Want to learn to ride a horse? Here are a few common mistakes made by new horse riders – and how to avoid them!
Whether you’re a young student, in retirement, or want to teach your children about horses, it’s never a bad time to learn how to ride a horse! However, many people tend to underappreciate just how smart, noble, and demanding horses can be. Learning about horse riding patiently and systematically is just as important as respecting the animal you are about to ride. Here’s how new horse riders can avoid the common mistakes associated with horse riding and learn how to do it right!
1. Being heavy-handed with the horse
The first significant lesson anyone should learn about horses is that they’re as gentle as they are strong headed. You will never be able to forcefully climb a horse and ride it without any resistance. Having a light hand and a patient attitude will help you establish a meaningful connection from the start. Approach him slowly from the front with your hands in front of you and spend some time talking to him. Let him see you, smell you, and become comfortable with you before you begin your ride, and he’ll return the favor by respecting you as an equal.
2. Wearing no protective equipment
Wearing a helmet paired with a riding jacket and kneepads is a must for new horse riders. Never try to ride a horse bare-headed and without proper gear. Even if you’ve ridden horses before under supervision and are confident in your abilities – don’t do it. Wearing a helmet ensures that if you fall – which you very well might – you don’t hurt yourself too badly. Blunt trauma from a fall from a horse is something you don’t want to experience. This doesn’t mean you should avoid horse-riding outright – just be as safe as possible while doing so.
3. Neglecting to inspect the riding gear
Horse-riding is more complicated than it appears on the TV. While movie cowboys may be able to jump from horseback and into gunfights, you will end up hurt if your horse’s saddle is improperly positioned. Inspect every piece of equipment on your horse with supervision from a seasoned horse rider. Every leather strap or piece of equipment should be well-oiled, tightened, and strapped to reduce the risk of you falling off.
4. Adopting poor posture while on the horse
Depending on how fast you ride your horse, you will have to adopt a different riding pose to stay safe and avoid back pain. Adopting a poor posture while riding will not only hurt your body but also make it far more difficult to control your horse. Using proper leg and rein pressure in combination with a symmetrical seat is a must. This will make you far more comfortable on horseback – and you’ll look better too!
5. Being impatient and wanting to overachieve
There is no way to speed up the process of learning how to ride a horse. It will take months, if not years of training for you to become confident in your abilities. This means that you cannot be short-tempered and stressed while riding a horse, especially at the start. Your horse will immediately feel the changes in your body language and act accordingly by resisting your direction. Fixing your temper will not only make it easier to ride horses, it’ll also make you calmer and more well-adjusted in everyday life – a win-win!
It will take time for your animal to trust you completely. In the meantime, you can avoid these common mistakes made by new riders! The longer you stick with it, the more you’ll appreciate how these noble creatures can make you feel. The sense of freedom and connection you experience on horseback is worth every hour, bruise, and bolt of fear you experience while learning how to ride.