How to Ride a Horse – The Right Approach

Be proud of yourself

Learning to ride is as much a mental feat as a physical one. Many people would not consider mounting a large animal, let alone moving freely around on one, so that very first step is an accomplishment in itself. Horses are strong-minded animals and it is impossible to ride them through domination alone, so progress at any level will need patience, self-awareness and a real understanding of how horses think and react to their environment.

Have goals

The key to developing the right approach to riding is a willingness to learn and, as your skills develop, the ability to take advice and utilize it. Confidence can easily be lost, so regular lessons with a qualified instructor are vital to ensure that you keep on the right track and make progress. You are more likely to improve if you have goals to work toward, such as being able to jump a small course of fences or mastering a new dressage movement such as leg yielding. Discuss this with your instructor and work out an achievable timescale for meeting your target.

Ride Horse

Group learning

Learning in a group can be very valuable, particularly if everyone is of a similar standard to you. A lot can be gained by watching others ride, and the conversational support from like-minded people will be an enormous benefit as you continue to progress.

Have an open and positive mind Keeping an open and positive mind is essential when learning to ride. A lesson that all riders learn early in their riding careers is that what might have been easy to achieve on one horse, may be extremely difficult on another. Horses are great levelers and pay no heed to their rider’s age or status—they react according to the quality of the directions they are given. Horses do not deliberately aim to obstruct you, although it may feel like that at times! You are the leader in the partnership and you need to persevere until both of you get it right.

Don’t put pressure on yourself

The beauty of riding is that you can have as much fun sitting quietly in the saddle walking along country lanes as you can practicing complicated dressage movements in an arena. Not all riders have to progress to jumping high fences or galloping around a cross-country course-it is just a question of deciding what level you are happy and confident with and learning to ride well enough to enjoy that.

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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