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Horseman Tips for the Inexperienced

By Edited Aug 10, 2016 1 1

Guide to Starting out Riding Horses

Guide to Starting out Riding Horses

Horse riding can be deeply intimidating at the start.  This article is to be an aid to any fresh riders out there looking to pick the sport up quickly.  These are broad tips that will help one to avoid (and anticipate) some difficulties.


All horse people have different ways of handling their horses.  This is important to know because you must approach each horse riding experience as an amateur.  You must be prepared for this fact: most horse people are a little crazy.  Horse owners are entrusting you with a horse that they have a personal relationship with.  You must be very open to doing things the way the owner would have done them.  Horse owners have attributes that you must be aware of just as much as the horses themselves. 
There are four horse speeds: walk, trot, canter and gallop.  The walk is the slowest and easiest speed.  The trot (a slow jog for the horse) is perhaps the most physically demanding for the rider.  The trot can be uncomfortable for a rider if they are unaccustomed to it or if they are unable to "post" properly.  The canter (a run for the horse) is faster yet smoother than a trot.  Finally, the gallop (a sprint for the horse) is exactly like a canter but at full speed.    High speeds excite horses so you must build a relationship with (or be very confidently in control of) your horse before you try to gallop through the forest.
Horsemanship is all about relationships.  The relationship with the people and animals around you and the relationship you have with your horse will all play a role in the outcome of the ride.  You must demonstrate confidence and thoughtfulness while riding.  Horses will take note of a collected rider as will other riders.  You want to be relaxed yet constantly vigilant of potential threats.
Threats cause horses to act uncontrollably.  Inexperienced riders are unaware of small things that horses often consider frightening.  Some unexpected threats include: plastic material blowing in the wind, anything shiny, loud noises and other animals.  As you develop your horsemanship, you will learn to foresee potential problems, until then you want to be constantly vigilant, yet calm and collected.
Great horsemanship is a never ending process.  Every horse person has plenty to learn even if they give you the impression that they "know it all."  Ride lots of different horses at different stables.  Ride with lots of different saddles and ride without saddles at all.  Learn the difference between a hot blood and a cool blood horse and decide which you like more.  Enjoy the fact that horsemanship is a never ending and ever improving journey.


Aug 28, 2013 6:32am
Good advice!
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