6 Things to Keep in Mind When Riding a Horse
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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