Looking at start horseback riding? Here’s a quick introduction into how to start horseback riding and a few of the varied health, fitness benefits and the key things you need to learn about to become a successful horse rider. Horse riding may be a great sport to urge involved and is an activity for all ages and skills. More and more people are taking to the game and enjoying its health benefits, a number of which are outlined below.
How to Start Horseback Riding
The more keen and experienced riders may have their own pony or horse and every one the required riding gear, but you don’t actually need all that to urge started. Riding schools can provide training for absolutely the novice through to the more confident and experienced rider. A school can offer you a taster of the game whilst providing all the necessary equipment you’ll need, not forgetting the horse!
Once you’ve got chosen a school it’s most vital that you simply pay it a visit to see it out. If you’re unable to go to, you’ll get to call beforehand to let the trainer know a couple of details about your physique and former experience.
That way, a beginner horse will be prepared for your lesson will best be suited to your needs.
Health Benefits Of Horse Riding
Horse riding may be a great exercise and offers a variety of health and fitness benefits, including:
- Develops leg muscles
- Improves balance and posture
- Improves mental concentration
- Develops the arm muscles and therefore the agility of the hands
- Refreshes and clears the mind of daily distractions.
Physical Benefits Of Horse Riding
Horse riding may be a great sort of exercise which has both cardiovascular and muscle conditioning benefits. Although it’s going to seem initially sight as if the rider isn’t engaging in any major workout, an hour’s activity can burn similar calories thereto of a 30-minute jog or cycle ride. Therefore, all the health benefits related to engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise are gained.
After your first ride, you’ll feel muscles that you simply never knew you had. This is thanks to the movement of the horse and its effect on the rider during the ride. As the rider reacts to the horse’s movements to avoid becoming off balance, the deep postural muscles of the trunk and pelvis and therefore the adductor muscles of the thighs are continuously being conditioned.
Psychological Benefits Of Horse Riding
Horse riding is understood as having excellent therapeutic qualities. The psychological benefits are often of equal importance to riders because of the physical benefits.
Simply being out and about and enjoying the good outdoors will boost your general well being and act as an excellent stress buster. There is a true sense of exhalation and freedom once you ride. Furthermore, developing a relationship and a sense of trust between yourself and your horse is very rewarding.
Learning to regulate and look after an animal much larger than yourself can have a profound effect on your confidence. Horse care is often recognized as being very calming and relaxing.
There are also some basic questions that the intending horse rider(s) usually need to be clear on, and I’ve done a little job to put some together some of the most likely questions
Who can horseback ride?
Almost anyone. Horses are as different as people and there are many facilities that cater to riders of all ages and skills, even special farms that employment specifically with children and disabilities, including autism. Anyone of any reasonable age and fitness can ride horses, with only a passion, love and respect for the amazing four-legged animals required.
At what age should my child or I start riding?
The age you start depends on you. While there are some equestrians whose children are on horseback since before they were born up to the age of two, and there are people that start the sport as late as their 50’s or maybe 60’s. Local farms sometimes have lead-line lessons for youngsters to figure closely with a handler to start out learning the way to look after their pint-sized pony and ride as young as 3-5 years old.
Typically, unless their parents are equestrians, many children start into the sport a little bit later, between the ages 7 and 13, when they’re old enough to express a serious interest in it and begin begging their parents for a pony.
But people can begin this sport at almost any age. Keep in mind that it is a sport that revolves around 800-1200 lb animals, so things should be taken into account such as the maturity and behavior of the child, also because of the health and fitness level of the person looking to start out riding. There are dangers that come with the sport.
Riders can fall and obtain hurt at any time, except for the foremost part as long as you’re working with an excellent trainer who has compatible lesson horses for beginner riders, it’s no more dangerous than learning to ride your bike in the beginning. A great trainer will always find the horse best suited to the rider’s ability and go as slowly because the rider needs slow lessons in order that the experience is always enjoyable, productive and positive.
Finding the Right Trainer and Facility
This could not be more important! The first thing you would like to know while getting started in horseback riding is to seek out the proper local horse riding instructor and facility. You can use different websites to help you locate local trainers and farms. You can try a google search for local lessons, and you’ll ask people you recognize within the area who have their own horses or ride for referrals to the right trainers and lesson barns.
The equestrian community may be a pretty close-knit community where many riders, trainers, and facilities are all conversant with each other, not only across your state but even in the country.
When looking for the right trainer and facility, you’ve got to keep two things in mind; cost and what you want out of the sport. The two usually go hand in hand. The best thing to consider when choosing horses and horse farms is in terms of cars. Certain barns the essential training and costs of a typical American car, while other horse farms may have a touch more to supply at a better level of a luxury vehicle.
Then there are Bentley and Rolls Royces of horse farms that offer the best of the best in amenities, services, training, and care, at really high prices. However, all levels of equestrian lesson/training facilities will be able to get you started and enjoying the sport. If you’re just starting out and your interests are purely recreational, you’ll be fine to start out learning to ride at what we call a ‘lesson‘ barn.
Lesson barns cater to lower level, recreational riders who may or might not have their own horses and are just stepping into the game for the fun and love of it. These barns will have an honest assortment of lesson horses that are safe and compatible to show beginner riders of all ages on. They even compete on property and trailer to local shows for fun and knowledge. The coaches at these farms often have more amateur vs. professional careers in equestrian sports, and charge considerably less for his or her services and training.
These barns are an excellent thanks to getting into the game and learn, seeing if you or your child will truly persist with it year after year.
There are boarding facilities that home in price and quality that only cater to equestrians that have their own horses. They do have trainers that provide lessons for people currently boarding with them but don’t have additional horses to be used for lessons by students that don’t already own a horse. While some people have gone ahead of themselves by purchasing their own before learning to ride, we surely don’t recommend this route.
Until you learn what sort of rider you’re, what your abilities are and what you’re looking to try to do, it’ll be difficult for you to seek out the right horse, or even one whose abilities you won’t outgrow quickly as you progress. Knowing if you prefer Western riding to English riding also comes into play
Also, horsemanship and care are taught during most lessons, which are vital skills to possess before deciding to ever purchase your own. Owning a horse may be a big commitment so confirm you’re hooked into the game first.
Horseback Riding Equipment
There are proper clothing gears you should own and basic safety that are necessary when considering whether you should start horseback riding. They include, but not restricted to :
Helmet – It will be safer to use a high-quality helmet as soon as you enroll in riding lessons. Since this sport requires balance and riding on an enormous animal with a mind of its own, things can fail at any moment. A helmet will keep your head shielded from any injuries just in case you fall off the horse.
Boots – You should use a pair of leather boots with a minimum of a one-inch heel. The heel is vital for your safety because it can help your feet stay in position within the stirrup and stop your feet from slipping too far within the stirrup. The boots should be thick as well just in case the horse accidentally steps on your feet.
Pants – It is preferable to use tight-fitting pants. You can’t wear anything baggy or else it can get stuck in the saddle. Pants made from smooth material would be perfect as they’re going to improve sliding within the saddle. Breeches are the simplest options when it involves horse-riding pants. They are fitted, elastic pants and most horse riders around the world wear them. They don’t cost too much and are perfect for horse riding.
Gloves – While some equestrians may prefer not wearing gloves, most do because they will prevent blisters and rashes that you simply can get from the reins. They also promote a better grip on the reins, reducing your chances of losing control of the horse or slump.
Getting ready — Plan of action.
As an inexperienced rider hoping to get on a horse for the first time, it is very important that you have a strategy that would guide you. And of course, it is perfectly okay to feel nervous for the first time, it happens to nearly everyone. So try to be relaxed as you embark on this beautiful journey. Here’s a list of things you should consider first when trying to mount a horse:
Safety first: The first basic step for any intending horserider is to locate a reputable local stable. Barns aren’t meant to smell like lilies, but a good establishment should always be clean, legitimate, and in good repair. Look for a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) – certified riding instructor who has great experience with beginners.
Dress the part: You should put on long pants to protect the legs from getting sore by being rubbed constantly against the saddle, and close-toed shoes with a small heel to prevent the feet from sliding out of the stirrups. Please do not use any clothing that could get tangled in equipment such as scarves, long, loose sweaters or shirts. Most stables make available gears such as helmets, but pre-inform them to make sure. Although it is not advisable, a bike’s helmet is better than nothing to protect the head in case of a fall.
Have a drink before you start: Riding on horseback, especially on a warm day, can make you work up a sweat, so tag along with a bottle of water helps you stay hydrated throughout your ride.
Learn to Follow: When you lead a horse, it is preferable you stand to the left of their head and hold the leather straps(reins), with your right hand below their chin and with the left hand a little bit down the length of the reins, guide them so they don’t drag on the ground.
Always listen: Before you settle onto your saddle of choice, every wannabe equestrian should know a thing or two about how horses see the world. All horses, even the best-trained ones are by nature animals of prey and are genetically predisposed to run when they sense the slightest bit of danger. They possess very sharp eyes that can see almost 360 degrees around their whole frame, ears that prick with the smallest of sound, and a great capacity to sense fear or danger. For this cause, it’s always advisable to approach the horse confidently from the front, speak in a low, calm voice, and avoid sharp movements or unnecessary noises.
Learn to check: Before you get all excited and hop onto the saddle, make sure all your equipment is placed properly and are secure. An instructor should help you out with this process, but even as beginners, you could make sure the saddle doesn’t slide around, that the stirrups are of correct length, and that the straps on the bridle are firmly tight but do not in any way restrict the horse’s breathing.
Off you go: It can get tricky to get on a horse’s back without help, you could find a block to help you mount, which looks like a miniature set of steps. Once you position the block on the horse’s left side, throw the reins over the head of the horse. Stick your left toe in the stirrup, (the stirrup is the metal bit hanging from the saddle). Hold the reins in your left hand preferably, resting it on the front of the saddle. Place your right hand on the back of the saddle, and gently lift yourself straight up, carrying your right leg carefully over the horse’s back. Once one of your legs is placed safely on either of the horse, sit down gently onto the saddle and place your right foot in the right stirrup.
Rein the horse in: In order to steer and halt, you make use of the reins, which connects to the metal bit attached to the horse’s mouth. Always be gentle with the reins i.e hold the reins separately with both hands, with your thumbs on top. To guide the horse left, move the left rein towards the left in a motion similar to opening a door. To steer the horse’s head right, repeat the same action with the right rein. To halt or slow down, gently pull back on the reins while sitting up tall and pushing the heels down further. Tough as it sounds, do not try to lean and yell ‘Hey, Archie!’
Trot on: To tell the horse to go from walk to trot (the next fastest gait), you have to gently squeeze the sides of the horse with the insides of the legs. If that doesn’t work, give the horse a soft kick with your heels. A solid seat is important to avoid getting thrown out of the saddle. Sit deeply, push your legs down, and sit up tall and straight (but not stiff). Under the English riding style, advanced riders use their legs to lift in and out of the saddle in time with the horse’s movement; this practice is known as ‘posting‘.
Ride And Relax: Just like with any exercise, it’s important to cool down after a horseback riding session. Walk the horse for about 10-15 minutes. To dismount, come to a complete stop and remove both your feet out of the stirrups. Hold both reins with your left hand and grab the lower part of the horse’s neck (called the withers). Hold the pommel of the saddle with your right hand, and slowly swing your right leg over the horse’s back and carefully dismount.