Are you nervous about your first time horseback riding? Well, it is normal, I was too my first time. You are riding something with a mind of its own, but worry no longer, for I will tell you a few tips on how to get a bit more confident when riding. Follow these tips and you will do fine, riding is a fun activity that you will never regret learning.
1.) Get the Trust of the Horse
The dynamic and synchronization you will feel when riding a horse is an amazing experience. But before you can experience this, you must first get the trust of the horse. When approaching, allow the horse to know your presence, approach the horse slowly, make sure that the horse is facing you but avoid direct eye contact. Allow the horse to smell your hand, and when it allows you to, gently pet the animal. It is important to do this before hoping on it, this will allow you to form an initial bond with each other.
2.) Mounting Properly
Horses are more often than not trained to let people mount them on their left side. Horses tend to move around when someone is mounting them in order to get a proper balance, so instead of stopping the horse from doing this you should assist it by controlling its direction. Be sure to distribute your weight when mounting; don’t let your weight be on one side, do this by pushing down on the opposite shoulder of the horse from where you are mounting.
So you got on the horse and got it to move, but you feel that you ant seem to balance, this is usually due to incorrect posture and seating alignment. An easy guide to know if your posture is correct is by aligning your ears, shoulders, hips and heel. Straighten your back and position at the stirrup the widest part of your feet. This should correct or at least help with your balance.
4.) How to Stop
This is often where people would get really nervous, it is important to know how to stop. Though often times, beginners will have guides to help them stop. Still you must learn how to do so just in case.
Start with a verbal cue, which would vary depending where in the world you are, but usually it a “whoa”. Gently use your fingers to pull on the reigns by closing them, while at the same time pushing your seat into the saddle.
5.) How to Handle and Stop a Horse Going too fast (DO NOT ATTEMPT UNLESS IT IS A REAL EMERGENCY)
If the horse is not responsive with tip 4, then it might be necessary the 1-reign stop, the emergency breaks of horseback riding. Hold the reins tightly with both your hands and pull to one side, this will make the horse turn and slow down in a circular motion. If this doesn’t work or it is too dangerous to turn the horse then a Pulley-rein might be necessary, you can execute this by first shortening one side of the reign, hold on to it tight on the back of the horse’s neck, and pull the opposite rein. This somewhat hurts the horse, so again this is only for EMERGENCIES.
Also watch this video if you are a beginner horse rider
Now you know a little bit more about riding, good luck and have fun!