How to Ride a Horse or Pony Edit
Eventually this article will teach you everything you need to know about riding and taking care of a horse! The current version is limited to a few basic items. Riding is much like all types of dancing, in that you will learn faster with a good instructor.
Find someone experienced to help you choose an appropriate horse. For the beginning rider the horse must already be well trained. For the horse's safety and comfort, it should weigh at least five times as much as the rider.
Make sure the saddle is secure and comfortable on the horse. Mount from the horse's left side, using a mounting block if necessary. You should mount in one motion, without bouncing, and land gently in the saddle.
Hold the reins so you have a good contact with the horse's mouth (but don't pull). Squeeze the horse's sides with your lower legs to get him moving. If the horse is lazy, he may need a crop (a gentle horse whip) to get him moving. A more sensitive or better-trained horse may need just a touch of your lower legs to start moving. Sit up straight, look where you are going, and keep your heels pointed down.Keep the stirrup on the ball of your foot. Do not use the reins for support.
Pull the reins to your bellybutton in the direction you would like the horse to go. Shift your weight in that direction. Don't pull to hard because he might get scared or back up. Just like a slight pull, wait 1 second then easily release.
Kick or squeeze the horse to make him trot or jog (also known as canter), but remember always start small and gradually get bigger which means to start with as little squeezing then a small kick then a bigger kick then a bigger kick but stop kicking when he does what you want. Usually western horses use neck rein to steer, which means that they move away from the pressure of the reins on their neck. If you ride English you use direct reining which means you always have contact on the horses mouth but that does not mean always pulling on his mouth.
If you aren't riding western, you should post to the trot. Posting is done by rising up and down in the saddle in rhythm with the trot. This is also called rising trot. To be on the correct diagonal as you are going through a curved course, you must rise as the horse's outside foreleg moves forward, a little poem to help remember is, you rise and fall with the leg at the wall. Posting is quite tricky at the beginning and becomes easier with a bit of practice. Remember, when you rise and fall, not to come down too hard on your horse's back.
To make the horse canter, sit to the trot and put your outside leg back a little, and squeeze. If this does not work, then gently tap or kick your horse with your leg, or lightly tap the horse with a crop. The canter is a three-beat gait, slower then a gallop. Remember when you canter you need to be on the correct lead which means the inside front leg striding or going out father then the other front leg.
Take care not to kick the horse when you dismount. Always take both feet out of the stirrups first.
- If you're new to horseback riding entirely, start with the saddle, as it can be a frightening experience if you have no experience with controlling a horse.
- Remember, do not rush learning to ride a horse takes a lot of time and practise be patient give it time and it will all come if you don't get it at first don't worry that's normal just don't give up and keep trying!!
- Pick a good horse that is gentle and kind.
- Don't be to hasty trying to canter on your first go at riding as it all takes time.
- Choose a horse that likes you. Smaller ponies are generally faster, so start off with a larger horse. Get a saddle that fits you. You will have to tell them how tall you are and how much you weigh to get a saddle and a horse. Then use these tips to ride it.
- Well to go left and right, you have to gently pull the reins left or right. If this does not work, get a crop (whip) and tap it gently. To go ahead, pull the reins a little over the horse's head and squeeze against its legs gently if whip does not work. Do the same for turning around and going backwards.
- The first time that you canter, you should canter in your half-seat or galloping position, this is when you stand up slightly, lean over slightly onto his neck and move your hand farther up his neck
- Ponies or more lazy horses may need more obvious signals.
- It would help to be forward in your seat while trying to make a horse move.
- Keep your heels down for balance.
- All horses are different, so ask an experienced rider from the school or a member of staff to find out which horse is the best one for a beginner to ride.
- ALWAYS wear protective gear in case of a fall, such as a helmet.
- It is very dangerous to ride a horse that you do not know without a trainer or someone else in the ring. Also, if you have never ridden a horse before, this article doesn't teach everything you need to know about riding!
- If you are new to riding have an experienced person with you.