Horse Riding Tips & Equestrian Advice

Tips & Advice to improve your horse riding - 300

A few general horse riding tips to help you improve your riding and ways to save money with good stuff like homemade horse treats and homemade fly spray that will improve your horse care.

Top Riding Tip for Spring :

As the show season starts you may want to take your own water supply with you in your horsebox or trailer but you don’t have a suitable container.

Just place a clean new black rubbish bag inside a bucket and fill it with fresh water. Then tie a knot in the top to make sure the water doesn’t spill everywhere during your journey.

Debbie and Winnie from

Top Riding Tip for Summer :

There’s nothing better than the fly spray on the main equestrian tips page. I’ve used the garlic and olive oil fly repellant for years and it not only saves me money but is the most effective fly treatment I’ve ever used.

Top Riding Tip for Autumn :

It’s time for clipping – so I always make sure that I bath my horse using the natural fly repellant tip. The vinegar bath really conditions the coat and removes the excess grease, allowing the clippers to cut better and giving a far better finish.

Top Riding Tip for Winter :

A harsh winter can really take it out of your skin and really dry your hands. Try using Hemp hand cream from the Body Shop, it helps protect your hands, is dermatologically tested, relieves very dry skin and restores moisture and suppleness. It isn’t cheap but I find it does work.

Horse Riding Tips :

  • Try this test
    On circles, don’t ride too much with your inside hand, ride with it half-way up the horse’s neck … this will show if you’re using too much inside rein.

  • Be your own riding instructor
    Have someone video you when you’re riding so you can watch yourself later. Make mental notes and correct any problems with your position.

  • Collect your horse
    When trying to collect your horse, imagine he or she is a spring that you have to coil up and store energy in.

  • Roll your shoulders
    While riding smoothly lift your shoulders then push them back and round. Lift up, roll back and relax. This will improve your posture and relax your hands.

  • Soft Reins & a Light Touch
    Tie two reins, ropes or two pieces of baling twine to a fence. Hold them as if they’re your reins. Take up a firm contact of at least 10 pounds in each hand. Then, adjust the weight of the reins by softening your arms, forearms in particular. Adjust your pressure or feel from 10 pounds to 5 pounds then back to 10 pounds and then down to 2 pounds. Teach yourself this feeling of adjusting the weight of the reins and you can then transfer the same technique to your riding as you feel yourself getting too strong.

  • Don’t spill it
    Pretend your favourite drink is in the middle of your hands and you don’t want to spill it. This will help keep your hands in the right place.

  • Straighten Up
    If you tend to lean inward during circle work, pretend your outside buttock is filled with lead. This mental imagery should help you straighten up.

  • Look up
    If your horse’s neck isn’t there you’ll be the first to know.

  • Grow
    Think of your body growing upwards and your legs growing downwards.

  • Left; right; left; right
    When doing sitting trot, think of alternating your heels stretching down…left, right, left, right.

  • Relax
    Too many riders constantly focus on trying to sit up straight, which can lead to tension. RELAX

  • Relaxation exercise
    The more tightly you hold a muscle, the more deeply it relaxes when you let it go. So tire out those strong hands. With your fingers curled around the reins, clench your hands into fists. Increase the tension until your hands are shaking. Then relax and let go. Do this as many times as yo can each day and you’ll eventually be able to recreate that fully relaxed feeling without having to tighten your hands first

  • Oompa Loompa
    Singing the original ‘Oompa Loompa’ song (from the first Willy Wonka movie) really helps keep your rhythm at the sitting trot!

  • Thrust your bust
    It will help maintain proper posture.

  • £50 – Don’t lose it
    When you’re cantering, pretend you’re sitting on a £50 note and you don’t want it to blow away.

  • Don’t break them
    Think of your reins as cotton that will break if you pull too hard.

  • Don’t look down
    When going over a jump, focus on a high point in front of you, like the top of a tree in the distance, so you don’t look down.

  • Rodeo Riding
    If you ever feel like your horse is about to bolt or you are losing your balance, just sit back and move your feet forward putting some weight on your stirrups, just like the rodeo riders do. Try it … you’ll find you feel a lot more secure.

  • Sandbags and String
    Pretend there is a piece of string attached to your helmet to keep your back straight, and sand bags attached to your heels so they stay down.

  • Think to yourself
    "If I was in this same position on the ground, could I stay standing?" You need to perch between the ‘wind and the water’ (so to speak!) Imagine a line that goes from your shoulders, to your elbows, to your hips, then to your heel.

  • Ice Cream Crush
    Pretend the reins are two ice cream cones that you must hold carefully, so they don’t crush.

  • Broken Eggs
    At the rising trot, imagine there is an egg on the saddle and you must sit down gently so you don’t break it.

  • Heels Down
    Spread your toes, it will help keep your heels down.

  • Rocking Horse
    Don’t think of the horse as a rocking chair! When you’re riding, don’t sit like you do in a chair, with your legs out in front and knees bent. Sit in such a way that if the horse wasn’t there, you’d still be able to support your own weight when standing.

  • Balance the Books
    Imagining you have books on top of your head helps keep it up and straight

  • Relax Those Hips Dear
    Before doing a sitting trot, take your feet out of the stirrups, pull up one leg and tuck it up for 10 seconds and let it down again. Do this a few times and then switch to the other leg. This helps loosen and relax your hips.

  • Don’t be a board
    Never try and sit still in the saddle…that’s a moving horse beneath you and you have to move with it!

  • Move your seat
    Try to make your seat move with whatever your horse’s back is doing.

  • Up Round Down
    Try this little exercise … shoulders UP, BACK, ROUND and DOWN then repeat.

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Discourage Cribbing.

To discourage cribbing, hang water buckets and feed tubs very low – Just
off the floor. This makes it much harder for your horse to use them as cribbing edges.

Cribbers often do better outside where there is more to keep them busy. Cribbing is almost impossible to cure, however good management will reduce its frequency.

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Crazy About Cobwebs?

Are cobwebs driving you crazy?

Knock them all down and then wash the walls with a Lysol solution. The mixture doesn’t have to be very strong but will discourage spiders and repel flys. One wash down should last you all summer.