How to mount and ride a horse
Riding a horse can be a wonderful experience. Sadly, many first time riders do not know how to properly mount and ride a horse. Read on to learn how to make your ride an enjoyable experience – for you and the horse.
1.) Stand on the left side of the horse. You may wish to use a stepstool. Grab the saddle horn, place your left foot in the left stirrup, and swing your right leg up and over the horse, into the right stirrup.
2.) Slightly bend your knees and sit up straight. There should be a straight line between your head, shoulder, hip, and heel. Turn your toes outward, and remember not to slouch! Slouching hurts the horse – and you!
3.) Hold the reins with your dominant hand. Make a fist, and hold them so they make a loop at the top. Let the reins slack – but not too much. You don’t want to hurt the horse’s mouth, but you want it to be fairly easy to turn him.
4.) Kick your horse gently with your heels. Pull the reigns right to turn right, and pull the reins left to turn left. Pull back to stop your horse or back up.
Here are some more helpful tips when riding. Lean back when you go downhill, and lean forward when you go uphill. It helps to keep the horse balanced. Be sure to pet your horse and tell him he’s a good boy. (Or girl) If he tries to eat stuff on the ride, just pull straight up (Not back) on the reins.
Obey the wranglers and your guide. They know the horses better than you do! Don’t try to go faster than a walk or slow trot, especially if you are a first time rider. Be sure to tell your guide or wrangler if you have any questions or concerns. They’re there to help you!