* Partner Post
Imagine drifting through green mountain valleys atop a horse or experiencing the grandeur and charm of nature while an equine carries you slowly and steadily. Be it traveling varied topography on the back of a horse for a holiday or mounting on the saddle of a racing horse like the jockeys broadcasted on TVG, the famous horse racing media network, horse riding is an experience in itself. Horseback riding can be both nerve-racking as well as a delight depending upon how well you handle the animal. Riding living animals can be challenging unless one has a certain level of patience and expertise. Note below a few tips for riding the animal right.
- 1. Wear the right horse-riding gear: It is utmost essential to be clad in clothes that will not interfere in your ride. You are highly recommended to wear long bottoms, close-toed footwear, and a helmet. Also, avoid carrying any unnecessary accessories.
- 2. Introduce yourself to the horse: Let the horse feel and smell your presence. The horse might get aggressive and unapproachable at times. Try to walk around the animal for it to know you. When you get closer, extend a hand with warmth to establish a rapport.
- 3. Stay hydrated: Get a bottle of water or any glucose-rich liquid to prevent dehydration, especially if you are training on warm days.
- 4. Mounting it the right way: Mount the animal from the left side and from a level slightly elevated from the ground. Mounting directly from the ground will exert extra pressure on the horse. Also, hold the cantle of the saddle and not the saddle to mount it.
- 5. Mind your position: Do sit up and relax. Do not slouch or tip forward. Do not sit too far as it restricts the back. Bend your elbows and keep your hands low.
- 6. Hold the reins gently: Relax your arms and hold the reins firmly. Do not pull it too hard and neither leave it too loose. Move the reins left or right as per the direction you want to head on to. To stop, gently pull them back while pushing your heels down.
- 7. Keep your eyes on the trail: Look ahead at the path taken and not anywhere around. Focusing on the trail is as important as focusing on the road while driving a car. Also, feel the rhythm of the animal's body and let it move you without any resistance.
- 8. Dismounting it the right way: Dismount only when the horse has halted completely. Get both the feet out of the stirrups, lean forward and swinging your right leg, jump off. Do not skip patting its back as a sign of appreciation.
- 9. Cool down after the riding session: It is essential to cool down yourself and the horse for some 15-20 minutes after a riding session similar to the case of any other physical exercise.
- 10. Tips to beat post-ride pains:
- Pad up the saddle with a gel-filled cover or sheepskin cover.
- Lengthen the stirrup leathers to de-stress your knees.
- Wear a back or knee support.
- Avoid wearing tight and stiff pants.
By keeping these tips in mind, horse-riding can turn out to be as beautiful as the animal itself.