There are some things that just come natural to some. Some people are almost born knowing how to stay on a skateboard. Me personally, I fall flat just about every time that the board moves. That's something that just was not born in there. One thing that was born into my system was how to ride a horse. It seemed I knew how to ride a horse from birth but did not start riding alone till I was three. That was mainly in part to my beloved quarter horse Harlan who knew that I was a beginner. So, would you like for me to give you some tips on how to ride a horse?
When learning how to ride a horse one of the best things I can tell you is to always keep your cool. If you lose control of yourself, I have no doubt that you will lose control of the horse. You know how people say that a dog can sense if you're scared? Well so can a horse. Some will bank on that fear as an easy way out of work. Even if you think that the horse is some big animal and you have no idea how you'll ever stay on you can not think that around the horse. You need to stay calm and relaxed. If you get a little scared take a few deep breaths so that you can slow your heartbeat and relax yourself. Odds are, if you think you're in control, so will the horse.
Now that you have calmed your nerves and told yourself that you are boss, let's talk about how to ride a horse. There are two styles of riding you can think about when you learn how to ride a horse, English and western. If you have not ridden much I suggest a western saddle mainly because of the fact that is holds you in place better and has a horn for you to hang onto if you feel the need. An English saddle is lighter in weight, has thinner stirrups and no horn to hang onto. Some people swear by them for a beginner to build up balance and all but I just feel safer in a western saddle. I figure that if a cowboy thinks that they're the best to hold you in I'll have to agree with them. You can work on balance once you learn how to ride a horse a little better.
With the saddle in place, you can hop on and go for a ride. When you first learn how to ride a horse you can not just hop on, dig in your heels and think that the horse will just mosey off. To make a horse go forward you generally will just have to squeeze a bit with your thighs. Might need to move your butt forward towards the horn a little to let them know you're serious but being a beginner you should already be on a well broke horse. A green horse and a green rider are never a good combination when you first learn how to ride a horse. Green by the way means that you're just learning. Do not go out looking for a horse that will blend in with the grass. But once you're up in the saddle and walking, you can guide your horse in one of two ways. If you know that your horse neck reins, you simply lay the reins across the left side of the neck to go to the right and across the right side of the neck to go left. If you were told that the horse plow reins, take one rein in each hand and pull on the side that you want to go. If you want to go right, gently tug on the right rein and vise versa with the left.
These are a few simple things for those who are just learning how to ride a horse. For those with experience in horseback riding you might have your own ideas but these are the basics that I teach my kids. And so far I feel that they know how to ride a horse quite well for their ages and practice safety procedures without risk or injury.