Everyone starts somewhere! When you begin riding, you might worry about looking like a rookie. All riders make mistakes, especially when you’re learning. There’s a few mistakes you can avoid though! Not only will others think you’re an expert, but you’ll be more safe.
1. Wear appropriate clothes: Closed-toe shoes with a small heel are ideal for riding. You’ll also want to wear jeans or breeches. Careful of anything too restricting! Never forget the helmet.
2. No slouching: Train your body to sit tall and straight, but don’t become rigid or tense though. Your heels should be lightly stretched down, your eyes forward, and your shoulders back.
3. Gentle with the reins: An inexperienced rider will clutch or pull aggressively on the horse’s mouth when they’re nervous or afraid. Experts know there’s more to slowing down a horse than just pulling. You should maintain light contact on the reins, sit deep in the saddle, and remember to breathe.
4. Avoid holding the horn: It’s easy to clutch the horn when you’re just starting out, but try to use it as a last resort. It can actually throw you more off balance. Sitting up straight and adjusting your legs can help you maintain a better position.
5. No shame in taking it easy: An expert knows when to push and when to quit. Don’t be afraid to walk when everyone else is galloping. Always keep you and your horse safe.
If you follow these five tips, you’ll be on the road to looking like a pro!