Horseback Lessons

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking Horseback Lessons

You’re excited about getting on a horse for the first time and chances are that when you do, you’ll catch that riding bug. So let’s make your horseback riding lessons a positive experience by checking your answers to these three questions.

Question One: How Fit Are You?

This is an issue to consider before taking horse riding lessons. You’ll discover arm and leg muscles you didn’t know you had and they’ll complain loudly at first!

Beginner riders often forget to breathe. Horseback lessons demand a high degree of concentration, especially before what you learn becomes intuitive, and many riders get red faces from failing to breathe at the same time as thinking hard.

Also, the heavier you are the more pronounced the exertion of riding will be if you aren’t fit.

I would suggest taking one group lesson a week to allow your body to get used to this new form of exercise. Then you can increase the frequency as you get fitter.

Question Two: What Is Your Riding Goal?

What is your main reason for learning to horseback ride?

Learning to ride properly takes time and patience, and different types of riding demand different levels of expertise. You’ll be ready for trail rides sooner than being able to perform canter pirouettes as required at the Grand Prix level of dressage. But you can have just as much fun doing either.

Whatever your goal, be prepared to take the time necessary to master the basics of riding before moving on. Slow and steady is the rule with riding. Then you can advance in your chosen discipline, be it English or Western.

Question Three: How Much Time and Money Do You Have?

This is really two questions, but constraints of time and money have the same result: they prevent you from riding. The more often you ride, the sooner you will improve but if either time or money issues mean choosing between weekly group lessons or one private lesson every two weeks, opt for the latter. You will learn more, faster, with that instructor’s eagle eye solely on you!

If you invest in the ebook Riding Lessons: Training Yourself to Ride with full photo illustrations and explanatory video, you’ll learn useful information in between lessons. It’s designed for people who want to learn to ride but don’t have the necessary funds or time for frequent riding lessons.

Get fit before and after you start riding, choose a realistic goal and spend quality time in the saddle whenever time and money allow.

3 Compelling Reasons to Take Horseback Lessons

Posted on 2010-05-11

If you ask horse enthusiasts why they enjoy horseback lessons, don’t expect a short answer! The benefits are endless and once you begin riding you’ll understand why horse people have so many positive things to say about the sport.

But let’s start with outlining three of those reasons.

1. Mental Benefits

Horseback lessons demand your full concentration: you don’t have time for everyday worries.

Instead you’ll be focusing on where to put your hands, legs and seat, and how to control the horse, rather than whether you remembered to send in that work report, fill the car with gas or buy enough people, dog and cat food.

After dismounting and putting your horse away it’ll dawn on you that for the space of over an hour you’ve taken a break from those nagging worries you deal with on a daily basis.

2. Physical Benefits

Horseback riding is a fun way to get and stay fit. While interacting with the horse, you’re out in the fresh air, toning muscles which you’d otherwise exercise with hundreds of boring repetitions in the stuffy air of a gym.

Riding strengthens your hand, arm and leg muscles. Because you sit straight (though not rigidly) you use your back muscles and improve your deportment. Riders don’t get hunched shoulders!

3. Emotional Benefits

Churchill said: ‘there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.’ This is an often repeated quote – for good reason.

Horses are beautiful animals, and being able to spend time with them is a privilege which brings great contentment. We feel peaceful when we watch them in the field, when we take care of them and when we ride them.

A good horseback riding book to introduce you to the joy of horses is the ebook Horse Riding Lessons: Teaching Yourself to Ride. When you read the book and watch the accompanying video, you’ll want to get on horseback as soon as possible!

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Making the Most of Your Horseback Lessons

Posted on 2010-04-27

You’ll probably start taking horseback lessons for fun and because you want to be around horses.

But before long, two things will happen:

You’ll become more competent and confident

After watching other, better riders you’ll think: “I want to ride like them.”

In other words, you’ll find yourself beginning to have riding goals and aspirations.

Involve Your Instructor

This is where it becomes even more important to have a competent and supportive riding instructor to help you.

Work out a feasible plan together for reaching your goal, so you can both make sure your lessons stay on track. But listen to your instructor’s advice about realistic deadlines: there may be more involved in attaining your riding objective than you realize, so be flexible with your expectations.

For example, if you tell your instructor you want to ride your first dressage test, he or she will be able to use your riding lessons to teach you ring craft and how to execute the movements in the competition arena. Your trainer can also help you understand the process of entering a show, trailering to the venue, warming up your horse and numerous other aspects involved in competing.

Read Up On Your Chosen Discipline

Knowledge is power, and the more you can find out about your goal the better. There are many wonderful horse riding books available for all possible riding types and styles.

In addition to explanatory ‘how-to’ horse books read some inspirational ones written by the riding masters in your chosen area. Such books have always pushed me to do well. You’ll gain valuable nuggets of information through the experiences of top riders in your field.

Don’t let your riding become the ‘same old, same old.’ Get inspired, get planning, and turn those lessons into steady progress towards a realizable goal.

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