In addition to being a highly exciting and sophisticated sport, horse riding is also an enjoyable hobby enjoyed by people of all ages. Contrary to popular belief, horse riding is not as simple as it seems and requires more skill than merely jumping onto the back of the horse. In fact, it can take years to master horse riding; however, you do have a great deal of fun in the meantime and undergo an effective workout each time you’re on the beautiful animal. Despite the good nature of the horse, the first ride can be nerve-wrecking and there are various considerations to make when venturing out for the first time. This article will provide some tips on how to keep your chin up and progress as a proficient rider.
1. You Do Not Always Need To ‘Get Back On’
One common phrase taught to all young individuals is to get back up after facing a fall; however, this may not always be the best advice. In horse riding, it may actually be better to remain off the horse after a fall instead of climbing back on, particularly after the first fall. This is due to the fact that horses are very sensitive creatures and they will behave according to your emotional state; therefore, the horse will behave in a tense and distressed manner if you are scared after the fall.
2. Don’t Be A Dictator
While it is necessary for the rider to lead the horse and direct them to behave accordingly, it is essential that the direction is not in the form of a dictator. It is important to remember that horses are not machines but are conscious beings that learn by repetition, just as young children do. Due to this fact, it is vital that you continue to consider the horses’ feelings and abilities when completing tasks. If you do so, the horse will be happy and perform more effectively.
3. Heels Down And Head Up
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to dig your heels into the horse in order to remain on the saddle. The ‘heels in’ position is generally taught as a means of keeping the foot in the stirrup and reducing any risk of being caught in the stirrup; however, it can be less effective than initially considered. In fact, while being useful, the heels down technique does not allow for synchronization with the horse and the rider is often unable to ‘move in time’ with the horses’ body. Flow and balance is far more important for a novice rider; thus, it is recommended that the heels are kept down.
Finally, it is essential that you keep your head up with your heels down. A low head throws the horse off course while a high head helps with direction and can keep you focused on the enjoyable activity.