1. Look forwards.
It’s easy to get distracted by what’s immediately ahead of you, and by your horse itself. Make sure you’re focusing on the path ahead and that you know where you’re going.
2. Sit upright in the saddle.
New riders have a tendency to keep their bodies low and close to the horse. Try to be confident and ride with an erect back.
3. Heels down.
You might have heard this shouted by an instructor before. It doesn’t mean you should just pull your toes up; you need to adjust your weight so that your heels are lower than your toes.
4. Don’t put your feet too far into the stirrup.
This is a reasonable response for first time riders – they want to feel their feet safely lodged in. This can get your feet stuck if you fall off, and makes it harder for your to balance.
5. Your horse is not a machine.
Most riders start out because they love horses. Always remember that riding is about working with your horse, not forcing it to do what you want. If you work with this idea of mutual respect, you’ll learn faster and better.
6. Have your elbows at your side.
Another tendency for new riders it to lift their arms. You’ll have much more control and will be able to communicate with your horse better if you keep your arms at your side. This allows you to handle the reins better.
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Retired Military Funeral Horse Looks for New Home
Quincy, a beautiful 11 year old quarter horse, was highly trained for a very specific role in the US military.
It was his job to pull the coffins of deceased soldiers.
There was no rider, Quincy, along with another horse, were trained to pull the coffin alone. The horses that performed this task were part of the Caisson Platoon.
But after a life of honourable service, he developed lameness in his front feet and had to retire.
He was known to be ‘loving and enthusiastic towards visitors and especially children,’ and there were concerns that Quincy would miss the work he had spent his life doing.
The vetting process was intense, with an expert level of knowledge in horse welfare required by the adopter.
Quincy has since found a new home and can live the rest of his days in leisure.
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