Could You be the Next Sea Biscuit?
Watching someone ride a horse can be exciting but learning to ride one is even better. Horses are naturally gentle creatures but with their height and speed, they can become quite intimidating animals. No wonder many curious souls are scared of the prospect of riding such great and magnificent creatures. Truth is, riding a horse can be simple and with practice, horseback riding students will just soon notice that they can already gallop around the track or terrain with their horses without assistance.
Reigning and Guiding the Horse
The first step in learning how to horseback ride is to show the horse who is in charge. Riders must be able to command the horse beneath them by demonstrating confidence and authority when riding high in the saddle. They should sit with their backs tall and straight, and their heels down. They must also stay abreast with the horse while holding onto the reins only, and be able to anticipate the animal’s every move.
Guiding the horse all starts with the right way of holding the reins. Riders should always keep in mind that the reins serve as the only line of communication between them and the horse. Tangling the reins will only lead to confusion and disobedience from the horse. The proper reigning technique is to hold the reins in both hands, holding it between the little finger and the ring finger and out the top between the thumb and index finger, giving it a loose fit.
Coaxing the Horse in Different Directions
With the proper grip on the reigns mastered, the next step is to learn how to coax the horse in different directions. In order to will the horse to walk forward, riders should squeeze their legs against the side of the horse and at the same time, relax the reigns. Whistling or clicking also help coax a horse to move forward. To make a horse veer left or right, riders should pull back on the right rein and loosen their hold on the left to turn right and vice versa to turn left. This can also work by applying pressure on the horse’s right side while bringing the left leg back and vice versa. To make the horse stop, riders have to press their seat down, lean forward and pull back gently on the reins.
Mastering Trotting, Cantering, and Posting
After learning all the basics in guiding a horse, riders can then begin to master trotting, cantering and posting.
In order for the horse to trot, riders should sit upright with their shoulders back, heads up and eyes forward. The reigns should be held firmly while allowing enough slack for the horse to be able to move its head. The trot should begin from a walk and once comfortable, riders should squeeze their legs from the thigh down, then release the pressure and loosen the reigns.
Cantering is different from trotting in that the former is a little bit faster. When the horse is in a steady trot, riders should bring their outside left legs back and at the same time, squeeze on the horse’s side. Riders should sit deep into the saddle and bring the seat forward, and also put some pressure on the inside reign.
Posting on the other hand is quite easy to do, but requires riders to get the rhythm. It can be achieved when riders synchronize their rising and falling in the saddle with each stride of the horse. Riders should rise on count one and sit on count two.
Selecting a Riding School
With the basics of horseback riding in check, interested beginner riders can start mounting their horses and try out the tips till a flawless ride is achieved. However, it is not recommended for riders to try horseback riding on their own. The best and safest means to learn how to horseback ride is still to enroll in a riding school which normally offers private or semi-private classes. Prospective students must survey the riding schools in their area and if possible, visit them for inspection. The chosen school must firstly be one that is recognized by a reputable riding school organization. Not only should it have safe and complete facilities, it should also employ qualified instructors who have basic first aid training to aptly respond in case of accidents.