If you’ve purchased a horse already, or if you’re planning on purchasing one, it helps to have a few horse riding tips in mind. It might be a good idea to take lessons with an expert, and research your training options through an online platform such as Horses.me.
Particularly, if you’re going to be acclimatising to a new horse breed and especially if you’ve never had a horse, or for that matter, ridden on one before! To learn to ride a horse safely, every beginner needs lessons in person with a qualified riding instructor.
It’s natural to feel a little anxious about horse riding. After all, there are a few dangers to be mindful of. You could fall, break something, or agitate the horse – which is the last thing you want. Besides, you’re riding a living creature, which means you want it to accept you and possibly, even like you. Let’s explore what you can do to maximise not only your safety but also your enjoyment of the experience.
- The horseman’s handshake – start your horse-riding experience well
Open yourself up and greet the horse by gently walking up close with an extended arm and offering the back of your hand to your horse’s nose. Doing this, puts the living creature in front of you at ease, helping it become acquainted with you.
At the same time, it also grounds you in a state of presence and mindfulness, helping to ease any anxiety.
The first time you’re riding a new horse can be daunting because their stature can be quite staggering and, in some cases, domineering. Nevertheless, riding a new horse for the first time will fill you with adrenaline and a surge of energy like no other.
- Transfer your weight to your lower body
If all your physical attention is being placed on your core and hips, you might be in for a bumpy ride. To account for the shock of a horse picking up speed or turning rapidly, you want to be prepared to take it in your stride. To do that ensure that your weight is distributed towards your heels so that you can use your legs as a way to absorb the shock and correct your balance when necessary. There are many position variations that vary slightly even among professional riders, so advice might differ on a case by case basis, to suit every rider and body shape. There are several exercises you can perform to improve your horse riding posture, at the advice of an expert.
- Adjusting the reins correctly
Adjust the reins too hard and you risk making your horse frustrated – too and it won’t be clear which direction you want to turn. The way you position yourself and manoeuvre the reins will dictate what kind of experience you have. New riders often make the mistake of holding their hands excessively high. Riders should never ‘pull’ on a horse’s reins given the fact that horses typically weight over a 1000 pounds.
- Don’t rely on the reins
Using your body weight for turning left or right or forward or backwards, is an intuitive art that puts less pressure on a horse. It’s frustrating for horses to be pulled by the reins for every little thing. Don’t be that person. Try to align the way you use the reins with your body so that you can stroll elegantly as one unit, instead of being disjointed.
- Horses have a sense of humour
Well, it certainly seems that way at least. Unless you’re prepared to show the horse that you’re in command, you’ll be taken for a ride. Be confident in yourself, and show your horse that you mean business with your attitude and energy. Remember that as a new rider, who the horse isn’t acquainted with, you will be tested. Act and prepare accordingly.
It’s natural to feel a little anxious about horse riding. After all, there are a few dangers to be mindful of. You could fall, break something, or agitate the horse – which is the last thing you want. Besides, you’re riding a living creature, which means you want it to accept you and possibly, even like you. Is that something that even can be controlled? Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, let’s explore what you can do to maximise not only your safety but also your enjoyment of the experience.
Follow these basic tips to improve your horse-riding experience as a beginner, and don’t forget that you can always sign up for training and lessons with an expert, if horse riding is something you truly enjoy doing.The horseman’s handshake – start your horse-riding experience well