Preparation Tips for Beginners Who Want to Take Horse Riding Lessons
Your first time riding a horse could create a mix of different emotions. On one hand, you’re excited to build a personal bond with such a beautiful animal and on the other, you’re not sure if you’re capable enough to handle yourself with the horse. In this guide, we’ll share preparation tips to help you relax, connect with your horse, and ride more confidently.
Being Nervous For Your First Horse Riding Lessons is Normal
Being nervous is a reality, even for experienced riders. It’s important to understand that nerves are a natural part of your body’s way of helping you do your best at the task on hand.
1. Be kind to yourself
You may have a dream of being able to ride into the sunset on a beautiful stallion during your first lesson. If you’re still overcoming some nervousness, tell yourself that whatever you can do for the day is enough.
The mentors and trainers at your riding lessons will tell you the same. It may take you several riding lessons to feel confident enough to venture out of the arena and head out on horse riding trails. As long as you’re making progress and enjoying yourself, that’s all that matters.
2. Have the proper horse riding gear
Wear clothing that is stretchable and comfortable, you don’t have to buy special riding gear right away and could consider wearing jeans, tights or exercise pants for your first lesson. Definitely no short pants, let’s face it – a horse’s hair and skin are relatively coarse, wearing shorts would be very uncomfortable.
Wearing long-sleeved shirts can protect you from sunburn as well as scratches when you go on trail rides. If long sleeves are too hot, consider short-sleeved shirts rather than sleeveless ones.
Horse riding boots and helmets are mandatory for safer riding.
3. Work on your balance, strength, and cardio
It takes good balance to be able to ride a horse properly. If you haven’t tried yoga or pilates before, now may be the perfect time for it, right before you start your horse riding lessons.
Also, consider doing squats, lunges, and core workouts. Your inner thighs will play a big part in getting the horse to change its gait, and your core will help you stay upright on the horse.
Horse riding may look like the horse is doing all the work with minimal stress on the rider. The truth is that good horse riding has much to do with the rider’s ability to control their horse mainly using body cues. It’s a good idea to do any sort of cardio workouts such as running, swimming, and biking to prepare you for riding.
Relax and Have fun
Your first horse riding lesson will go by really quickly and you may be surprised at how much you have learnt about yourself and the horse in the short space of time. You may even find that you enjoyed it more than you thought you would and want to take it up as a lifelong hobby. Just have in mind that as fun and exciting horse riding is, it’s important to be safe. Always wear the proper gear, know the best practices, and enjoy the ride.