There are always some kind of hints or tricks that can make something that might seem so difficult end up seeming so easy. There are gardening tips for those with a black thumb, there are cooking tips for those who aspire to have their family not run when you say that dinner is ready and then there are those who just want to be able to stay on a horse. Those are the ones that could easily benefit from some of these horseback riding tips:
Tip1 – Don’t go about riding like you’re stomping snakes. You want to approach your horse with a gentle tone and manner so that they feel comfortable around you. I don’t like people yelling at me for no reason and neither does a horse.
Tip 2 – If you are a new to horseback riding, remember that no matter how much money you spend on those fancy clothes or boots, they’re going to get dirty. And the good news is that getting them dirty can be really fun. Also, money doesn’t make a good rider. I’ve seen some of the best riders in the world wear pants and boots with holes in them and a shirt thin enough it’s only there to keep the flies at bay and I’d give my eye tooth to ride half as good as they do.
Tip 3 – When you get on a horse you should always use the left side of the horse. Many horses are only trained to have a rider get on from the left side and might freak out if you get on the right side (I’ve actually seen that happen to people). This is just one of those things that is the way it is because it has always been that way in all horseback riding ranches.
Tip 4 – If you don’t want to get out of the saddle with a sore back remember your horseback riding posture. It’s never been good to sit all slouched over at any other time in your life and sitting on a horse is another time when it’s just not appropriate. You’re back will end up sore and it can mess up the rest of your body posture such as the way your hips are in the seat and the way that your feet are in the stirrups.
Tip 5 – Never, ever put your foot too far into the stirrup. I put some emphasis on this horseback riding tip because if you fall off of your horse with your foot shoved all the way in the stirrup nice and tight, odds are if you fall off you will be dragged behind the horse. I’m sure that you all remember the old westerns with the man being dragged by the running horse. When you put your foot in the stirrup, my rule of thumb is that you want the ball of your foot just about centered on the bottom of the stirrup. That way your toes (of course inside your boot) should just barely be out of the stirrup and the majority of your foot is out and should be pointing down. You don’t want your heel set above your toes as that might lead to the foot slipping into the stirrup further. But if your heel is slightly lower than your stirrup your foot should stay right in place where it belongs.
I hope that you were able to benefit from these horseback riding tips. They are ones that were always pointed out to me by my trainer when I was young and I have found them to still hold true today.
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By Clinton Lyons
Clinton Lyons has been raising foals and horses for over 35 years. He is a professional horse trainer and expert horseback riding instructor. Visit his website to learn more about horse training and horseback riding here: http://www.horsetrainingranch.com