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 Horse Riding Basics

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7AMANY
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PostSubject: Horse Riding Basics   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:34 pm

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Horse Riding Basics
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First Lesson:Getting on the back of the Horse

Approaching Your Horse

Always approach your horse in a calm and confident manner. Horses sense when a rider is nervous or scared and the way you approach can greatly affect your horse's attitude. It is unlikely a horse would hurt you intentionally, but you still need to use caution to prevent the possibility of injury. Always have a clear path to get out of the way of your horse should unexpected circumstances cause him to panic.

Mounting Your Horse

In order to sit properly and have a comfortable ride, check the stirrups to make sure they are an appropriate length. To do this, simply place your arm on the saddle. Grab the stirrup and put it under your arm. The stirrup should be the length of your arm. The length of your arm is also the length of your leg.

A proper mount will go a long way in establishing trust between you and the horse.

-If you are an inexperienced rider, have someone hold the horse steady while you get on.
-Begin by standing on the left side of the horse.
-Hold the reins in your left hand (drape any slack over the horse's right side) while also grabbing hold of the horse' mane with your left hand as well.
-Use your right hand to turn the stirrup out and place your left foot into the stirrup, parallel to the horse's side. If you are too short to reach the stirrup, stand on a box or other object that will enable you to reach.
-Now grab the back of the saddle with your right hand.
-Bounce off the ground with your right foot putting weight onto your left foot in the stirrup, while simultaneously pulling yourself up using the back of the saddle and the horse's neck.
-Once you are balanced on your left foot in the stirrup, swing your right leg over the horse as you release your right hand from the back of the saddle and gently lower yourself into the saddle.
-Place your right foot into the other stirrup.
-Make sure your weight is distributed over the center of the horse.
-You will dismount from your horse by reversing the steps you took to get on. Hold the horses neck and remove your foot from the right stirrup. Stand up and swing yourself up and off of the saddle and finally to the ground.


You should maintain good posture, and your legs should be relaxed so they can move easily. Pull your spine and lower back in slightly, but make sure you are not sitting too stiffly. You want to be able to maintain balance without clamping down hard on the horse with your legs or having to grab the saddle horn.

Your knees should lie flat against the saddle. The balls of your feet should rest on the stirrup with your toes pointing slightly upward, with the heels down. Your feet need to be able to fall out of the stirrup, so you can land free of the horse should you be thrown.

Hold the reins loosely down and over the front of the saddle. Don't hold the reins tightly as this will only confuse the horse making him think you want to stop.

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PostSubject: Re: Horse Riding Basics   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:40 pm

Second Lesson:Walking your Horse

Many horses are trained to respond and move based on the pressure applied by the rider's legs. Because your leg movements can confuse a horse, be sure and keep your legs relatively still and only use them to provide signals to your horse.

To get your horse to walk, squeeze both legs against the side of the horse. As the horse starts to move, relax the pressure of your legs. If your horse does not respond, you can give a gentle kick into his side while making a clucking sound with your tongue.

Your horse can be thrown off balance when you go up or down a hill so you will need to adjust the way you sit in the saddle. When going downhill, you need to lean back in the seat, and you need to lean forward when you are going uphill.

Third Lesson:Steeering Your Horse

A majority of trail horses are trained to neck rein. This means you hold both reins in one hand. Then when you want the horse to turn right, simply pull the reins to the right, so that the left rein lies across the left side of the horse's neck. To turn left, pull the reins to the left so the right rein lies across the right side of the horse's neck.

When turning your horse, you may also need to apply pressure from your right leg while pulling the reins to the left to signal your horse to move left. Likewise, apply pressure from your left leg while pulling the reins to the right to signal you horse to move right.

So in other words, to turn your horse right, you will be applying pressure on the left of your horse's neck and side (using the rein and your leg), and will be applying pressure on the right of your horse's neck and side to turn left.

Or maybe another way of thinking is you apply all pressure to the outside of the turn.

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