Are you thinking of trying riding a horse for the first time? Horse riding is an exhilarating and nerve-racking experience, because working with such a relatively large and living animal requires a certain level of patience and expertise. So, don’t be ashamed if you’re a bit nervous about it!
If this activity is done right, it can be relaxing, therapeutic, and rejuvenating. Many studies have shown that horse riding is beneficial to cognitive and psychological processes. Moreover, you can also gain a greater appreciation for the dynamic and symbiotic relationship that is formed through working with such amazing creatures.
Here are some tips for beginning horse riders.
1. Wear proper horse riding gear
Whatever your preferred style of riding is, it might be obvious that you don’t want to show up wearing shorts, miniskirt, or beach sandals. Long pants and proper footwear are suitable for horse riding. It is ideal if you have a pair of a low-heeled boot (less than 1-1.5 inches) in order to avoid your feet from slipping through the stirrups.
Don’t wear purses, scarves, or any other accessory which could get tangled in the horse, the saddle, or even a tree. To be completely safe, you are always recommended to wear a helmet to protect your head.
2. Greet your horse
Always remember that your horse is a living creature, not a vehicle which you can control at your will. The horse can also be tired, nervous, or even scared to have someone new riding him. So, greet your horse when you’re introduced to him at the ranch in order to establish a good relationship since the very beginning.
To greet him, extend your arm, offer your hand’s back to him to smell, and wait till he touches it with his nose. This action is called the “horseman’s handshake” that you could use as a way to ask your horse for permission to mount him.