Find a Riding School—you don’t want to get on a horse until you know what you’re doing.
To get started with horseback riding, it is essential to find a good riding school and instructor. Because you are new to the sport, it is vital that the trainer has experience and has a good reputation. The most practical way to do this is by visiting the school’s website and reading reviews on sites like Yelp or Google Reviews. Make sure that your prospective school has a history of happy customers (and not just one glowing review).
It’s also important that the riding school have a solid safety record. Of course, accidents can happen no matter what measures are taken in advance. But if you find out from online reviews that there have been repeated incidents at one particular school, then start looking elsewhere for instruction!
Finally, if you’re nervous about getting on top of a horse for the first time, look for a riding school that offers small group classes rather than private lessons—at least until you feel more confident being near horses. And check out the cancellation policy: if something comes up and you can’t make it to class one day, will they charge you anyway? A student-friendly cancellation policy shows how much a school cares about their customers’ happiness!
Take a Lesson or Two
How do you know when you’ve found the right instructor? You should first look for someone with experience teaching students who are new to horseback riding, and preferably one who has taught adults. Next, make sure that the instructor has a good rapport with children as well as adults. You can also ask them about their strategies for working with students who have previous bad experiences with horses. If you can find a teacher that is also a good friend, even better! Best of all are those instructors who help their students get over any fear or anxiety associated with riding horses so they can start enjoying it more quickly.
Finally, if you’re able to talk to people who have taken lessons from this instructor before (or at least read some reviews), then do so! This will give you an idea of what kind of experience they have had while taking lessons and whether this instruction style works well for them or not. It may also help determine if there is something specific about the way your chosen instructor teaches that makes them stand out from other teachers in your area—maybe they always include fun games during lessons or spend extra time teaching younger riders how to groom horses before class starts each day?
Choose the Right Gear
Once lessons are underway, you will need to purchase your own riding gear. A few items you should have are:
- A hard hat that is certified to ASTM/SEI standards for equestrian use
- A pair of boots with a heel that does not exceed two inches in height; many riders opt for tall leather boots, but shorter rubber boots can work as well.
- Your saddle and bridle; these will likely be provided by the stable or the instructor, but eventually you’ll want your own saddle and bridle. A properly fitted saddle is crucial. Ask your instructor or local tack store staff for advice on sizing and brands.
- A crop (also known as a “whip”) which is used to encourage the horse forward from the ground; crops are made in different lengths to suit riders of different heights.
- Saddle pads come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so experiment with what works best for both yourself and your horse!
Talk to Everyone You Can
The first thing to do is talk to everyone in your barn about the lessons that you could take. For example, my barn has an instructor who does flat lessons and another who does jump, cross-country and all kinds of things. If you’re not sure which type of riding you are most interested in, try talking to a few different instructors so that you get a feel for their different styles.
- Talk to other people who are taking lessons. You will find out what they love (and don’t love) about their instructors and can get tips on how to handle things like mounting, dismounting, which tack is best for what weather conditions, etc.
- Talk to people at the tack shop! I know that sounds odd but tack shops (especially ones that cater specifically to equestrians) often have bulletin boards with local events listed as well as classes and clinics going on at various facilities around town. They also often help connect riders with horses or ponies they might be interested in leasing or buying, so it’s definitely something worth checking out!
Horseback riding is a sport enjoyed by people of all ages and it’s never too late to learn.
You can enjoy horseback riding at any age, even if you’ve never ridden a horse before. Horseback riding is not just a great way to get exercise and enjoy nature, but it can also be very therapeutic. Horseback riding offers many health benefits including improved balance and posture, weight loss, lower blood pressure, better muscle strength, and improved mental health.
Many of the benefits associated with horseback riding are similar to those that are obtained from other types of exercise such as walking or jogging. However, horseback riding is different in that the rider must adapt to the movement of the animal in order for it to be successful. This adaptation helps strengthen core muscles like your gluteal muscles (glutes) which provide stability when standing or moving around on two feet instead of four feet.