horse riding?

by Stephanie on September 16, 2010

can anyone tell me the basics of riding a horse? im gonna start riding in 2 weeks! like how to ride them and what to do.

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Caroline September 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Mounting-Stand on the horse’s left side(called the near side) and face away from the horse’s head(toward his butt). Put your left foot in the stirrup, grab the back of the saddle with your right hand, the mane and reins with you left, and then hop up and swing your right leg over the horse’s back into the saddle.

Holding the reins-if you ride Western, you will neck-rein. Hold the reins in one hand and move your hand about four inches to the left or right to turn. If you ride English, hold each rein separately in each hand, with the rein coming up through your fists from the bottom and coming out under your thumbs from the top.

To go-squeeze briefly with your heels on the horse’s sides

To stop-Pull the reins back to your hips and say "whoa" or "easy". Sit deep in the saddle and use brief rein pressure.

The four gaits(in order of speed)-
walk-the walk is the slowest gait

trot-the trot is fairly bumpy, and the rider often "posts" to the trot to make it easier to ride. To post, stand slightly in the stirrups as one diagonal pair of legs leaves the ground. Then sit as that pair hits the ground. You can also sit the trot, (without posting) but it takes good balance and rhythm.

canter-a faster gait in which the horse’s body rocks slightly back and forth. Focus on letting you hips move smoothly with the horse in this gait.

gallop-the fastest gait, you must lift you butt out of the saddle and get in what is called a "half-seat". The half seat is where you are leaning more forward with your knees squeezing the saddle tightly and you butt out of the saddle. The half seat is also used for jumping.

Basic equipment-
-girth-used to strap the saddle to the horse, it goes like a belt under the horse’s belly.
-bridle/headstall-used on the horse’s head
-bit-part of the bridle that goes in the horse’s mouth and provides the rider with means to control the horse.
-helmet-always wear one!

When you ride focus on sitting up straight and balanced without being too tense.


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