You are about to enter into the world of living roller coasters. Buckle up your seat-belts, and we are ready to begin: Get Set neighs.

It is going to be your handy map to the new city of horses. You might have heard about this map to be rough -tough-strenuous. But expect this map to be easy-sturdy yours.

Once you accept this map as yours and become mentally ready to follow it, You are eligible to enter the ‘I trust a 2000 pound animal more than individual humans’ club. When you practically join the club – you might even lose the delusion of a horse doing all the work and the rider being uselessly praised.

This guidebook of horse riding would cover the following points :

horse riding 101

Horse Riding as a Sport

equestian - horse riding sport

Equestrianism(horse riding sport) made its debut at 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. It wasn’t noticeable until 1912 (almost negligible). But after 1912, it has been a part of Summer Olympics ever since. The current Olympic Equestrian events are dressage, eventing and jumping. These events are both individual and team games. There is no bigotry in terms of gender as both male and female counterparts represent themselves and their countries on a fairground.

Every person who rides a horse is known as a rider or an equestrian. Even if the person is not riding, but he or she has mounted the horse; he or she is a rider or equestrian.

FUN FACT: A female horse is known as a mare.

Essentials for Horse Riding

There might not seem to be many essentials, but there are plenty. Some of these essentials are going to be non-negotiable (Eg Helmet, reins etc.) Essential items necessary for horse riding may be divided into two basic categories :

  • Horse Essentials
  • Rider Essentials

Horse  Essentials

Depending on the type of horse riding – bareback horse riding and regular (with accessories) horse riding, essentials may differ. Also, These essentials vary depending on the event: dressage, eventing etc.

  1. Bareback Horse Riding
  2. Halter and lead ropes
  3. Equine First Aid Kit
  4. Water ( Large Containers)
  5. Feed: Grains, supplements, treats
  6. Bales of Hay
  7. Blanket
  8. Fly Spray
  9. Horse Shoe
  10. Brush
  11. Hoof pick
  12. Comb
  • Normal Horse Riding ( with Accessories)

Most of the essentials are same except the ones listed below

  • Saddle
  • Saddle Blanket
  • Bridle
  • Breastplate
  • Martingale
  • Lunge

Rider Essentials

For the rider too, essentials may vary depending on the event, especially the outfits. But other requirements are listed as under :

  • HELMET SHOULD BE SKIN TO THE RIDER. One may never try riding a horse without a helmet. NEVER.
  • Boots with heels
  • Whip
  • Jodhpur pants
  • Riding Gloves

Basics of Horse Riding

For a beginner, the basics of horse riding is the bible. It is never a bad option to get trained to ride a horse. Self-training with a 2000 pound animal may not be a wise decision.

How to Mount a Horse?

Mounting the horse won’t be a comfortable, fancy looking and heroic task for beginners. So, an essential and yet important tip for a new equestrian is to not be like their favourite hero and jump on to the horse wearing a cape.

It is okay not to be perfect while beginning a new thing. Some essential tips that can be kept in mind while mounting a horse are – Use a stool or an elevated position to Mount the horse, one must not kick the horse while mounting it ( generally, while climbing the horse one tends to kick the horse’s torso which might indicate him to move ). One may ask their trainer or an experienced person to hold the horse.

How to walk on a horse?

When you have mounted the horse, the first thing that you do is to hold the reins. However, in the very beginning, the trainer would walk the horse by holding the bridle. But at a later stage, when you will be walking the horse on your own. You may start him to walk by kicking his torso gently. Some adamant horses might even need a severe kick.

How to turn the horse?

The reins in your hand are the steering wheel of the horse. If you pull the rein to your left side – the horse would turn left and similarly it will turn right.

How to trot a horse?

This is an important stage as this is the stage where you will gain the confidence to ride the horse. It is the stage where you will learn to maintain balance on the horse. Though you are seated on the horse, yet you don’t have to depend on it.

An active horse may begin to trot himself if reins are not adequately held. By kicking a horse on the torso and speaking ‘Woah’ pronounced as ‘WOA’, the horse may accelerate and start to trot. While trotting, one raises and lowers their body while maintaining their body weight and balance on their feet fixed in stirrups.

FUN FACT: It is advised you walk the horse before trotting it .

How to Canter a Horse?

Cantering a horse is a later stage of trot. Generally, after a fast trot, a horse may begin to gallop on their own. But a good rider is the one who controls the movement of the horse and doesn’t move with its flow. However, canter is a must before jumping over an obstacle.

How to Gallop a horse?

Gallop in simple English language means a fast pace. In terms of movement of the horse, it is the last stage of a horse’s movement. It is the movement in which the hoofs (feet) of a horse are off – ground for a moment. If we compare the motions of horses with humans, then gallop is equivalent to a human sprinting a distance. A very trained and experienced equestrian may gallop a horse. It is a very later stage of horse riding.

How to Stop the Horse?

There are two steps to stop a horse- Pull the reins towards you and keep your feet away from the horse’s torso. When we loosen the reins, it indirectly signals the horse to move, and when we kick it, it is a direct signal for the horse to increase the speed if it was already moving or to start moving if he was stationary.

How to dismount a horse?

At an initial stage, a helper would be required to dismount the horse as he will hold the horse for you. First of all, you will free your right foot from the stirrup and then would jump over to your left side and release your right foot. The other way to this is to free both of your feet from the stirrups and jump over to your left side by balancing your weight on your upper body.


FUN FACT : A horse or a mare is mounted and dismounted from their left side .

Common Mistakes as Beginner-Riders

As a beginner, one is bound to make mistakes. Anyway, A man is a puppet in the hands of errors and blunders.

The most frequent mistakes that a new rider is bound to make are :-

  • One might feel uncomfortable wearing a helmet in the beginning as the sizes vary. Try and choose your size efficiently to make use of your helmet later.
  • Bringing the reins in the air. One tends to do this to maintain their balance using reins – if there is a need to maintain balance, then a rider may use a saddle or a firm grip with the help of their knees. Reins is the only means of communication between the rider and the horse – it shouldn’t be misused.
  • Trying to overdo stuff: Learning requires patience. Be patient and kind to the horse.

Some Frequently Asked Questions about Horse Riding

How much time is required to learn horse riding ?

Learning a skill is very personal to the intellect and grasping power of the learner. It depends partially on the trainer and mainly on the leaner. Consistency and hard work is the mantra. Example -I moved to the trot stage on the third day whereas my friend moved to this stage on the tenth day.

Why is it so expensive ?

A horse which is the main element of the sport is an expensive animal. Its accessories are mainly made of leather. Adding up such petite expenses it overall costs a good pocket.

Is it safe for girls to ride a horse ?

Yes, it is entirely safe for girls to ride a horse. In particular, a hymen may break while cycling, stretching, jumping over a fence etc. , one might not think about orthodox and petty things and continue to learn new skills.

I hope this article helped you to seek an overview of the safety, basics and mistakes while learning to ride a horse.

Now, you are requested to unbuckle the seatbelt that you tied in the beginning and grab your riding helmets.

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About the Author

Avneet Kaur

Hey! Im Avneet Kaur. I am a confident and outgoing person and love to read and write. For me, writing about something is reaching out to masses which is a small step to outstand the crowd and be the change which I have wished to pre-exist. :)

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