There are so many things to concentrate on when learning how to ride a horse, that you can easily feel overwhelmed by them.
Breaking It Down
The first stage with any huge task is to divide it into manageable parts and this works well when learning how to ride a horse, too.
Your goal is to ride the horse competently in walk, trot and canter. To do that, you must first learn how to sit in the saddle correctly and ask the horse to move forwards.
Here is a useful breakdown of the beginning elements of how to ride a horse. Slowly work on performing each task correctly and you’ll not only build up your skills, but also become more confident around your horse.
- Lead the horse into the arena
- Adjust the stirrup length
- Adopt correct seat position
- Retighten the girth once in the saddle
- Hold the reins correctly
- Ask the horse to walk on
- Turn and halt the walking horse
If you take your time learning these basics during your riding lessons they’ll become second nature to you.
Setting Goals for Each Lesson
Be very patient with yourself and set only a few goals per lesson. To start, pick something you find easy, and work on that until you’re satisfied. It may simply be the act of mounting the horse correctly without hitting his rump with your leg, landing heavily on his back, or jabbing his mouth with the reins when you swing into the saddle.
Be pleased with yourself when you manage to mount smoothly, then make your next goal relaxing in the saddle and adopting the correct position.
Take everything in easy stages and don’t be hard on yourself if something takes longer to master than you feel it should. Everyone is different, so don’t measure your success by comparing your progress with other beginner riders.
A useful book for you to download which will show you how to split the riding process into six easy stages, is Horse Riding Lessons: Teaching Yourself to Ride. It comes with photo illustrations and a video which shows you how to perform the riding exercises outlined in the six progressive riding lessons.
And don’t forget to enjoy the journey to becoming more proficient in the saddle!