One of the hobbies that is very popular is horseback riding. Not only is it a fun-filled activity, it also has many health benefits. Horseback riding is good for the posture, improves the working of the cardiovascular system and allows people to have social contact with intelligent animals like horses.
In order to be good at horseback riding, you need to first learn how to ride a horse. Remember, horses have their own moods and intelligent enough to follow or not follow a person's command. It is imperative that when you are learning how to ride a horse, you spend time learning the different cues, and how your movements and bearings affect the horse you are riding.
Here are some clues on how to ride a horse that will prove to be quite beneficial if you are riding a horse for the first time.
It is important that you take help of a professional to teach you how to ride a horse. The professional will not only be able to select a suitable horse for you, he or she will also be able to teach you the basic techniques of horseback riding. A beginner should have proper riding equipment for the lesson. The helmet should fit your correctly without being too tight and the chinstrap should fit you snugly. Also, wearing the right boots is important. The boots should not have more than a centimeter or two of heels. Small heeled shoes will stop the feet from slipping from the stirrup. Also, wearing knee-length boots will prevent the stirrup from chafing the insides of the calves. In addition, ensure that you wear jodhpurs for your horseback riding lessons. Jeans are not advisable as they tend to slide and slip on the saddle and the seams of the jeans will press into your legs.
Once you have your attire and safety equipment in place, it is time to get onto the horse. You have to build a rapport with the horse. Do not attempt to grab the horse and jump onto its back. This will make the horse jittery. Instead approach the horse calmly and with confidence. Try to befriend it first. Never approach the horse from the back as it may kick out and injure you. Come to the horse from the side and stand close to the shoulder of the horse.
Usually, people mount onto the horse from the left side. Beginners cannot mount on their own and invariably make use of a mounting block. This helps to ease the strain on the back of the horse.
When riding a horse, it is imperative to maintain good posture and balance. You should look to be in sync with the movement of the horse. Hence, having the right posture is important. Also, if your posture is not correct, you will have more sore muscles than usual after your first lesson. So, sit up straight and do not lean forwards or backwards. The head should be kept upright and you should be staring forward by looking between the ears of the horse. If you look down or sideways, you will end up exerting more weight on one side and this will cause you to lose balance.
The reins of the horse act as brakes as well as the guide. The reins should not be slack as you will be unable to control the horse. The reins should held with both hands and make sure that you do not tug the reins or use them to keep your balance. Instead your should be curling your fingers gently around the reins and the thumbs should be wrapped around the reins but be facing upwards.
These are some of the tips that beginners should keep in mind when starting horseback riding lessons. They will teach you how to ride a horse properly and correctly.
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