No article or video tutorial can properly equip you with the skills needed to ride a horse and care for it. You need firsthand experience with a trained instructor or coach to show you the ropes. But you can get some information online on what actually goes into learning to ride a horse. Here is some information to help you learn how to competently ride a horse.
1. Before you begin:
The first step to riding a horse is not jumping on a horse and figuring it out as you go. There are plenty of skills you need to acquire like learning to tie, groom and lead. These skills are crucial to keep you and the horse safe and have a great time doing it.
2. Saddle Up:
The next skill you need to learn is how to put a saddle on your tied and groomed horse. You can either put a Western or English saddle.
3. Mounting Your Horse:
After you have successfully put a saddle on your horse, it is time for you to get on it. You need to learn how to properly mount your horse and the correct sitting position in the saddle.
4. Start off Slowly:
After you have successfully mounted your horse, you can slowly start riding it. Initially, you will feel awkward and unbalanced and have a hard time controlling your body. You may also forget what you are supposed to do next. But this is all normal for someone starting out. The key is practice. Your instructor should start you off with Walk, Halt and Turn- which is the absolute basics of riding. These new motions will take a little time to get used to.
5. Trot or Jog
After you get used to your horse’s movements and have gained more confidence in riding it, you can start to move a little quicker and ride faster. But remember to never push yourself too much. Challenging yourself is okay but rushing things will only end in disaster. Learning to ride a horse should be fun and not scary.
6. Riding Safety:
Learning to ride safely should your highest priority. There a couple of things you need to keep in mind, to ensure your safety and your horse’s.
• Arena Etiquette: Just like the road, there are rules when riding with others to avoid collisions and cutting other riders off.
• Safety on the Trail: Riding on a trail can be adventurous but there are hazards you need to keep an eye out for.
• Use extra caution when riding out when it is dark.
• Horses and cars don’t mix. If for any reason, you need to ride in traffic, be careful and stick along the roadside.
7. After your Ride
Your job as a rider is not over after you have finished ridding. You need to make sure the horse is comfortable and maybe even give it a treat for a job well-done.