How to Get Started Horse Riding

  • Get the right clothes and equipment (see the guide for this). Horse riding requires skills. For instance, riding bareback if you are not experienced or without horse riding boots and other comfortable clothing can be not only uncomfortable but unsafe. Riding without stirrups before you are balanced or are secure on a firm saddle can be dangerous. These are some of the reasons why proper horse riding equipment and horse riding clothes are important.
  • Basic beginner skills. A new rider needs to learn how to sit properly (yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to sit on a horse!) and firmly on the saddle, how to use the stirrups properly, and how to steer a horse or how to stop a horse. The lack of these basic skills will make the riding experience not only extremely difficult but dangerous. Dangers include falling off the horse.
  • Unlike a vehicle, a horse is a living being or a pet. Forming a bond between you and the horse will go a long way in ensuring you have a good riding experience. (Find out more on proven ways to bond with your horse inside the guide).
  • New riders mostly find that getting used to the reins is not as easy as they may have imagined. If you are watching a person riding a horse, it looks super easy but it is not. How you hold the reins (whether in one hand or both) may depend on your instructor, but it is a delicate task you will need to get used to. Once you get used to it, however, it is — as they say — like riding a bicycle. You’ll never forget.
  • Don’t rush to rush. Don’t be in a hurry to try to gallop and canter if you are a learner. Get used to riding before you attempt a higher speed. The joy is not in speeding, anyway. It’s a ride, not a race.
  • Trouble placing one’s foot in the stirrup (see the How To Ride A Horse book for the proper way to use the stirrup and other important instructions).
  • Clinging to the horse with your feet and gripping the reins too tightly. New riders often feel unsafe and try to hold on too tight to the horse, which is something your instructor will tell you not to do.
  • Some new riders forget that they should be guiding the horse and pay very little attention to the trail, focusing on the horse. This kind of thing happened to me once — but that was on a bike. As a new rider, I was more interested in the bike than where I was heading. As you can imagine, there was no happy ending to that ride. You probably won’t fall off the horse but you will not be leading the horse if you don’t even know where you are heading.
  • Not knowing the right rein length. It’s like driving a car without knowing how near or far the steering wheel should be.
  • Not knowing the right position for your hands and knees and not knowing how to sit properly on the saddle.



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Horse Riding Hub

Horse Riding Hub

Debbie Burgermeister, Head Coach, Founder of Horse Riding Hub, and Owner/Operator of Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat since 2006