Learn Basic Horseback Riding Skills

There are some important things you need to know about learning to horse ride carefully on your own. In this article, we cover all the basics from saddling-up to striding with care.

horse riding in the highlands: highlands unbridled

1. Prior to Starting Your Ride

The very basic thing you must learn about riding is not truly riding abilities. You might stumble across riding schools where you just get on a horse and begin to ride. However, learning to tie, groom and lead are crucial skills, which can assist you to comprehend horses, remain safe and enhance your pleasure.

2. Saddle Up

After your horse is securely tied and groomed it is time to saddle up for your ride.

Putting on a saddle: Step by Step Guide:

  • Clean up with your horse securely tied
  • Locate the cover or cushion
  • Raise the saddle on
  • Check both sides of the saddle
  • Secure, fix or belt
  • Tie up the belt buckles, or cinch belts
  • Help the saddle settle and remover any wrinkles

3. Get on (Mount)

Now that your horse is organised, dressed and loaded up prepared to ride you will be keen to get moving!

Getting on a horse

  • Check your equipment prior to getting on
  • Stand beside the horse
  • Get in position to get on
  • Lift off
  • Arrange your reins and stirrups
  • Start Safe

Sitting on a saddle properly

Get someone to hold the horse to enable you to focus on getting into the right spot after mounting and resting on the saddle.

  • Locate Your Equilibrium
  • Sit evenly, with your seat bones securely in the centre of the saddle seat plus your legs dangling free on either side. Do not stoop to one side and ensure you are relaxed.

  • Place One Foot in Both Straps (Stirrup)
  • Raise your feet and glide them into the straps. This can be achieved individually or simultaneously if you feel well-adjusted and synchronised. Your feet ought to gently relax in the stirrups with the broadest chunk of your foot. Your heels need to be at a right angle, although not pushed down.

  • Inspect Your Posture
  • Glance down to make sure that you are not able to view your toe or your heel. Your feet in the stirrups need to be in the same direction as your knee, although they should not overly grip the knee roll of the saddle. Do not allow your ankles to give up, or rotate that your toes end up steering inwards.

  • Hold onto the Reins
  • Pick up each rein in one hand whilst the other relaxes on your thigh. The rein end which is connected to the horse’s part ought to come out under your tiny finger; the loose end ought to come out past your thumb and forefinger.

  • Fingertip Handling
  • Clasp your hands at roughly 30 degrees, your fingers need to close round the rein in a calm fist. Keeping your hand vertical reduces your suppleness and power. Certain people grip the reins in between their baby and ring fingers. Both ways are fine.

  • Flawless Position
  • Sit tall and relaxed with your shoulders back. Do not make your back stiff or droop. Poor posture during riding is just as problematic as it is when running.

  • Sit Tall
  • Glance upwards and beyond the horse’s ears. Glancing downwards hardens the spine and makes your bones feel overloaded.

  • Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
  • Grin, exhale and be persistent whilst your physique utilises new muscles and acquires consciousness. Practice does make perfect; therefore, be prepared to adjust yourself regularly when you ride until your 'flawless sit' turns out to be effortlessly normal.

4. Stride On!

You will feel uncomfortable and unstable when you initially start riding. And you will probably feel that you are not capable of making your body parts do everything they are expected to simultaneously. You will likely use unfamiliar muscles with the position you are requesting, and have trouble memorising everything you are meant to do. The secret is repetition.

How to do it:

Head: Glance ahead in the way you would like to go. Do not glance downwards because it is hard on your spine. You need to stay calm and flexible.

Shoulders: Keep a sound posture. Hold your shoulders squarely. A curved rider will affect the horse and make it more difficult for it to comprehend certain instructions.

Seat and Back: Ensure you sit upright in your saddle, and do not shift your balance to one side. Another time, a curved rider will create a curved horse.

Legs: Make sure that your low slung leg stays soft except when you cue the. Do not allow your feet to slip frontward, or swing your legs. Facing down your toes must not be visible. Make sure that your thighs, knees or feet don’t rotate towards the outside because it destabilises your base; hence it is much harder to cue. You must attempt to maintain a correct position at all times, including when you walk.

Hands: They must be firm with gentle contact on the straps. The horses head will move a little every time it walks. Go along with this whilst holding the reins by bending your hands and wrists a little.

5. Trot or Jog, Canter or Lope

When your self- confidence and ability improves you should learn to ride at quicker speeds. Challenge yourself, although do not ever push too much. Learning to ride is meant to be pleasurable, not frightening.

How to sit the trot.

Do the following to ensure that you do not bounce haphazardly when you trot:

1) Ensure that your entire weight is in your heels.

2) Tilt backwards slightly, not too much because it will throw you off balance.

3) Loosen up: you tend to bounce too much when you are too tense.

6. Riding with Care

These are not riding talents; however, security with horses is continually of main concern. Your coach can help remind you of these safety tips as you ride, because it can be difficult to remember so many new things.

7. More than the Essentials

These skills go beyond the essentials. Discover how to tumble off and do a crisis descend under the direction of an experienced coach. Constantly wear a helmet and correct boots or safety stirrups. Contemplate using a chest protector and a mouth guard too.

8. Following Your Gallop

Becoming a great horseman/horsewoman involves taking care of your horse even once its job is completed. What you don’t want is to make your horse feel uneasy; you do want it to believe that being ridden is all work and no play.