Basic Safety Tips That You Should Know in Horse Riding

When you see riders galloping on their horses, you’d be impressed at how sophisticated and agile they look. You must know though that horse riding is not an easy activity and it could also be a dangerous one. I’m sure you have heard a story or two about someone getting hurt or injured while riding.

The danger that comes with horse riding should not hinder you from learning this activity though. With precautionary measures, you can stay away from injury and have a fun and exciting ride. Accidents can certainly be avoided as long as you put safeguards in place.

Below are horse riding safety tips that you must know:

Equipment

The first thing that you have to consider before going for a ride is what safety equipment to bring. Just like how a warrior goes to battle with his shield and armor, you should never go out empty handed. You certainly don’t want to be caught without protection.

So what is the necessary horse riding equipment that you must have?

Below are a must to give you a safe and enjoyable horse riding experience.

  • Underwear – Wearing the right underwear can drastically improve your performance. For women, a good sports bra is a must. This takes the strain off both the spine and the bust. For men, wear underpants or briefs that don’t have any seams that can rub against your skin when you’re riding.
  • Upper body – It could get hot when you’re working or riding in stables. To avoid being warm and getting cold, wear some type of functional clothing closest to the body to transport the moisture away. Wear a jumper or jacket on top that can keep your body dry and warm by wicking the moisture. Avoid wearing large and loose clothes as well as jackets equipped with hoods. Soft and close-fitting clothes are recommended.
  • Riding breeches and chaps – Riding breeches reduce the risk of blisters and help you have more stability in the saddle and sit better. Riding breeches can be made from various materials – the most commonly used are elastane, micropolyamide, polyester and cotton. Chaps are simple and practical way to pull on overriding breeches. Most chaps are made of napa leather or suede, but new models are made of waterproof nylon.
  • Gloves – Protect your hands when working with a horse or in the stables by wearing gloves. Three-finger gloves are ideal for winter riding.
  • Spurs and whips – Spurs and whips can help you reinforce your aids when it comes to giving commands or signals to your horse. There are various sizes and designs that you can choose according to what fits you and your horse.
  • Helmet – You could really hurt your head during falls or accidents. To lessen the risk of injury, it is important that you wear an appropriate helmet the whole time. Choose the one that fits your head snuggly.
  • Safety vest – Young riders and even experienced ones should wear safety vest to protect your torso. Aside from wearing the appropriate equipment, you should also make sure that your horse is comfortable and the saddle and everything else fit properly.

Your Horse

Choosing the right horse is not only essential for new riders, it is also important for everyone else. Some accidents happen because a rider chose a horse that is too powerful and too big for him. Make sure that you choose one that has a compatible size and strength as you are.

Most riders take time to get to know their horse first, especially if it’s a new one. They take their new horse out to feed or spend time with them first before breaking them in and riding them. You will be building a relationship with your horse so it’s important that you study every action and behavior of your horse. If you’re new in horse riding and want to take your green out, make sure that someone accompanies you just in case something unexpected happens.

Always strive to be calm and exude happiness when you’re near your horse. Horses can read all of your actions and emotions. When you’re happy, your horse will be in a better mood too. Avoid making jerky movements or sudden raise of tone. This could make your horse feel uneasy and tensed.

If your horse suddenly became agitated or disgruntled during a ride, you must remember not to deal with the situation while you’re still riding your horse. Dismount and try to calm your horse down from the ground. Trying to soothe a disgruntled horse while riding invites accident or injury.

Click here to learn how to calm your horse down.

Horse Riding Tips

Aside from the tips above, learn these general horse riding tips by heart.

  • Don’t ride alone – This is especially true when you are still new to this sport. Horses can get unpredictable and you don’t want to be alone when accident happens. Have a friend or a trainer accompany you on your practice. If riding alone is inevitable, let someone know where you are going and what time you should be home. This way, they know where to look for you should something unexpected happens.
  • Be cautious of your surroundings – Another skill that you must learn in horse riding is learning how to be cautious. Aside from being aware of your horse’s movements or reactions, it is also important that you study your surroundings. Horses can get startled quite easily so take extra caution when you are in a noisy environment.
  • Have an experienced rider or coach/instructor – This is especially true if you are just learning to ride. Horse riding could be dangerous sports so don’t ever try it alone. Take lessons from an experienced coach or rider. Aside from learning all the basics in a short period of time, you also reduce your risk of accidents or injuries.
  • When riding in a group, keep at least one horse length between each horse. Having all horses in a closer proximity could lead to a horse kicking another one.
  • Reduce the severity of injury when being trampled by the horse once on the ground by learning how to fall and roll away from the horse.

Click here for more helpful tips about horse riding.

 

Tips on How to Become a Better Horse Rider

Continuous practice is very important in everything you do. Regardless if you’re training for the Olympics, trying to beat your housemate on the highest score rank of Angry bird or pushing your luck to get in American Idol. Once you think you’re already doing well, don’t stop and push yourself even harder.

The same goes with horse riding. You may think that you have acquired all the necessary skills to be a good rider, but you just simply should not stop there. You should always strive to improve your horsemanship.

So how do you make yourself even better?

Below are some of the tips that you can apply to become an even better horse rider.

1. Practice Riding at least 3 Times a Week

If you want to improve your riding skill faster, it’s important that you practice as much as you can. You should invest a lot of your time in horse riding. Practicing at least three times a week can advance your skill tremendously.

When you’re only practicing ones in a blue moon, there won’t be much of a progress on your skill. It’s more likely that you forgot what you learned on your previous session and had to relearn the skill or technique. Not only it’s a waste of time but going around the circle could be frustrating.

Three times a week of practice is already a good number, it would even be better if you can increase the frequency of your training.

2. Keep Your Eyes on Your Goals

Whether you’re horse riding professionally or leisurely, all of us have goals that we’re aiming to achieve. In most cases, the road to our goals is not an easy one. You would meet a lot of humps and bumps along the way. No matter what the obstacles are, always remember your goal and focus on it. Road bumps could bring you down, but you should not allow them to be the cause of losing your focus.

Patience is another key. You may be eager to hit the finish line, but you should be patient enough to never skip any step. Never rush your horse just because you want to finish faster. Being impatient can do more harm than good.

3. Know the Basics First

It’s almost impossible to master something more difficult without knowing the basics yet.

If you want to be as good as Valentina Truppa, you have to take time to know the basics first. You should spend time researching and learning the basic skills needed in horse riding. You should also learn the rules of the game, as well as the do’s and don’ts when it comes to etiquette.

Once you have mastered the basics, you can then proceed to the more complicated stuff. Learning is always a process and you just can simply skip to the next step without taking the necessary first few steps yet.

4. Have Consistency When You are Near Your Horse

Horses may look big and strong, but they are very sensitive animals. They observe all of your movements and react on how you behave near them.

Always be consistent when you are near your horse. Training your horse does not only happen when you are in the saddle, it’s a holistic experience that goes beyond being on top of your horse.  Avoid jerky movements or sudden gestures when you are near your horse. A sudden raise of tone could send a different signal to your horse and it could cause him to panic or become uneasy. Keep yourself calm all the time. When faced with an unexpected situation, learn how to gather yourself and control your reaction. You certainly don’t want your horse to run frantically just because you saw a big rat at the corner of your eyes.

5. No Two Horses Are The Same

We should never come to a generalization that all horses are the same.

Just like human beings, each horse has its own unique qualities and characteristics. That is why it’s important that you treat each horse differently. Just because you had an easy time with the previous horse does not mean that you will experience the same with the new one.  Gauge each horse that you come across with and take time to get to know them.

You have to be patient if you want to become a successful horse rider. Don’t think that the technique that you learned from the previous horse will work exactly the same with the current one. It may take you more time to warm up on some horses but what’s important is the end result. Just continue on pushing through and all horses would eventually love you.

6. Pay Full Attention to Your Horse

You and your horse would spend a lot of time together.

When you are together, you have to pay full attention to your horse. Learn all of his movements and observe his reactions to your actions. By getting to know your horse better, you lessen the risk of accidents and injury. You will also have a better performance if you are sensitive to what your horse feels.

Horse riding is a team work. You won’t become successful alone; you have to consider your horse as a team member and knowing everything about your horse can certainly go a long way. After each training session, try to evaluate your performance as well as your horse’s. Take all the cues and clues from your horse and use these to improve your techniques.

7. Maintain a Happy Attitude

Your horse can pick up your different mood swings.

Horses are smart creature and they can sense if you are nervous, anxious or depressed. Having a negative mood can also affect your horse negatively. Try to create a happy aura instead whenever you are near your horse. Get rid of the negative emotions and focus on the positive things. A happy rider begets a happy horse.

Do you find this article helpful? Click here for more tips on how to become a better horse rider.

8 Common Horse Riding Mistakes New Riders are Guilty of Committing

Are you planning of learning how to horse ride?

Horse riding is a fun and exciting activity. Many of us are quite hesitant to try it though because of fear and apprehensions. Whilst learning to ride horseback could indeed be challenging, the euphoria of being able to conquer your fear and successfully ride a horse like a warrior beat all the learning bumps. It’s   also important that you equip yourself with as much knowledge about horse riding as you can.

Below is some of the most common horse riding mistakes that new riders are guilty of committing. Taking note of these mistakes and making sure that you won’t do them will give you heaps of a head start in your journey of learning.

1. Gripping Tightly With Your Legs

First thing that you should remember is that riding is not about grip; instead it is more about balance. Keep your muscles active but not too stiff and tense. When you grip your horse’s back tightly with your legs, not only will it make you feel tired but it could send a wrong signal to the horse. Gripping and clenching will make your body tense and this could affect how the horse will respond to your signal.

How to fix it: Your leg should be hanging from the hip when you sit in the saddle, with your