Without a doubt, one of the hardest skills to master is horse riding. Managing a quality horseback riding session takes skill, poise and a lot of timing. You might have to go through a few rough moments before you can finally get your verve back on the saddle!
Don’t fret, though; it is by no means an impossible challenge. If you feel like you are struggling to master horse trail riding etiquette and can’t stay in the saddle, the tips below should help you become a more comfortable rider quickly.
1. Listen to the Instructor
If you can afford it, hire an instructor to teach you how to ride a horse, as they have a slew of knowledge and information they can share with you. Especially if you don’t know someone who’s an expert in horse riding, this is an advisable option.
2. Immerse yourself in the experience
Another important if indirect part of staying on the saddle is allowing yourself to be immersed into the culture of horse riding. It becomes a whole lot easier to stay in the seat as you ride because you have the right mindset. Because of your willingness to immerse yourself in this experience, you’re more open to learning new things—from learning about grooming and untacking to managing the rugging up process.
3. Go Slow
The best piece of advice that you can keep in mind is pace. Don’t try and speed up until you master moving at a certain pace. This will also make sure that your horse has an easier time too. Then, after a while, try and pick up the pace a little; take little steps. A horse tends to feel far more secure if you can get used to the idea of moving slowly and mastering the pace one step at a time than diving right into it.
4. Ensure it Fits
A saddle that does not quite fit is a saddle that is a waste of money. The way to ensure your saddle fits on the horse is largely determined by how it feels when you are riding. To learn the specific details and techniques in saddling up a horse, go here.
5. Watch the Horse
A tip that could be very useful for making sure you stay in the saddle is making sure the horse and the saddle are compatible. If the horse has lost weight or gained weight, then the saddle might not fit the same as it once did. This can hamper the quality of life of the horse and your riding experience, so make sure that you take the time to understand the horses’ overall body shape and function before you decide to do anything else.
6. Use a Back Cinch
Back cinches are a good way to make sure that the horse keeps you in place if the trails are too step. It will keep you more secure and stabilized in the saddle. This leads you to feeling more secure as a rider and being more confident during the riding process. Make sure that your horse is going to be comfortable, though, as rubbing can soon make your horse annoyed and unlikely to settle down.
7. Get a Crupper
Cruppers run from the saddle to under the tail of the horse and helps to stop the saddle sliding around as you ride – especially when you have to go down a hill. Doing this makes it much more likely that your horse is going to withstand the challenge of the journey and also, crucially, it stops you from falling out of the saddle when riding!
8. Power Posting
A good way to take control of the riding experience is to use what is known as a ‘power post’. When trotting along, bring up your pelvis in time with the horse’s trotting. It should be a 2-beat rhythm. Start doing this as you ride and before long the horse can begin to get used to the rhythm. It’s a little exhausting at first and will take time to master.
9. Stay Erect
Keep your back as straight as possible as if someone was using a ruler to measure how straight your back is. This makes you sit deeply into the saddle, and adds to the grip and stability that you will likely have when riding. Doing this early in your education makes your muscles remember that improved posture.
These simple tips should help you with your horse riding experience and help you to stay on the saddle.
Featured photo credit: Jeremy Cai via unsplash.com
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