Equestrian horse riding is wonderful exercise and invigorating. There are some important basics that everyone needs to know to stay safe while riding. In 2005 over 73,000 people were taken to emergency rooms for treatment of riding related injuries. The most common injury is to the arms as a person tries to break a fall from his horse. These injuries include broken wrists, shoulders, and elbows. Other sprain and bruises are common also. Head and back injuries occur less frequently but tend to be more serious.
For the person just beginning to ride it is highly advisable to take lessons from an experienced professional. Learning the proper riding method from the very outset is very important for your enjoyment and safety. You do not want to start off with bad habits from the beginning.
Here are some common sense tips to help you have a good ride.
-Avoid riding by yourself. If you are involved in an accident your pleasure ride could turn out to be a serious situation.
-For footwear select a leather boot with a low heel.
-Do not wear loose fitting clothes for equestrian horse riding; choose snug fitting pants that will stretch a bit.
-One of the first things to learn is to keep your heels down. This will improve your balance and increase your confidence.
-Your head and shoulders should be held high. Sitting in an upright position or leaning back just a little will improve your ride.
-If you should happen to fall from the animal try to roll away from the horse as you hit.
-Horses scare fairly easily. An unexpected sound such as a barking dog can potentially spook your horse. Always be aware of your surroundings and look for any possible disturbances. You must react fast.
-The use of protective headgear is always advisable. A helmet cannot only provide head protection in the event of a fall but can also protect you from low tree limbs, etc.
-If you are hand feeding something to your horse keep your fingers together and extended. If your fingers are curled your horse can accidentally bite your fingers and possibly even break them.
-Always make sure your riding equipment is in good working order.
-Be prepared for unexpected rain. There is nothing like departing on a beautiful clear day and then suddenly finding your self in a rainstorm. A waterproof cover up can easily be carried in your pocket for just such an occasion. Any small items such as this can be carried in a small fanny pack. A backpack can get snagged on a tree limb or affect your balance so don't use a backpack.
-Your horses mood and feeling can often be detected by looking at his ears. His ear movements and position can reveal a great deal about how he is reacting to things going on around him. A horse, like most any animal, will turn his ears toward any sound. If his ears are facing sideways he may be ill or sedated. If he is angry or feels threatened he may pin his ears back.
Following a few simple rules can make your ride safe and enjoyable.