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A Basic Guide to Horse Back Riding
by Clinton Lyons
Beginners Guide To Horse Back Riding
There are some things that just come natural to some people.
Some people are almost born knowing how to stay on a skateboard. Personally, I fall flat on my face every time I step on a skateboard and it moves. That's something that just wasn't born in me. One thing that was born into my system was how to ride a horse. It seemed I knew how to ride a horse from birth but didn't start riding alone till I was three. That was mainly due to my beloved quarter horse Harlan who knew that I was a beginner. So, would you like me to give you some tips on how to ride your horse?
Learning how to ride a horse can be a fun and rewarding experience for people of all ages. However, if the proper skills and safety techniques aren't learned beforehand, you can end up taking many hard falls which is why many beginners end up quitting.
Falls and injuries can be avoided if the beginner horseback rider takes the time to study the proper horseback riding techniques prior to riding a horse.
Just like learning to ride a bicycle or a skateboard, you first need to fully understand your restrictions and what the bicycle or skateboard is capable of. Same goes with learning to ride a horse which is why I encourage everyone to learn from a professional if they can.
However, if you can't afford a private instructor to teach you how to ride a horse, then you should really consider getting yourself a really good horseback riding training guide. I'd recommend Horseback Riding: The Complete Beginner's Guide or The Beginner's Guide to Horseback Riding.
Learning to Ride A horse
When learning how to ride a horse one of the best things I can tell you is to always keep your cool. If you lose control of yourself, have no doubt you will lose control of your horse.
You know how people say that a dog can sense if you're scared? Well so can a horse. Some will use your fear as a way out of having to work. But, even if you think that the horse is some big animal and you have no idea how you'll ever stay on, you cannot think that around your horse.
You need to stay calm and relaxed. If you get a little scared take a few deep breaths so that you can slow your heartbeat and relax yourself. Odds are, if you think you're in control, so will the horse.
Now that you have calmed your nerves and told yourself that you are boss, let's talk about how to ride a horse.
There are two styles of riding you can think about when you learn how to ride a horse, English and western.
- If you haven't ridden much I suggest a western saddle mainly because of the fact that it holds you in place better and has a horn for you to hang onto if you feel the need.
- An English saddle is lighter in weight, has thinner stirrups and no horn to hang onto. Some people swear by them for a beginner to build up balance and all but I just feel safer in a western saddle. I figure that if a cowboy thinks that they're the best to hold you on I'd have to agree with them. You can work on balance later, once you learn how to ride your horse a little better.
With the saddle in place, you can hop on and go for a ride. When you first learn how to ride a horse you can't just hop on, dig in your heels and think that the horse will just mosey off. To make a horse go forward you generally will just have to squeeze a bit with your thighs. Might need to move your butt forward towards the horn a little to let them know you're serious but being a beginner you should already be on a well broke horse.
A green horse and a green rider are never a good combination when you first learn how to ride a horse.
Green by the way means that you're just learning. Don't go out looking for a horse that will blend in with the grass. But once you're up in the saddle and walking, you can guide your horse in one of two ways.
- If you know that your horse neck reins, you simply lay the reins across the left side of the neck to go to the right and across the right side of the neck to go left.
- If you were told that the horse plow reins, take one rein in each hand and pull on the side that you want to go. If you want to go right, gently tug on the right rein and vise versa with the left.
These are a few simple things for those who are just learning how to ride a horse. For those with experience in horseback riding you might have your own ideas but these are the basics that I teach my kids. And so far I feel that they know how to ride a horse quite well for their ages and they practice the correct safety procedures without risk or injury.
Horse Riding Injuries
Did you know that 90% of falls and horse related injuries result from an inexperienced rider?
Don't let that happen to you. Take a few minutes to learn the essential horseback riding and horse training methods practiced by experts for generations before you learn to ride a horse, they're guaranteed to help improve your horse riding skills.
Clinton Lyons, has been raising foals and horses for over 35 years. He's a professional horse trainer and expert horseback riding instructor. You can help avoid nasty falls and injuries by investing in his recommended training manuals : Horseback Riding: The Complete Beginner's Guide or The Beginner's Guide to Horseback Riding.