Things to Know Before Going to the Horse-Riding Academy

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

So you want to become an expert horse rider – that’s great! It’s an amazing sport and a great and fun way to spend your time. Learning horse riding for the very first time can be a very interesting experience filled with thrilling moments.

It’s also filled with numerous mistakes and awkward “Oh, I have no idea what to do now” situations. Of course, you being a newbie, it’s okay for you to make small errors. Still, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t read up on common beginner mistakes. Avoid doing these things, and you’ll have a generally pleasant time:

1. Wearing Loose-Fitted Clothes

You’re not only breaking the tradition of wearing the equestrian uniform, but you’re also putting yourself in danger! Loose-fitted pants, over-sized sweaters, long scarves, and other similar pieces of clothes may get stuck in the saddle. If you fall wearing such clothes, you might get dragged by your horse, which is incredibly dangerous and leave you with permanent damage to your body.

2. Tying Yourself to the Horse

This idea is even worse than just wearing loose-fitted clothes. By tying yourself and the horse together, you’re removing the chance that you’ll get lucky when you fall from the horse. A considerable portion of beginners makes this mistake in an attempt to secure themselves on top of the horse. In actuality, though, such people are only endangering themselves to more physical damage.

3. Losing the Hold on the Reins

You can write or buy essay on how essential the reins for you – when you are horse riding, you’re basically controlling the horse with them. We know, it’s very hard as a beginner not to throw away the reins when you panic, but you have to keep your emotions in check. By throwing away the reins, you’re letting your horse do whatever it wants and possibly scaring it, which is not good as well.

4. Having the Unsuitable Footgear

Have you ever noticed the similarity in the footgear of almost every horse rider in movies and real life? No, they’re not just wearing boots, they are boots with small heels – it’s a very important distinction. The heel protects each of your legs from getting tangled up in the stirrup in case you fall. This is the reason you can’t show up to a horse-riding lesson in your Crocs or your favorite sneakers.

5. Thinking That It Won’t Be Hard at All

We’re going to stop you right there with that type of thinking: horse riding isn’t at all like riding in your car. First of all, when riding your horse, you’ll have to balance yourself and coordinate your body. But that’s just you sitting on top of it, actually riding it will take some practice until you’ve built up an adequate amount of skill. Your body will have to be flexible, strong, and capable of complex coordination between hand, body, and legs.

6. Stopping to Listen to the Instructions

This applies specifically to those beginners who started to get ‘it’ and are becoming better at horse riding. Having gained a little bit of skill and becoming overconfident with yourself is what usually leads to physical traumas. As long as you’re in your first lessons, we urge you to listen attentively to what your tutor says, and of course, follow their instructions.

7. Not Believing in Your Tutor

This point applies to the newbies who just aren’t feeling comfortable on the horse at all. Do as you’re told, and that’s the end of it. You must trust your tutor – they’ve taught countless other students before successfully, so, when they tell you to get onto that specific horse, you do it. Or when they tell you not to panic, you try to calm yourself down as much as possible. 

8. Holding Onto the Saddle All the Time

Yes, the saddle is there to help your balancing ability and make the riding process more enjoyable. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t be something that you hold onto all the time, especially if you’re falling. In such a case, by holding onto it, you might shift the saddle sideways on the horse. This, in turn, will again get you caught, hurt the horse, and aggravate it.

9. Avoiding the Helmet

Even if you never gallop on your horse, the helmet should always be on your head. At least, during your first years of horse riding. Free-falling from a standing horse can still result in a nasty head injury, just because you’re so high above the ground.

Try It out and Stick to It

After your first lesson, you’re going to understand that horse riding is more than just sitting on a horse. We urge you to stick through with it because it’s a beautiful and very satisfying activity. Only after a couple of lessons, you’re going to see improvements and start to enjoy it even more!