Horseback riding is refreshing, invigorating and fun, but all this excitement comes with risks. Riding your horse is also scary and dangerous to a certain extent. It involves speed, strength and the unpredictable nature that can cause accidents at a snap. It is essential to get exhaustive practical experience while horseback riding, knowing how to mount, guide, stop and turn are all vital cues that you and your horse can work on together.
A good coach will be able to guide you through this process, also advise on how to avoid certain habits that can cause accidents for both rider and the horse. As a rider you need to be aware of the possibilities and cautious of your surroundings at all times. Checking that all buckles are secure, make sure no stitches are popping out and are intact. Apart from this pay attention to the girth and stirrups they need to be fitted, and of the right size.
We further share with you some tips to ensure all riders and horses have a safe and comfortable adventure.
- Firstly, learning to tie, guide and groom your horse is of utmost importance. Bonding with your horse, handling them with care and ease are all key. Your coach will educate you on how to handle your horse, tie, groom and guide them at your pace. These skills will build through practice and bring the rider and horse to a common comfort zone, making the ride an enjoyable one.
- Next, always make sure the horse is saddled up. As amateur riders, it is necessary to have a saddle held by the girth to support you through the ride.
- Just a few steps away from your big ride, Mounting is a crucial element to horseback riding. Make sure the girth is tight enough, holding the saddle in place. Mounting is usually done from the left side of the horse and for starters you can use the assistance of a mounting block. Be careful while getting on your horse, not to startle him with any sudden actions or excess pressure. From here moving on to walk, halt and turn. These are all skills that require practice and can be improved upon as you go by. This is when your instructor will attend to you on how to prompt your horse through each of these steps.
- Once you ace this step, you can begin to increase pace and ride faster. Skills such as trotting, jogging and cantering are to be conquered. Posting a trot and sitting can be a task to learn and will be done over time. Cantering on the other hand is easier once you have a good grip on the above.
- During all this riding experience, it is imperative to learn some techniques and tips of falling during an emergency, dismounting quickly and maintaining safety precautions all throughout. It is best to avoid roads that have traffic, riding during the dark and rough trails.
Be prepared as a rider, riding gear must be worn at all times, hard helmets, reflective vests, chest protector, gripped boots and safety stirrups. Ensure you care and treat your horse well after a joy ride.
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Petplan.