Were you aware that horseback riding has been practiced as far back as the 6th century BC?
This is one of the classic activities around, and it can be fun to take it up. It’s also best to practice safe horseback riding and avoid common horseback riding mistakes by knowing about them.
Read on to learn more.
Common Horseback Riding Mistakes Beginners Should Avoid
Assuming you’re a beginner, there are things that you will make mistakes with on your first ride. Following these simple tips will help you avoid common mistakes and make your experience more enjoyable.
1. Not Warming Up Properly
One of the most common mistakes is not warming up properly before their ride. Warm up your muscles and get your heart rate up before you start riding, or you could risk injury.
An easy way to warm up is to walk or jog around the arena for a few minutes before getting on your horse.
2. Not Properly Communicating With Your Horse
You should never approach a horse from the front, as they may see you as a threat. Horses, as curious creatures, may become agitated and uncomfortable when you do this, so walk up to them from the side or rear.
Beginners also have to pay attention to the horse’s body language as they are very good at communicating with this. If you’re not paying attention, you may miss important cues. Ask an experienced rider or horse trainer if you’re not sure what it’s trying to tell you.
3. Incorrect Saddle Size
The saddle is one of the most important horseback riding gear that you can have. The consequences of an ill-fitting saddle include pain, discomfort, and even injuries for both the horse and the rider.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure that the saddle you use is the right size for both you and your horse. You can usually find information on saddle sizing from the manufacturer or a qualified saddle fitter.
4. Poor Balance and Posture
Most beginner riders also start out by having a poor horseback riding position. It’s natural to feel a bit unbalanced and awkward in the saddle, but it’s very important to maintain a good horseback riding posture.
It takes practice to get used to sitting in the saddle with good posture, but it’s worth it to help you feel more comfortable and in control and avoid pain and injury.
5. Letting the Horse Set the Pace
It is important to never let the horse set the pace, something beginners usually allow them to do. This can lead to the horse getting too far ahead and getting out of control.
You must keep a good, steady pace when riding and to use your reins and the leather horse bridles to communicate with the horse and control the speed.
6. Dismounting From the Wrong Side
Last but certainly not least is dismounting from the wrong side. Make sure to dismount from the left side of the horse, not the right. This is very dangerous because the horse’s heart is on the left side of its body, and dismounting from the right could potentially injure the horse.
Ask for help from an experienced rider or instructor when dismounting so they can help you safely get down from the horse.
Best Practices Lead to Safe Horseback Riding
If you’re just starting, it’s easy to make common horseback riding mistakes. But don’t worry, we can help you avoid them!
Just remember to keep your heels down, sit up straight, and don’t pull on the reins. And for more tips, be sure to check out our blog.