Once you are on top of the horse, it is important to make sure your weight is center of the horse.
Walking your horse
Most horses recognize pressure applied by your legs due to training. Therefore, it is important to keep your legs relatively still except when signaling your horse for a specific action. Too much movement can get your horse confused. Usually, to get your horse to move forward you will need to squeeze your legs tight against the horse. Once the horse starts moving you can loosen up a bit and relax your legs. If a horse is not responding, you can give it a gentle kick in the side and make a clicking sound with your tongue.
Steering the horse
Horses that are neck rein trained are quite easy to steer. Basically, if you want to go to the left then you pull the left side of the reins to the left and right to the right. Most trail horses will be neck rein trained. About 90% of them will be. When you are turning you horse in either direction, it is good to apply pressure to the horse’s side from the opposite side you are turning. For example, while pulling the right side of the rein to turn right apply pressure to left side of the horse. This will help the horse understand to move in that direction.
Stopping the horse
Finally stopping your horse. Now that you have gotten your horse to move, stopping is simple. Simply pull the reins back toward you and tell the horse “Whoa.”. That’s it.