Horse Riding Skills

The 5 Essential Horse riding Skills to Master Before You Successfully Own a Horse

Experienced riders will tell you how vital these horseriding are, even though this will not be immediately obvious to horseback riding beginners.

If you learn to master the following horse riding skills, you’ll form a rewarding bond with your horse, both in the saddle and on the ground, and he will do everything he can to please you.

1. Love of Horses

A true love of horses means the sincere desire to understand them and be their comfort zone. An effective rider is a leader - however, he must be a fair one. Your horse must respect you, but also feel comfortable around you. Only then will he listen and obey.

2. Patience

We riders must be clear in our instructions, and not assume our horse is being tiresome if he doesn’t immediately do what we ask.

Someone once said to me: “With a horse, if you act as if you have fifteen minutes, it will take all day. If you act as if you have all day, it will take fifteen minutes.” This is good advice: make sure your horse understands your commands before you reprimand him for disobedience. If you are patient, he will comply.

As riders we must learn to gauge whether our horse is fit enough for the task we’re giving him. He may not be ready yet, and need bringing slowly into shape. Regardless of his fitness level, he must always be ridden in walk for the first ten minutes and allowed to cool off afterwards.

3. Humility

Connected with patience is another important skill: the humility to ask ourselves – when the horse is ‘not co-operating’ – whether we are at fault.

We also need to be humble enough to recognize when we need help. If we are too proud to seek expert advice when necessary, our horse will suffer as well as our riding.

4. Commitment

If you buy a horse, commit to riding him several times a week, otherwise you will not improve and he will stay unfit. He’ll also miss the regular contact with you.

It goes without saying that you must also commit the time and money to looking after him properly.

5. Basic Riding Experience

Yes, you do need to be able to ride before you buy a horse. But you don’t have to be an expert. If you find the right animal, and can walk, trot and canter, you’ll get better as you ride him more.

The ebook Horse Riding Lessons: Training Yourself to Ride and video is a great introduction to riding, which will also guide you through choosing and buying the right horse.

If you master these horseriding skills, you’ll have the tools you need for years of rewarding horse ownership.

Read more topics at the Horse Riding Resources page.


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