Horses are fantastic creatures, offering us the chance to embark on many magical adventures! However, learning to ride a horse can seem intimidating; there’s a lot to learn, and the consequences can be serious if a horse is handled incorrectly. The process of learning to ride can actually be a wonderfully rewarding activity! That’s why here at The Insurance Emporium, we’ve put together five tips for learning to ride a horse. We’re not promising you’ll become the next Charlotte Dujardin, but it could help you to a great start to your new favourite hobby!
1. Learn from the expert
Whilst there are a number of skills you might be able to pick up and teach yourself, riding isn’t one of them! It’s important to find an instructor you can connect with – it might be important that you feel comfortable and secure, and able to ask questions or raise concerns when you need to. A good instructor could also catch any bad habits early and prevent them from developing!
2. More than riding
It may sound counter-intuitive, but learning to ride a horse is more than just learning to ride! Learning to catch your horse from the field, leading them safely, and tying them up correctly are all important skills. You could also gain experience of grooming your horse before a ride as well as tacking up. Practicing these skills on the ground might help to make you a more of a well-rounded rider.
3. Enjoy the process
It sounds like a cliché, but riding really is a journey! When you begin, you might be using muscles you’ve previously ignored, and your body could really ache the day after! As you gain strength and flexibility, the physical exercise will become easier. However, you might still have days where your mind goes blank, and you have no idea how to trot, let alone perform that perfect paso doble! It could all depend on your mindset that day, and, perhaps most importantly, the mood of your horse!
4. Celebrate your progress
Once you have the basics down, you’ll be amazed at how you can progress with perseverance and passion. There are so many routes to take – perhaps you specialise in show jumping, and enjoy the thrill of competition. You could have the chance to enter graded BHS riding exams, and begin a proven record of progress. Discover a desire for dressage, or be called to cross country; there are endless directions in which horse riding can take you!
5. Don’t dump and dash!
Being a good rider doesn’t end with the dismount! Just as it was your responsibility to care for your horse before the ride, you should reward them afterwards. Learn how to untack and cool off your horse – they will appreciate a brief brush before being left to their hay, but if you’ve been working hard or the weather is scorching, they also might need hosing down. A suitable, healthy treat could also go down really well!
It’s never too late to learn a new skill, and horse riding could be a great pastime to take up. Riding might improve fitness, balance and agility, as well as giving you the opportunity to develop a bond with some truly remarkable animals. You might want to take out cover for yourself when starting your adventure, The Insurance Emporium offer up to 30% discount* on Horse Insurance. Why not take a ride to The Insurance Emporium to find out more?
* The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-horse Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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