Horse Riding

Horse Riding Checklist

Riding horses requires that the rider have basic knowledge about horses. If the rider is inexperienced, the horse will sense this and will be less likely to listen. An inexperienced rider may not know how to lead a horse with confidence, which can cause complications. If the rider does not know the distress signs a horse puts out, it can be easy to overlook. With these skills, a rider can be sure to make their riding experience positive all around.

Horse Riding

Know Your Horses:

Interacting with horses means that there must be careful attention to detail. Just like any animal, horses give off certain distress signals. These creatures cannot tell us what they are feeling, so it is critical to know a horse’s body language. These signs can usually be picked up by watching how the horse positions their ears. If their ears are pressed back against their head, this is a bad sign. This usually means that they are aggressive, and may react badly to the person handling them. A curious or fearful horse will have their ears positioned frontwards. If the horse’s ears are alternating back and forth, then this could indicate distraction. Other areas to pay attention to are the horse’s teeth, legs, and head, all of which can be used as their defense mechanism.

What Happens Before the Ride?

The first, most important skill a rider can have is knowing how to handle a horse. Before saddling the horse, they must be groomed. This is because dirt can build up underneath the saddle, making it irritating for the horse. By grooming them, you prevent any complications that may arise such as friction between the dirt and saddle. When picking out the hooves, do not stand directly behind the horse, but more to the side. This can prevent the rider from being injured if the horse were to kick. The rider must also know how to lead the horse, which is usually done before and after the ride. Before the ride, the lead can be used as a warm up technique. After the ride, the lead can be used to safely walk our horse as a cool-down method.

Gearing Up Your Horse:

A rider must know about the different equipment they must use to ride the horse. A bridle is the leather straps that go around the horse’s muzzle and into their mouth. This is what the reins are attached to, and what a rider uses to guide their horse. The saddle is what the rider will sit on while riding the horse, which goes over a cover pad. Be sure to tighten all of the straps that need tightening before riding.

Riding Positions:

Most first-time riders think that gripping with their legs will keep them safely on the horse. However, it is mostly the rider’s balance that does the work. The rider should sit directly in the middle of the saddle. When the horse begins to move, do not tense up. Stay loose and get to know the horse’s patterns in their gait, and follow that. While the rider should stay loose, they should not slouch and should maintain their posture. This will give the rider more control over the horse, preventing things such as bucking.