People may have replaced horses with cars for transport, but there’s no replacing the pleasure you can get from riding one of these magnificent creatures. However, it can be daunting the first time you’re in the saddle. Here are some tips that first-time riders will appreciate for their first few rides:
Get the Right Gear
Riding a horse is just like any sport; you’re going to need the right gear if you want to ride properly and safely. In the beginning, you don’t have to worry about the intricacies of horse reins and saddles, though. In your first few rides, the only equipment you need to worry about is the clothes you’re wearing and your shoes. The stable will be providing the rest of the equipment.
For your pants, wear long, non-slick pants, as well as close-toed shoes with heels. Buying dedicated riding apparel is not for first-timers. But if you’ve been bitten by the riding bug, then riding pants, leather ankle boots, and gloves are going to be your first dedicated riding purchases.
Greet Your Horse
Unlike a car, horses are living creatures and they will respond better if you treat them with respect and kindness. As a rider, you need to connect with your horse to get the best ride possible. To get you started on the right foot, greet your horse with the traditional “horseman’s handshake.” Just extend your arm and offer the back of your hand for the horse to smell. This gives the horse the idea that you are asking permission to ride.
One of the interesting things about animals is that they are very empathetic. They can feel what you feel and this affects them. That is why you need to project your confidence in your horse. Horses will notice if you are nervous or scared and this will cause them to feel the same. You really don’t want to be on the back of a horse if it panics. This is why you need to maintain your confidence, starting from the way you mount up to how you ride.
Never stutter and try to be as relaxed as possible. If this is one of your first rides, you most likely have someone assisting you so just forget the fear and enjoy the experience.
Admittedly, horses are great creatures but they shouldn’t be the focus of your attention. You are riding a horse and that means you are responsible for guiding it. This means you need to have your eyes ahead and alert for where to go. Just follow the trail and nudge and pull gently on the reins. Beginning rides are often done at a slow walk to get you acquainted with the basics.
The end of your ride should be as smooth as your mounting. Wait until the horse is still and get your feet out of the stirrups. When this is down, just lean forward and swing your left leg back and over to jump to the ground. Make it as smooth as possible and treat your ride to some snacks as a form of gratitude.
Horse riding is a great hobby that gets you in touch with nature. With the tips above, you should be ready to go deeper into the hobby. There’s much that horse riding can bring to you, whether you’re young or old. Try it out now so that you can enjoy the wind in your face and the feeling of connecting with a noble and powerful animal.