Welcome back to our bucket list!
Many of you might have a desire to learn how to ride a horse. It gives you a feeling of being like royalty while riding a horse. I remember the very first time I mounted a horse. Though it was a little tricky initially, I felt sort of royal while riding the horse. I really enjoyed it and have since gone on several other rides on horses.
Well, with my somewhat horse riding experience, I can share with you some useful horse riding tips that hopefully will help you learn how to ride a horse.
1. Know the safety rules
Whether you are driving a car or riding a horse, you must not forget the safety rules to protect yourself as well as the horse.
- You need to stay alert while riding as the nature of animals including horses are completely unpredictable. You never know when are they going to react weirdly due to many potential factors such as weather, behavior changes while in the vicinity of other horses or animals, etc.
- Secondly, wear the right pair of riding boots. This wearable item is very important as it may save you from sudden incidents. Oftentimes, riders fall from horses and their feet get trapped in the stirrups. As a result, they get dragged behind the horse. So, to avoid such a scenario and to protect your feet and toes, it would be best to opt for some thick leather material boots with a reinforced toe area.
2. Talk to the Horse
You might be wondering what I am talking about! But, it is a very good practice to befriend a horse. After all, a horse is also a living creature on this planet and it has the same emotions as we have. Stand beside the horse, let it smell you, know you, and lick your hand. Talk to him in a soft voice, pet him, offer some treats, and soon he will become comfortable with you.
3. Mount safely
Mounting a horse is not as easy as it appears. If you have never mounted a horse, you might struggle for the first time as the horse might not react positively. For this reason, sometimes trainers hold the horse and keep it still to let the rider mount safely.
Here the tip is- Place your left foot on the left stirrup, put your weight on it, and cross your right leg over the other side of the horse. Now, sit comfortably in the saddle and hold the reins in your left hand. Further, you can ask your trainer or any available person to adjust the length of the stirrup as per your convenience.
4. Command your horse to walk
Now that you have mastered mounting a horse safely, it is time to make the horse walk and jog. First of all, be confident and hold the rein effectively, and the feet must be adjusted properly in the stirrups.
There are different ways to make the horse walk – giving a voice command, leaning forward, and squeezing with your legs; if nothing works, give some soft heel bumps to the lazy ones.
To give directions to the horse, the trick is very simple. Just move the left rein for the left direction and move the right rein to move into the right direction. But, you must do it gently. Remember, your aim is to direct the horse, not to hurt him.
5. Stop your horse
When it comes to stopping a horse, you must actively learn the tips and tricks. Discussing a practical strategy, in order to halt a horse, lean back on the saddle, tense up your legs, pull back the reins, and utter words like “stop”, ”halt”, and ”whoa” in a soft tone.
Make sure about one thing – whenever you pull the reins, do it gently as otherwise, it may hurt the innocent horse. Once the horse halts, go easy with reins and pat your horse for the wonderful ride as a reward. He will love your gesture for sure.
6. Trotting on a horse
This is the most exciting thing to do. You will feel great while trotting on a horse. However, some horses often resist providing this bouncing experience because it can sometimes hurt their back and muscles. However, after you learn how to walk and direct a horse, the next thing in the learning phase is trotting.
To start with trotting, gently kick the horse with soft heels. Make pace with the horse’s rhythm and enjoy the ride.
Something noteworthy to consider here is that you may get stressed out while trotting, but no need to fear. Make a firm grip on the strap and secure your saddle position.
7. Dismounting a horse
As mounting needs to be carefully done, similarly dismounting also requires attention. Initially, make sure that the horse is completely stopped and choose a location where he is not surrounded by other horses because this may lead to an unwarranted behavior change.
Now, relax your feet from stirrups, lean forward, nicely cross over your right leg from the horse, and gently drop to the ground on the left side of the horse.
Some other tips to consider while riding a horse
- Always wear safety gear like a helmet to avoid any head injury from a fall mishap.
- Make a good choice while selecting riding boots, pants, and gloves to ensure that its fit you right and is comfortable.
- Always be alert while mounting, riding, and dismounting a horse.
- Stay calm, confident, and energized while riding a horse.
- Always remember that you are on the back of the horse, so show love and respect to the horse at all times.
- Holding reins too hard can hurt your horse, so always go smooth while pulling reins.
- While directing the horse, make sure you are not going to hurt his ribs or stomach. This may provoke the horse to react dangerously to you.
- Being a beginner, move slow and steady. If you are not familiar with how to walk a horse, then never jump onto trotting. Always follow your trainer’s instructions. Basically, do what your trainer asks you to do at all times.
- While learning how to ride a horse, use a short size whip and hold it horizontally. By doing so, your hands will stay parallel to the horse’s neck.
- Do not use very long reins since they act as a stumbling block in maintaining a clear communication line with the horse. If reins are too long for you, then just wrap a tape on both sides of the reins as a mark where you can comfortably hold it.
So, what do you think? Is horse riding easy or difficult? Well, there is no such thing as easy or difficult. It all depends upon you. My ultimate suggestion is never to lose your desire and confidence.
Horses are beautiful creatures of God. You can become a master in horse riding while enjoying and pampering horses. I hope this guide helps you complete one of the items from your bucket list. By giving enough love, care, and respect to horses, you can soon become a pro in “Horse-riding”.