Owning a horse is not quite as simple as buying the horse and leaving it in a pasture to fend for itself and only bringing it into the stables when it rains. You cannot expect to simply hop onto the back of the animal and ride it like a professional right of the bat. Equestrian training requires commitment and no small amount of hard work. It also requires the correct riding equipment.
The all important techniques of horse grooming and the purchase of appropriate horse riding equipment are a minute part of the relationship you need to build with this magnificent creature. That is really what it all boils down to; forming a relationship based on respect, trust and dedication. In fact, all things considered, you will be required to work a lot harder at your relationship with your horse than your relationship with human beings.
Proper horse grooming is probably the foundation for any good rider-horse relationship. Your horse is going to need to be taken care of properly, before you can even think of the tricky riding maneuvers. Prove to your horse that you are capable of being a good owner before you can expect your horse to do any heavy lifting.
Make sure that you purchase a decent grooming mitt, body brush, mane and tail comb, hoof pick, grooming spray, hoof oil and clippers. Learn to treat grooming as an enjoyable activity instead of a chore and you will find that this is the best way to bond with your animal. This is also the best way to spot any injuries or irritations and get them patched up before your next riding session.
Of course, that is not where it stops. Grooming might be the core but you will soon learn that other horse riding equipment is just as important. Horse saddles and saddle pads are possibly the most important of all the equipment you will need. Horse saddles need to be chosen carefully to allow for the comfort of the horse and the rider, as well as ensuring balance and control.
There is absolutely no use in a saddle that slides around the horse loosely and in the same breath it is just as bad to have a saddle that is to constricting. A properly fitted saddle pad is of the utmost importance as it maintains your balance during riding and also minimizes discomfort. In general, you will find that any new saddle requires some getting used to, but if you choose high quality leather equipment you probably will not need as long to adjust.
Many people choose their horse riding equipment based on what suits the horse best. It is also important to note that you will probably use different sets of equipment at different times. During hunting events or equestrian competitions you will probably choose something more “dressy” or something that offers slightly more severe control. During practice sessions or whenever you are riding as a fun bonding activity, you will almost certainly opt for something a little more breathable and roomy.
About the author
Danny Donchev is an IT technician and an equestrian. Danny loves horse riding and training.