A popular sport with girls and boys is horseback riding, and like any sport, we all start off as beginners. There are many beginner horseback riding students at the various riding schools around the country and memberships increase annually.
Every beginner in horseback riding initially has a slight fear of horses, yet the desire to ride quells this uneasiness. Before climbing on the back of a horse, a beginner in horseback riding must first learn the basics.
Taking horseback riding lessons can help you to:
Build confidence. To ride the old mare was easy, but to learn to communicate with a thousand pound performance horse is another matter altogether. Once that communication level is reached, it is almost an epiphany, see it in the student’s face. You have to understand that communication with a horse is extremely complex, done wrong it makes for a terrible, frustrating ride that leads to rider feeling inadequate and the horse is confused, and sometimes agitated.
Teach Responsibility. Learning to care for a 1000 pound animal requires working with your veterinarian, blacksmith, and daily caregiver to ensure the animal remains healthy.
Lessons are fun and recreational and can lead to lasting relationships with other students who share the same interest.
Lessons build physical and mental strength. Horseback riding lessons are very important and well worth the investment of time and money, even if your goal is just to enjoy recreational riding and not competitive riding. Remember this, going on vacation and taking a trail ride on a good mannered trail horse doesn’t mean you know how to handle a horse. These trail rides may be somewhat misleading, trail horses perform the same tasks day in, and day out, they learn by repetition and following the lead horse.
Whether you are getting ready to groom your horse or get on its back for a ride, you need to be sure you approach it safely. Horses aren’t naturally dangerous creatures, but they can dangerous be because of their sheer size. They don’t know any better, so it is up to their handlers to take the extra precautions. Never approach your horse from directly in front or behind. The way their heads are shaped prevents them from being able to see behind them, and it is hard for them to see in front of them as well. Coming in from either side, especially where you can see their eyes directly in front of you means they can see you coming and won’t accidentally hurt you.
As far as the actual riding goes, that is the easy part. A well-trained horse – and as a beginner, you should be riding a well-trained horse – will follow commands very well. You’ll need to keep a comfortable grip on the reins and be sure not to pull tight because you’ll need room to pull back when you want to horse to slow down. The commands are simple; you’ll be using the reins to direct the horse by nudging its head to face the direction you want it to go. That’s it for the basics. If you want to learn more advanced riding, you will want to take lessons.