Saddle Up This Summer: Horseback Riding For Beginners

Picture of young girl riding her horse

There are lots of places to go horseback riding in and around Ayden, NC. While the idea of riding a horse sounds like fun, you can feel a little overwhelmed if you’re a beginner. You aren’t sure of yourself, so you’re a little nervous about getting on a horse. Let’s go over some horseback riding tips for beginners, so you’ll be prepared to hop on a horse and ride off into the sunset – or at least along the trail.

Understand the Horse’s Body Language

Horses communicate through body language. Understanding their body language is the key to having a fun and safe ride. If you notice that the horse’s ears are back, he’s telling you that he’s angry. On the other hand, if the ears point in your direction, he’s giving you his full attention. Horses tend to paw the ground when they are bored, and they swish their tails when they are annoyed.

Sometimes, you’ll see a horse mimicking a chewing motion while his eyes are half-closed. This is a sign of comfort and relaxation. However, if you notice that your horse’s eyes are wide open and he has flared nostrils, he’s likely anxious.

Don’t get on a horse if he is signaling that he isn’t happy or comfortable. It’s much harder to ride a horse that’s anxious or angry.

Balance on Your Horse

Balancing is an essential skill when riding a horse. You shouldn’t rely on your saddle, reins, or stirrups to keep you in place. Instead, your body should remain stable and upright by itself. Key into the horse’s movements so that you can stay balanced. Shift your weight based on the movements. As you shift, make sure you stay straight in the saddle. Staying straight in the saddle will ensure that your weight is evenly balanced on the horse.

Riding bareback can help you practice this skill. You won’t have a saddle to keep you in place, so you will have to focus on balance.

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Look Where You Want to Go

As a beginner, you might find yourself looking down at the reins as you ride a horse. Break that habit and keep your eyes focused on the direction you want to go. Horses are very in tune with their environment. They can even feel your body movements, so they know where you are looking. If you look in a direction, your body will shift that way, and they will follow. This will help you lead the horse while also allowing you to avoid obstacles.

Use these tips to help you have a better feel for horseback riding. Also, consider taking lessons to build on what you have learned. Then, it won’t be long before you feel comfortable while horseback riding.

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