Horse riding can be exciting. Going for a long ride can be an unforgettable experience for anyone. However, on our first ride, we leave plenty of room for mistakes. Today we will explore the top ten mistakes any new rider can make while riding for the first time –
- Hands up high
It is a part of human instinct to raise our hands up high when we feel threatened or unsure. However, while riding this extends the reins beyond our control. Shorter reins offer better control of the horse. Always try to perfect your posture and hand movements in coordination with the actions of the horse.
- Standing on the stirrups
That is neither safe for you nor comfortable for the horse. Standing on the stirrups will leave you behind the trotting rhythm. Instead of trying to use your legs to balance, rely on your core to do so. Keep your legs slightly bent like you would during a squat.
- Keeping your legs tight
Riding is about your core muscles doing all the work. You need to keep your limbs relaxed, or you will tire your legs out before you reach your destination. Keeping your body too tense might make your horse more anxious.
- Keeping your feet too deep into the stirrups
That can be very dangerous since a little shift in direction and weight can cause your ankles to twist. If you have the habit of pushing your legs too deep into the stirrups, think about investing in safety stirrups and ankle-supporting boots.
- Maintaining the wrong posture
Wild West movies may show cowboys and outlaws mastering their horses while remaining too slouched for comfort, but that is not the proper way to ride. Always open up your chest, stay relaxed and go with the flow like the riders on TVG races do. It will give you better balance.
- Being too anxious
Don’t hold your breath while riding. You need to breathe regularly, talk, laugh and have a good time. If necessary, hum a happy tune to stay in rhythm.
- Pulling the reins too hard
Your hands will say “whoa,” while your legs say “go.” Pulling the controls too hard confuses your equine friend. If you are unlucky, your horse might start rearing up if the force becomes too constant.
- Stop Staring!
Staring at your horse’s face or hooves won’t make the ride any smoother. Instead of micro-managing the way your horse moves, sit back and relax. Enjoy the ride and let the horse trot.
- Letting the horse pull the reins out of your hands
Honestly, it is not the horse’s fault. If you do not leave enough rein length for your horse to allow movement, he will pull the reins while changing direction. It should be a constant re-adjusting process. Keep the grip on their reins loose enough to allow smooth and natural movement. Learn how to adjust rein length without causing your horse any discomfort.
- Controlling your knees
Your horse saddle is not the seat of a chair! Do not draw your knees up. Relax. Let your leg hang naturally from the hip. It will allow proper balance.
Horse riding has a lot to do with balancing, re-balancing, understanding the movements of your horse and finding the comfort during long rides. Trust your horse and treat him as a friend. It will help both of you enjoy your first long-ride together.