Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Allison Price
To ride a horse is a brave thing. These six tips will help you feel confident riding horses for the first time, whether you are on vacation or just starting out as a hobby.
Tip #1 – Wear proper Western attire–jeans or boots You’ll be more comfortable and safer on the road if you dress appropriately. For first-time riders, a safety helmet is a good option. Ask your riding instructor if they can lend one to you or if you want to purchase a high-quality riding helmet. You don’t have to be silly wearing a helmet; experienced riders understand the importance of safety.
Tip #2 – Ride comfortably and with proper posture. Keep your shoulders, ear, and heels aligned by sitting straight up. (Imagine a straight line running from your ear to where your heel is). Your posture will keep you in balance while riding. Relax. Relaxation is crucial for two reasons: first, horses will sense your relaxation and be more relaxed. The second reason is that you both will feel more comfortable during the ride.
Tip #3 – Remain calm and confident on your horse and off it. If you’re not confident, your horse may sense this and try to take over. This does not mean you should pull your horse all over the place. Instead, feel confident that your horse will do what you ask.
Tip #4 – Start slowly. You can walk. However, speed requires horsemanship skills. You can learn to ride your horse at a walking pace before you move to the next step. This will help you stay safe and keep on the right path to horsemanship skills.
Tip #5 – Get a mentor, trainer, or horse-savvy friend. Your first ride will be much more enjoyable if you have someone to guide you. These people can help you learn everything you need about Western riding if you intend to ride more than once.
[READ MORE: Finding an Mentor ]
Tip #6 – Set goals for your rides. You can improve your riding by setting goals. You can set long-term goals or short-term ones. You can set goals that suit your level of skill and confidence as a rider.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!