A few months ago, I was introduced to horseback riding by a dear friend. I attended about three riding sessions and had a great time. It was always interesting to watch others ride a horse and the experience of riding one yourself is something else. Horses are smart, they understand human intent. They can also be a bit sassy by making you work your commands. There is a lot to learn as a beginner, but that comes with anything you’re interested in.
Something I realized is many brands reference a horse in their logo. Hermes, Ferrari, Porsche, Coach, Ralph Lauren, and so on. Horses, as a symbol, represent positive traits; not limited to wealth, success, majesty, strength, and traits different cultures referenced throughout history.
There is a whole fashion house with horseback riding. As a beginner, I stick to the basics: long sleeve top, jeans or leggings, and short-heeled booties. For safety purposes, there are appropriate horseback riding helmets.
Every horse has a different personality. Some are easier to work with than others. It’s best to choose the right horse for your size. Since I’m on the shorter end, a smaller horse was better suited for me. While prepping for the ride, I learned to brush the horse’s short fur. Their coat is thick, so be sure to brush out all the knots and dirt. Putting a harness on a horse can be a messy business when you have to slip the mouthpiece into the horse. Good thing they’re on a vegetarian diet!
I also learned there are different types of saddles. English tends to be what the experienced use, while Western is better suited for beginners. I’ve only used the Western saddle and they’re interesting to put on. Layering the horse with a mat, placing the saddle, and tying it down with a specific loop. I never learned how to type the loop, but had help every time.
You’re likely going to ride on a trained horse, who is familiar with your gestures and commands. I’ve ridden on Mario and Roxie, and found Roxie being more receptive to actions. Both were great for regular walks, but trotting takes a bit more work for the former. You definitely don’t want to bounce, so you’ll need to practice flowing with the horse’s steps.
Going through regular walks on a horse is relaxing! At the same time, it’s a workout for your lower body. There is a learning curve with properly holding the reins. I found horses liking to pull, making my hand hit the saddle horn many times. Although I feel a bit bad, the key is to control the rein so they don’t take advantage of you. Sometimes, they can attract flies, so better to not keep them stationary for so long.
In the end, horseback riding is a fun experience. Even though I’ve done it a few times, there is still a lot for me to learn in the future. You can do this on your own, or with some friends. Although there is a lot of maintenance with properly managing a horse and ensuring their wellbeing, they’re great and worthwhile animals.
If you ever have the chance, look up some local horseback riding opportunities!
PS. My giveaway is live!