Horse riding has been a part of human culture for a long time now. What began as a means of transportation has become predominately recreational in nature, and an activity loved by many. Most anybody can ride a horse. It just takes a couple lessons from a professional instructor to do it properly. Here is some horse riding advice for beginners; five tips you should know before they begin riding horses:
When approaching a horse, it is always best to approach a horse on the side, close to their shoulder. This is important for two reasons. First, their eyes are placed on the side of their heads. This causes horses have blind spots directly in front and directly behind them. Secondly, approaching at the shoulder will prevent you from spooking and ultimately being kicked by the horse.
Never Sit Down
This next tip is very important. Never sit down next to horse, ever! While it may be tempting to get down on your knees while say cleaning a horse’s hooves, the problem is that you will not have enough time to get up if the horse decides to kick. However, if you remain standing, you will time to get out of the way before he kicks you.
Keep Eyes Ahead
While riding a horse, it is important to always look where you want to go. Horses are very sensitive to body language and will go where you are looking. They respond to even the slightest body movement. So, keep your eyes ahead and you will be in for an enjoyable ride.
This is something you will hear constantly from a trainer or any experienced horse rider. The importance of keeping your heels down is that if the horse decides to stop suddenly, you have a way of bracing yourself rather than flying over the horse’s head. It also prevents your feet from being caught in the stirrups.
Always Use Mounting Block
While you may be excited to mount the horse from the ground, you should always use a mounting block instead. While it looks cool in western flicks, mounting a horse directly from the ground places uncomfortable pressure on the horse. Instead, it is safer and much better for the horse if you use a mounting block. Also, you should always mount the horse on the left side.
Horseback riding provides a great workout for both the body and mind. It can physically boost your cardiovascular system and mentally ease the stresses on your mind. Horse riding also allows you to develop a relationship and sense of trust between yourself and the horse, which is highly rewarding. Learning how to control and take care of an animal larger than yourself is also quite gratifying. I hope you find these tips helpful, and that horse racing becomes a passion of yours as well.
Karen Smith is a freelance writer and equestrian. Karen loves spending time at the stables training and riding thoroughbreds. Her favorite hobby is to watch live horse racing online with her husband, Richard.