Learning to ride a horse can be one of the most thrilling
experiences of your life, as long as you do it safely. The
payoff lies not only in the freedom of galloping across a
field on the back of an animal but also in enjoying the wondrous
bond between human and horse.
Tips: Just because a person is a good rider does not
mean he or she is a good teacher. The instructor must be able
to communicate effectively.
How Choose an Instructor!?
- Find a competent teacher by talking to friends who have horses, visiting boarding facilities or looking in the yellow pages under Horses, Lessons or Riding.
- Talk to the instructor. Ask what type of lessons he or she gives. Make sure the instructor knows you are a beginner and need a well-trained horse.
- ask the instructor about his or her riding experience. Does the instructor have formal training? Seek out an instructor who has taught riders of all levels so that he or she can help you as you improve.
- Discuss your goals with your teacher. Do you just want to learn to ride so that you can borrow a friend's horse or so that you can go on a long trail ride?
- Watch other riders taking lessons to observe your instructor's personality. Does he or she give instructions in easy-to-understand language? Is he or she patient?
- Start with English-style riding, which requires more balance and is a strong foundation for all varieties of riding. Once you have mastered these skills, it will be easier to learn other riding styles.
- Stick with it. Learning to ride a horse can be slow and tedious. Often you will feel like you are making progress, and other times you will feel completely uncoordinated. Don't give up.
- If you are not happy with your progress, consider switching instructors. You have every right to find an instructor who meets your needs.
Be careful. Wear protective gear such as a helmet and long pants for protection in case of a fall.
Always treat a horse with respect. Never abuse a horse, and never let a horse abuse you. Horses are powerful animals and will try to get away with anything if you let them. Be firm.
Horseback riding uses different muscles than many other activities you may already do. A warm-up is always a good thing for you to do before you plan to ride. Also, warm up your horse at a walk before going faster. This way you both feel good & have fun.
Don't work so hard
If you fall off while jumping, get back on. You don't need to force yourself back over the jump. Instead, get comfortable with a smaller jump, polls on the ground, or just trotting or cantering around the arena. When you feel secure, then try the jump again and think positive!