Today we have a guest post by Jenna from Reveal Equestrian based in California. Reveal Equestrian is dedicated to teaching students about the fundamentals of riding and horsemanship, from groundwork to competing at “A” show levels. Jenna has produced an article for us on their top tips for beginners starting to ride.
5 Horseback Riding Tips for Beginners
Horseback riding can provide endless hours of recreational fun for you and your family, and allow you to spend time in nature and the company of animals. Especially if you are taking your firsts lessons or wishing to enjoy a horse riding holiday, some tips allow you to make the most out of your experience. Read on to discover what to expect from horseback riding in San Juan Capistrano.
Interact and Greet your Horse
Becoming a professional equestrian in San Juan Capistrano is a matter of many hours of training, dedication, and commitment. However, anybody can enjoy horseback riding in San Juan Capistrano, regardless of your skill level or willingness to make this activity your career. Nonetheless, it is essential to approach horse riding with the right frame of mind and attitude.
Indeed, while loving and trustworthy creatures, horses are powerful and heavy animals. Understanding that they have a personality and mind on their own is crucial as you approach them. Greeting your horse, avoiding approaching it on a straight line, and tuning in with the animal is essential.
Wear Proper Equipment and Clothes
Another factor that is part of having the right attitude for this activity is presenting yourself equipped with the right clothes and footwear. Avoid short skirts and sandals, and understand that wearing a helmet is mandatory for your safety.
If your budget is limited or you only ride a horse sporadically, there is no need to invest large sums to buy professional equipment, although this would be the first choice for serious equestrians.
Just make sure you arrive with long trousers, an appropriate shirt or top, and closed footwear. Boots would be ideal, yet reliable, but comfortable shoes allow you to protect your toes while avoiding making this experience more expensive.
Avoid Slouching but Stay Relaxed
As we know, each horse has a different personality and level of empathy. However, generally, you can expect your horse to react to the way you behave. And, often, this depends on the way you feel! For example, if you are stressed or anxious, your horse’s attitude will change too, which can make the whole experience far less enjoyable than you would like.
Instead, stay calm and relaxed throughout the stages of mounting, riding, and dismounting a horse. Especially while riding, make sure you are not slouching and ensure you keep the right posture. This will allow you to avoid injuries and sit more comfortably. On the other hand, a rider who is slumping or sits stiffly will transfer this attitude to the horse, which can make some exercise and training difficult.
Of course, your instructor will be there to guide you and help you along the way. However, keeping in mind that your attitude can reflect on your horse’s behaviour can make a difference in your experience.
Keep Your Eyes on Your Direction and Be Gentle
As you approach your first horse riding lesson, you might be stunned by the beauty and majesty of your horse. However, while riding it, you should avoid focusing your gaze on the horse itself. Instead, look between the horse’s ears, directly in front of you. While this can be challenging to keep in mind at first, readjusting your gaze allows you to see any obstacles and turns in advance.
Indeed, especially if you are not an expert horse rider, you might need a few seconds to perform a change of direction or regain control of your horse. In this case, being present and identifying obstacles in advance gives you the chance to act promptly and in complete safety.
Know Your Abilities
When deciding to try horseback riding in San Juan Capistrano, our instructors will strongly suggest you only do what you are comfortable with. With patience and commitment, you are likely to see your horse riding abilities develop fast over time. However, during your first lessons, it is essential to focus on the basics of horse riding – including posture, attitude, and communication. While we all admire professional equestrians when they perform elegant jumps and exercises, they have all started here!
Ensuring that you are comfortable and confident while on a horse is essential to create solid foundations for building other skills and abilities. Working together with your horse and your instructor can help you understand how to process to master a little more every day. And don’t underestimate the power of commitment and willingness to learn!
If you wish to know more about horseback riding in San Juan Capistrano, get in touch today to discover our lesson plans and activities.
Read more top tips on being a good horse riding student here.