Riding horses can be quite intimidating yet exciting at the same time. If you’ve been fascinated by this magnificent creature, you will see why people take horseback riding as a hobby and even as a sport. But before you go on your first adventure riding a horse, there are things you first need to know.
You may have a trained professional to guide you on your first horseback riding adventure. However, it still pays to do your research so that you will have more ideas than what to wear, how to choose the right headstalls, and how to greet your first horse. The following are a few things every beginner riders need to know before your first equestrian experience.
Start exercising before riding the saddle
Who says you can only practice riding a saddle by waiting for your turn to ride a horse? As it turns out, specific exercises can help you become a better rider. What you need is to focus on activities that can help you develop body awareness, improve core strength, stability, posture, and coordination. Do pushups, planking, calf raises, bicycle crunches, and squats, among a few. Some horse riding exercises can also help you perform better once you start horseback riding.
Mount and dismount the right way
Horses are sensitive animals that can feel if you are nervous or not. Before you even greet your horse, make sure to relax. Mount your horse from the left side and make sure to do this with confidence. When it is time to dismount, make sure your horse is calm and still. Wait for your mentor to hold the horse before you free yourself from the stirrups.
Learn to use the reins gently
The reins are what horseback riders use to steer their horses to another direction or stop them from moving. However, you should know that it is a must that you use the reins gently. Remember that you and your horse are partners. You may think you are in control since you are the one holding the reins. But that can make a wrong turn, especially since you still have lots of things to learn.
Never rely on the saddle for balance
Many first-time horseback riders use the saddle to balance. But doing so will only cause delays when regaining your balance. When the horse is moving, avoid resisting and holding on the saddle. Let the horse rock you and stay as calm as possible. Learn how to use the rein properly, as that is the best way to control your horse.
Don’t hold your breath
If you tend to hold your breath while riding a horse, then your horse will feel your rigidity. Remember that confidence is a must-have for a better horse riding experience. Calm your nerves by taking small, slow breaths, and enjoy the experience.
Riding horses is indeed a fun and one-of-a-kind experience. But many beginners will say it can be quite challenging, knowing it is quite easy to make mistakes. Even the tiny errors can leave you with injuries. With the help of research and a mentor, you can make your first horseback riding experience into a fulfilling and unforgettable one.