Basics of Horseback Riding
You may be out visiting the beach, ranch or a racing club and without realizing it, you begin to feel drawn to the equestrian life. Whether you want to learn the basics of horseback riding for fun or you want to ride horses professionally, you must understand the basics and crucial facts about horseback riding. Below, we compile some of the basics and essentials for you. Read and enjoy.
Benefits of horseback riding
When looking for a way to strengthen your core, horseback riding may be the best alternative. However, horseback riding is not only about strengthening the core, as it revolves around stability and coordination of it. When it comes to leisure, horseback riding is also fulfilling. Some of the benefits of horseback riding include:
Coordination and Balance
Horse riding plays an essential role in the development of balance and coordination for both amateur or elite horseback rider. These skills are cultivated when a horse gallops and jumps. With the right coordination skills, the rider will find it easy to move with the body with the horse for balance.
Leadership and other competitive abilities.
Horseback riding comes as a challenge in its own. You need to be more than just a horse rider to beat various challenges such as going through hurdles like barrels and fences. These challenges help the rider elevate various aptitudes of the mind. Taking part in horse competitions gives you the abilities to elevate your leadership and other competitive abilities.
Calm and relaxing
Horseback riding is a calm and relaxing experience, allowing you to blend and bond with nature. It plays a significant role in developing your mental and physical health. Because of its calming and relaxing nature, a new field developed known as “Horse Therapy”. This kind of therapy helps treat patients facing autism and mental illness. Horse therapy has over the years has proved effective, and it is done under the supervision of a certified health practitioner.
What to consider during Horseback Riding
In as much as horseback riding might be a hobby, it involves lots of skills. Therefore, to become a professional, you need a lot of practice and to cultivate your knowledge of equestrianism. Without proper preliminary knowhow, the experience might be unpleasant. As a starter, there are basic things you need to learn which include a horse’s behavioural change, essential training and the proper gear and how to handle them. With this kind of experience, you will have equipped yourself with the basics required, which will automatically minimize the risks and dangers.
Horse Behavioral Observation
One of the essential aspects of horseback riding is knowing and understanding your horse’s behavioural change. How your horse feels during an activity or sport can either increase the degree of risks to more significant or lower. Keen observation can help you understand the different ways your horse communicates.
Take a keen interest in the horse’s body language and eye contact before approaching it. When your horse turns away from you, try encouraging it to face you before your approach. Be keen on recognizing the changes from head, neck, body positions and facial expressions.
The ears are a vital part of a horse that can quickly tell you how your horse is feeling. When the ears are straight up and in a frontal position, it merely means that the horse is ready to respond to activity. When the ears of your horse are floppy, this is a clear sign that it is tired.
Horses have blind zones where they cannot see anything, and since they are primal animals, they are always ready to attack in any suspicion of predators. The two blind zones you should be keen on are directly behind and in front of the horse. It is advisable to approach the horse from the angle of its shoulder.
Western and English Riding differences
If you are not an equestrian expert or a horseperson, you might be trying to figure out what the differences are between western and English horse riding. Both terms are commonly used in matters about equestrianism.
For your information, in America, they prefer the term horseback riding while in British, the term horse riding seems significant.
There are fundamental physical differences in English and western horse riding. These differences depend on the tack used by riders in different regions. For example, the seat of the Western saddle is much comfortable, depending on hours of riding over rough terrain and the English saddles are much smaller and lighter. English riding takes its types of equipment and traditions from European mounted military styles.
Checking Equestrian Gear is Important
Horse tucks are a set of accessories and equipment that are fastened on the horse before riding, and plays a significant role when it comes to the safety of you and your horse. The significant components of horse tucks include bridle, saddle and girth. Riders tend to take their equipment for granted. They assume everything is safe and sound without routinely checking the saddling and bridling of horses. However, it takes more than just a visual check to ensure that gear is intact. It is essential to have a practical horse tuck inspection before and after riding.
Training for horseback Riding
As a novice rider, an essential part of developing your riding skill is the basic training of equestrianism with the help of a well-experienced rider. Horseback riding training is standard and such services can be found in various horseback riding schools.
These training include all essential knowledge you might need when it comes to handling horses, how to handle and even understand them. With the help of an elite trainer, you will be fully equipped with the necessary skills on gripping on reins, maintenance of balance, and physical coordination during riding. Other training services include trotting, cantering and how to walk your horse.
Expectations from a Good Trainer
A good trainer is specialized and has the necessary skills to train horses for racing, showing and most importantly, riding. In most cases, training involves feeding, exercising- and making sure they are used to human contact, to make it able to perform different activities.
A trainer is specialized in equestrian disciplines like dressage, show jumping, reining, endurance riding racing and rodeo. An experienced trainer will work alongside assistant trainers, foreman and barn managers.
Few Words on History of Horseback Riding
Horseback riding commonly known as horse riding has its roots back in the BC. However, the oldest evidence in Kazakhstan dates horse riding back to around 3500 BC. It is not yet clear about when domestication of horses began. Indirect pieces of evidence suggest that long before horses were ridden, they were driven. Other pieces of evidence show that at around 3000BC, people used bits on horses around Dnieper and Don River.
Horses were used for various reasons mainly, herding and transportation. As years passed, different breeds were introduced for different purposes such as sports and entertainment, military and so on.
Horseback riding is a healthy activity filled with dozens of health benefits from physical to mental. It plays a useful role in the development of courage, coordination and leadership. Horse riding physically connects you with nature guaranteeing a healthy mental state, since it acts as therapy. As you strike to embark on your journey to horse riding, always ensure you find the best horse riding training program. Training makes it easier for you to develop skills from basics that will keep you safe all through any horse riding session.