HORSE RIDING LESSONS – Ultimate Guide
Do you know that horses are the most humble and patient creatures on earth? Despite their enormous size and strength they still let us ride their backs. Isn’t that amazing?
Most people consider riding on horseback to be scary and most terrifying. I mean, you wouldn’t want to trust yourself to an animal right. Interestingly, horses are gentle as they are humble.
They will submit themselves to your bidding if you learn and understand how to relate to them.
All you need to ride these fascinating creatures is to take on a few horse riding lessons and trust me; you wouldn’t want to quit horseback.
Whether you are a young person seeking to find a new hobby, an older folk looking for an outdoor activity to relax, or you just want to learn something new; horse riding can be both fun, educative and relaxing.
In fact, many experts consider horse riding to be therapeutic.
Just do a little research in your area, you’ll find that the reason some folks can’t be separated from horseback is that of the feeling of excitement and satisfaction that come with riding a horse.
However, horse riding requires learning and practice. You need to learn things like how to mount, how to familiarize yourself with the horse, how to direct the horse, etc. it is a live long learning process.
In any case, I promise to give you all the necessary knowledge required to begin horse riding. So grab a bottle of coke and follow me carefully.
HORSE RIDING LESSON – GETTING STARTED
Taking horse lessons requires a lot of preparations. There are numbers of riding equipment you will need before starting out. Most importantly, you’ll require some basic riding gears and proper outfits.
Some of the essential equipment you’ll need for your lessons will include;
Riding boots: – not every kind of footwear can be used to ride a horse. The most appropriate foot wears are riding boots. When shopping for riding boots, be sure it has at least a two-inch heel.
These boots will give your foot a firm grip at the stirrup. Here is my favorite riding boot I’ve been using on Amazon.
Riding helmet: – an approved riding helmet is a must have before starting horse riding lessons. Helmets are safety equipment to protect your head in case of a fall.
Ovation Schooler Helmet is my recommended Helmet.
It’s provides customized fit, durability and adjustable straps. Check the current price here on Amazon.
Long riding pants: – shorts are a no-no for horse riding, long pants are most appropriate. You do not want the skin on your legs to get raw from constant rubbing against the saddle.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
If you want to learn how to ride a horse, then you should start by looking for a center that teaches horse riding.
I am sure there are a couple of such centers in your area, and they would willingly provide horse riding lessons to both young people and older folks.
The center should have a team of professional and experienced riding instructors, and their priorities should be the safety and satisfaction of their students, while they help you realize your riding ambitions.
They will help:
Provide the horses that are safe, maintaining a fun and enjoyable attitude for riding and learning at all levels.
– The center can offer horse riding for any group or level you want; or semi-private riding for small private groups or couples.
– The center may also cater for the diverse needs of the visitors so that you can improve your ability in horse riding, or regular riders who wish to learn everything starting from the beginning.
People who are coming back to re-learn the skills of riding can also benefit from the center.
The center should have dedicated staff or team that escort the trail rides.
And also provide facilities to teach the lessons in both outdoor and indoor arenas.
You can attend the center regardless of which level of skills you are on. The center should be friendly and experienced to develop the skills of its students. Riders will have fun, and they will relax since it is important to be able to improve and to compete with one another.
It’s a fun experience to ride a horse. However, you will have to take enough time to train and to gain experience to be able to ride the horse expertly.
You will have to learn to mount, to steer or to signal the horses to move in the right way.
You also need to get to train the horse and how to do the ground work with the horses before you can ride. Another paramount aspect of learning horse riding is getting the right house riding kits.
There are specific equipment that enables a smooth ride on horse backs.
As we progress in this article, I will give you suggestions of some of the best products I’ve used. But first, you’ll need to do some groundwork.
Groundwork is the most important skill to learn in horse riding. The foundation will help you familiarize yourself with the horse, and calm the horse.
Have you heard of someone getting thrown off a horseback? Well, that is a consequence of poor groundwork.
For instance, when you approach the horse, you should offer him the back of your hand to smell. It’s the way of horses and how they relate to one another.
Proper groundwork will tell the horse that you are a friend and come in peace.
After you must have done all the necessary groundwork, the next step is to mount.
Don’t be scared.
Horses are very sensitive creatures, they will give you reassuring response and will also sense if you are calm or not.
Mounting a horse involve putting your left foot in the stirrup and lifting your whole body over the horse. A stirrup is one of the gears attached to the side of the horse that enables you to mount.
It also serves as a support for the rider’s foot.
I got a stirrup here for a very low price, I’ve have been using it for a while now, and it’s very comfortable.
Do your best to land softly on the seat. Otherwise, you might end up startling the horse. When you seated on the saddle, you have to take some time to ensure that you have taken the right position to ensure balance.
You need to keep your back straight while keeping in your mind that to ride the horse well, you should draw a straight line using your heel, hip, shoulder and ear.
Your shoulders should also be straight while the bulk of the weight will be resting at the seat bones at the buttocks.
To get the most out of your riding experience, the saddle has to be very comfortable and soft. This will benefit both you and the horse. Personally,I prefer saddles that are made of leather.
I’ve been using this Weaver Leather Western Gel Seat Pad and I must say “it’s quite a bargain.”
PUT YOUR LEGS IN A GOOD POSITION.
When you are sure that you are balanced well, you should then place your foots in their right position on the stirrup.
This may be difficult for beginners and it will take a little time to learn how to correctly set your foot on the stirrup, and seat comfortably on the saddle.
HOLD YOUR REINS WELL.
When your legs are in the right position, you should then take hold of the reins.
There are two ways of holding the reins; the English style and the Western style.
The English Style requires you to make a fist and pass the reins within the fist so the reins will face upward.
I do not fancy this style, though; it has a tendency of hurting the horse mouths.
My favorite’s style of holding the reins is the Western style.
It involves holding the reins to form a loop. Western bridle features the reins which are knotted at its top.
Irrespective of the style you employ, do not hold your reins to close to the horses’ mouth. For Western riders, the loop formed by the reins should not be too slacked.
GETTING THE HORSE TO WALK
So far you have been doing perfectly well, it’s now time to take a walk. Make sure you are balanced well on horseback, and your foot are securely placed in the stirrup.
To move the horse apply a little pressure to his side with your legs. Most experienced riders just make a clucking sound, but as a beginner, you may have to use both techniques to get the horse moving.
Always make sure you keep your composure when riding a horse. Even while on the move, maintaining balance is necessary for a smooth ride.
DIRECTING THE HORSE.
Directing the horse is quite easy, but for a beginner, you’ll need to learn the ropes. Applying pressure with your right foot and slightly moving your left hand to the left would tell the horse that you need him to go left.
To turn your horse to the right, you simply squeeze with you left foot, and slightly take your right hand towards the right.
STOPPING OR SLOWING DOWN.
Learning how to stop or slow down the horse is an important part of any horse training exercise. The simple technique involves leaning back slightly and pulling on the reins.
There are a whole lot of other lessons that you’ll need to learn to perfect your horse riding skill. You will need to learn how to trot, canker, and communicate to the horse.
Getting horse riding lessons will help you a lot. Like I earlier said ‘learning horse riding is a lifelong process’.
WHERE TO GET LESSONS:
Horse riding lesson: – If you want to ride well, you should take horseback riding lessons, it can be quite challenging, but in the end, you will be gave it a shot. You can get a reputable stable close to where you live or you can take the lessons from a good trainer.
It’s a good idea to be under supervision when you start to ride. Learning horse riding on your own is risky and highly dangerous.
Riding the horse is fun for someone who knows how to ride and can be dangerous to a person who does not fully understand the technique.
Choosing the best school will make a difference in the riding education you get.
On the other hand, choosing the wrong riding school may impact negatively on the riding experience you get. Make sure you follow the criteria I suggest in this article while choosing a riding school.
I am sure you will find one that suits you in your area.
Experienced riders understand well what they have to look at the riding school, but beginners may not be aware of what makes a difference between the bad and good riding school.
Finding an appropriate riding school may prove challenging. However, there are some factors which will help both inexperienced and experienced riders who want a school where they can learn or can gain more experience in horse riding.
Take time to look around you: When it is about riding, you have to ensure that the school is safe and functional. When you visit the school, take a look around their facility, it does not have to look fancy, but it has to look safe. The barn aisle should be tidy, the fencing should be maintained and the paddocks and arenas should be in the right condition.
The riding schools are normal businesses, and they are required to maintain a safe and professional place.
While watching the lessons, you will need to pay attention on how the instructor teach and the demeanor of the rider and the horse. Even if there may be some bad days, it is good if the rider and the horse can match.
Meet the person who will instruct you: You should not choose any riding school if you are not aware of who will teach you.
Only choose the teacher that understands you and whom you are comfortable with.