Horseback riding is much more than a casual hobby. Whether deciding to train competitively or learn about riding horses for the first time, there is a lot to learn. While doing research on horse farms in the area, ranch insurance, and riding clothes, also take a look at these tips for new riders.
One way to derail a great ride is seeing a horse get skittish. This can make the prospective rider nervous and in turn create even more anxiety for the horse. Instead, proactively prepare for connecting with the animal. Horses feel safest when people approach them from a direct angle, straight ahead. If this doesn’t seem to work, walking in an arc around the horse for a moment before approaching can help with the gap just the same. The overall goal of this step is to have the horse see and acknowledge the rider’s presence and to not be startled. When the horse sees the rider, a gentle, soft approach can bring that final piece of connection.
Mounting the horse is the next challenge. It’s important to try not to be discouraged here, or else much of the great work done in connecting will be undone very easily. Once upon the horse, try to maintain central seating and adjust to the alignment of the seating. Proper seating will have a rider sitting up straight and feet comfortably latched into the stirrups.
Once these steps have been achieved, don’t forget to listen to the horse just as much as the horse is listening. Horses don’t typically stop when they feel tugging on the reigns, which is definitely a new rider’s natural instinct. Rather, try and incorporate verbal cues like the quintessential “whoa” and digging into the saddle just a bit more. While these beginner tips are a lot to remember, they will help any new rider feel just a bit more comfortable.