Have you ever thought about riding a horse but scared as the animal is enormous? Do not worry as this is the best guide to how to ride a horse for beginners.
Riding is an adventurous sport, and one should definitely try at least once in their lifetime. Apart from an adventure, such a journey is dangerous, too, and requires some precautions at the same time. So, first of all, let us look at some safety tips while riding a horse.
Safety Measures Regarding How to Ride a Horse for Beginners
Everyone wants to be completely relaxed and enjoy as much as they can while riding for the first time, here are some safety tips for the same –
Helmets Compulsory :
Before beginning a ride, make sure that you are wearing a durable helmet that fits you perfectly and keeps your head safe.
Stay Alert :
Riding is fun, and one may often get distracted while riding horse for the first time. Make sure that you are focused as you are dealing with a living animal who might behave unpredictably. You will learn their characteristics as time passes. But one should always be aware while riding whether you are a newbie or an experienced rider.
Protecting Feet :
Proper and comfortable boots are must for horse riding as it gives your feet support and saves from any kind of shocks.
How to Get on a Horse for First Time
This is the first step regarding how to ride a horse. Here are the complete steps –
1. Make sure that someone is holding a horse for you while you get on it.
2. Ensure that the saddle and girth are firm to avoid slipping.
3. You should stand on the left side of your horse.
4. Hold the ends of the reins from your left hand. And just in front of the saddle for proper balance. Controls of the horse act as same as the steering of your car.
5. Now slowly put your left foot on the Stirrup. Make sure that the ball of your foot is exactly on the center of the Stirrup, with your heels sticking to the Stirrup.
6. Now putting your entire body weight on your left foot stand up on the Stirrup.
7. Swing your right leg across the other side of the horse and sit down on the saddle
8. Adjust the Stirrup according to your length or ask your coach to do it for you.
9. Finally, put your right leg on the Stirrup, and you are good to go.
Walking on a Horse
Once you are set well on the saddle, it’s time to take a ride on the horse. Remember to keep calm and loosen your muscles.
- First of all, make sure that your legs are placed comfortably on the stirrups.
- Hold the reigns steadily and wait for the instructor to direct the horse.
- You have to sit deep and in a relaxed position.
- Give your horse a gentle squeeze instead of a kick with your heels.
- Once your horse started walking, stop squeezing it.
- Listen to your coach well regarding the movement of the reigns and legs.
Horse Riding Tips for Trotting
- Gently squeeze your legs against the horse to let the horse know that he has to trot.
- You can also hold the horn of the saddle to keep yourself ready.
- Trotting is quite awkward, and one may feel better as a matter of time; just make sure that you are well settled into the saddle.
Stopping the Horse
Stopping a horse is an essential event in how to ride a horse for beginners. One has first to slow down a horse and stop it calmly to avoid accidents.
Here is the correct procedure regarding this –
- Make sure that you are well set and steady on the saddle.
- Sink your entire weight on your seat
- Lean a little backward and firm up your legs
- You can also hold the horns provided in front of the saddle
- Let your horse also know that you are planning to stop it. You can say “whoa” to make him understand
- Pull back the reins gently by applying normal pressure as the reins are connected to their mouth; it can hurt.
- Once your horse is successfully stopped, give your horse a reward by patting it.
Some Common Mistakes that Beginners Make
While learning something new, it is evident that people make some mistakes. But it is better to know the common mistakes that people make to make yourself more ready to handle the situation. Only regular practice can make you perfect in this activity.
Some common errors and the way to fix them are as follows –
1. Reins too Long Along With Hands too High :
It is widespread that humans adjust their hands accordingly to maintain balance. Many riders also do not know how to shorten the reins and adjust them accordingly and thus to control them. For this, you should know that your hands should remain at your hip level for better control over the horse. The tension you maintain on the reigns should be light. There should exist imaginary straight lines that go from your elbows, forearms, and hands.
2. Too Tight Gripping With Legs :
Gripping too tightly with your legs does not mean that it will prevent your saddle from slipping. The saddle is bound by other mechanisms, and your legs cannot do anything regarding its position. Instead, too tight gripping of our legs will make it difficult to sit deeper into the saddle and maintain your balance. Tight gripping of the legs will also confuse your horse to go faster.
For this problem, ensure that you are completely relaxed and well sink in the saddle. You have to maintain an imaginary straight line that passes through your ear, shoulder, hip, and finally, the heel for better results.
3. Using Stirrups to trot :
Learning to rise through trot can be difficult for the first time. Many riders push themselves up towards the outward direction of the saddle. The proper way is to feel the rhythm of the horse movements and let the saddle move your body along with it without any extra effort.
4. Feet far From Stirrup :
Many beginners adjust their feet far from the stirrups, which is not a correct practice. It is uncomfortable and is quite dangerous too. The ball of your foot should be in contact with the tread of your Stirrup. You should also take care that the stirrups should not be jammed because of your boot’s heel.
For this, you have to make sure that your heels are completely down and well fix on the stirrups. Keep your legs underneath and in line with the horse’s body. Keeping the correct length of the stirrups is also necessary.
5. Holding Breath :
Many riders hold their breath while riding a horse, thus making this fun activity to become uncomfortable. It is good to tune up your breathing by the movement of your horse for a better experience. Smile and give yourself a feeling of joy.
6. Looking Down :
Some of the riders look down throughout their entire journey. They may also focus on the horse’s head or neck. It is not a good practice as it may disturb your balance and position. It is also quite reasonable to look at the horse as they are pretty cool. It is useful if you look up and focus on the upcoming path. The same case also applies during the turning road where you are about to head.
In the case of reins, just remember that you are holding a baby bird with soft hands whom you do not want to fly away. This will make your grip steady along with soft.
Common Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs) :
Q1: How do you speed up a horse?
Ans: One can speed up the horse by poking the sides of the horse with your heels.
Q2: Can you teach yourself to ride a horse?
Ans: It can take up to two years to learn all the horse-riding basics perfectly if you take riding lessons every week.
Q3: How do you ride a horse for the first time?
Ans: One must be very cautious if riding a horse for the first time. Wear all the safety pieces of equipment and keep your leg down throughout the ride. It is good to perform the horse ride for the first time under expert guidance.
Q4: What makes a good rider?
Ans: A good rider should handle the horse’s moment according to his wish and should also be familiar with all the activities of his horse.
Q5: What is the best age to start horse riding lessons?
Ans: One should attain at least seven years of his age to start a horse-riding lesson for perfect results.
The Final Words
I hope that now you have a fair idea regarding how to ride a horse for beginners. Remember that every new task requires dedication and hard work, and the same is the case here.
Also, make sure that you are within the safe limits while riding a horse.