Horse riding has become not only a means of transportation but also excellent leisure and even sport. People tend to be afraid of horses, which sometimes amaze with their impressive dimensions. There is also a perception among beginners that horse riding is even more difficult than driving a car. Now we will try to understand all the intricacies of horse riding.
How do you ride a horse for the first time?
The spectacle looks amazing when such a really large and powerful animal is controlled by a child of about ten years old. And this situation is not accidental. Horseback riding sports schools traditionally accept children 10-12 years old for training. Indeed, at an earlier age, coping with a horse can be problematic: the animal feels that the rider cannot control it and ceases to obey.
But this only applies to professional sports. There is no age limit for horse riding enthusiasts. Even a child of two or three years old can ride a calm horse under the supervision of an experienced coach or instructor. If you still think that you need to limit yourself to small – come to the pony club. For starters, this is a great place to befriend a child with a horse, take a walk with it and ride without fear. Here you can start more serious training from 4-5 years old.
All ages are submissive to horse riding. Fans of active and useful leisure can entertain themselves with horse riding even at the age of 50-60-70. No special physical training is required. The main thing is to remember about safety precautions and listen to your instructor.
Tips for first-time horse riders
Coming to the arena or stable with the aim of riding and relaxing, it is important for the rider to realize that a horse is not a machine, it is a living and intelligent creature. Therefore, your further riding will depend on how much you establish contact and make friends with the horse.
Take good care of your four-legged traveler by treating your horse to carrots, apples, bread, or a lump of sugar. This will help mend relationships and show you are friendly.
Horses are not only strong and large but also very fearful. Therefore, screaming, sudden movements, and bustle around will make your animal nervous. This may end in the rider’s fall. Use shorter reins to avoid unexpected actions by the horse due to harsh sounds, approaching cars, or dogs.
Learn to feel the mood of your horse: a horse ride should be a pleasure for both. Therefore, there should be no place for sharp spanking, excessive tugging of the reins, and rough handling.
No matter how amazing it may seem, horses are really intelligent and thinking animals; they perfectly perceive commands if you speak to them in a soft and calm voice.
Observe the following precautions: never approach the horse from behind. Instinctively, she can kick or hit.
Climb the horse on the left side. This is due to the fact that historically the horsemen on the left hung a sword or a sword, so it was much easier to throw the right leg. A sport horse can even get scared if you are about to sit on the right.
Do not drive close to other horses. Stay three to four meters away.
If your horse suddenly rears up, don’t panic. Lower the rein and grab the horse’s mane, grab the neck, thereby urging him to lower with your pressure.
What to wear?
Choose clothing that is free to move, such as a tracksuit or leggings. In shoes, give preference to boots or flat shoes with a small heel. Sneakers and trainers are not the best options, but they are allowed with secure stirrups. Mandatory elements of your equipment should be a helmet (jockey) and a protective vest.
How to ride a horse step by step
Training horses are quite loyal to new riders and do not show aggressiveness. If you are learning to ride a young host animal, try to have the host near you the first time you contact them.
- Pat the horse gently on the neck, patting lightly, and pat. Horses love such caresses and respond with friendliness. Aggressive behavior in domestic or training horses is extremely rare. This usually happens after receiving a negative experience from a person.
- Sometimes the animal can behave unfriendly because it has health problems, is spoiled or so trained to communicate with “strangers”. In a poorly tuned animal, the ears are pressed back or stand in a house, the legs are tense, the tail and head are raised up. Ears are usually raised when eating and asking for a treat. Pet the horse, while pronouncing affectionate words, get it until it relaxes and lowers its ears. These representatives of the animal world are sensitive to mood and tone of voice.
- Complementary foods can only be used with the permission of the instructor. Usually, this kind of domestication is not used, but horses love sweets: dried fruits (dates, dried apricots), bread, sugar, watermelon, red carrots. Specialized complementary foods can be purchased at the equestrian store.
- Turn your back to the horse, press against the neck, if you want to show affection, throwback therein. If this is done in the traditional way with a sharp jerk movement, the horse will react negatively.
Horse riding techniques
- When landing, you can grab the mane at the withers, it is convenient, and also not painful for the horse, since there are no nerve endings. It is not recommended to hold onto the saddle due to the danger of turning it over. Pull up on the halter and grab it at the same time as the mane.
- Place your left foot in the stirrup, jump, hold on to the mane, and swing your right leg. Place your foot on the second stirrup, pull up the reins. You need to keep in the saddle with your hips. Avoid sudden movement of the reins. Many horses are not used to this, so they can behave abruptly to painful movements of the reins and bridles.
- The horses move if the rider makes characteristic movements or encourages her with his legs.
How to stay in the saddle
- Get into the correct seating position as shown in the illustration and hold the rein in a comfortable way so that it is secured in your hands.
- Secure the reins.
- Get into the correct seating position. Keep your shoulders straight, otherwise, you may slip off the saddle in a crosswind or turn.
How to ride a horse
It is important for beginners to learn several types of horse movement or gait: stride, trot, canter and amble. Walking with a step allows you to move on horseback while walking. More skill is required to trot at a higher speed than walking. Experienced riders start their horse in a rapid gallop. They master these movements gradually, depending on the level of physical fitness of the rider. The trot and gallop paces require adaptive control of the horse and good body sensitivity.
Important! To master the trot and canter, you need at least 2 workouts per week. With occasional visits to the club, it makes sense to stop at a “step”. In order for the horse to walk at a pace, it is encouraged by patting the legs on the thighs and on the neck.
Initially, the training of a beginner rider is carried out with training on the line, with the help of long reins, which is in the hands of the instructor, so there is no talk of control at this stage. While working on the lane, the skills that are required to perform the trot are practiced. The rider must learn to “relieve himself”, that is, to make swinging movements in time with the horse’s running.
Stopping and descending from the horse
It is believed that pulling the reins is required to stop the horse. However, this movement is painful, for this reason, there is no point in causing inconvenience to the horse. The animal is stopped with the leg and body.
- Leave your hands on the reins and lean and slide back into the saddle;
- You need to squeeze your hips and press the horse with your knees;
- Pull up on the reins slightly to tell the horse to stop.
Do not forget to pat the horse’s neck as a token of gratitude for your obedience. You need to get off the horse by grabbing the mane, stretching your leg out of the stirrup, and throwing it to the other side.
The Usefulness of Riding Horses
Horseback riding has been recognized for its many beneficial effects on human health and well-being. It is not for nothing that the term “hippotherapy” appeared in medicine – a widely used method of treating patients with such serious diagnoses as cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, autism, and multiple sclerosis.
Many people involved in equestrian sports also report a huge surge of strength, vigor, and good mood as a result of training. Horseback riding teaches understanding, caring, support and friendship.
Horseback riding also helps combat the scourge of our time: the curvature of the back. When riding a horse, it is simply impossible for the rider to sit stooping, so willy-nilly this will force him to keep his back straight and find an even, beautiful posture.
Choosing horseback riding in pursuit of expanding the leisure of their child, parents do not even suspect how much benefit they bring to their children: the guys are liberated, gain confidence, and become kinder to the world around them.
The main thing in this matter is to clearly follow the instructions of the instructor and not be afraid to ask questions if something remains unclear.