The Basics of Horseback Riding

Private riding lessons generally offer the most effective means for learning horseback riding. There are two basic styles of riding: English and Western. Pleasure and trail-riding are often done Western-style. Most experts recommend that beginners initially learn to ride English-style since it emphasizes balance and provides a stronger foundation with a range of riding techniques.

According to horses.about.com direct reining or plough reining means you hold one rein in each hand and it is an easy task taking about ten minutes:

1. Hold one rein each hand.
2. Cue the horse to walk forward.
3. To turn left pull back with a gentle pressure on the rein in your left hand.
4. At the same time as you cue with the reins apply pressure with your left leg onto the horse’s side so the horse is turning around your leg.
5. As the horse obeys the cue stop the pressure of hand and leg.
6. Keep a gentle contact with your horse’s mouth until the next time you ask it to turn or stop.
7. To turn right use the right hand and leg to cue the horse in the same manner.

Use the minimum pressure on the bit required to cue the horse. Reins constantly need readjusting as you ride. In Western riding your heel should always be down with the ball of your foot setting on the stirrup. When riding at any gait your eyes and your head should always be facing forward when going straight. Always mount on the left side of the horse.

Hold your reins in your hands.Pull your reins in the direction you want to go such as left to go left. Hold on to your horn for balance. Wear long pants and shoes with a slight heel. Do not walk in back of a horse. Video cameras should not be carried while riding your horse. There is a thing as an “emergency brake” on a horse which is just lingo for how to slow down a runaway horse while you’re in the saddle.

There is a way to temper your horse even if he spots something that scares him and he wants to run in fear. “Installing the emergency brake” is done on the ground while you’re doing ground training. Put a halter on your horse and hook a lead rope to the halter. At this point your horse will resist some. Eventually you want him to touch his nose to his body.

At first your horse won’t be able to do it. When you have the horse touching his nose to his side then you’re ready to get on him and test his “emergency brake.” If your horse doesn’t easily touch his nose to his body while riding him then you need to have him practice it more.

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