The Top 10 Mistakes Most Beginner Riders Make

The Top 10 Mistakes Most Beginner Riders Make

A challenging activity that requires plenty of skill, practice and concentration; horse riding takes years to perfect.

There are many common horse riding mistakes which are easily made by beginners – here are ten for you to avoid next time you get in the saddle.

Beginner Rider

1. Raising your hands

Using your hands to balance is instinctual but it can cause problems if you do it on horseback. Instead, build up your core and follow your horse’s movement with your seat. Hold the reins with light tension that keeps your hands around hip level and your elbows at your side

2.    Tensing your legs

Gripping your horse with your legs as a normal riding stance will tense your muscles and affect the attitude of your horse. Let your leg hang from the hip and avoid digging your heel in.

3.    Slouching

Good posture is one of the first things to learn when horse riding and this means no slouching. By adopting the wrong position in the saddle you could not only make yourself uncomfortable but also affect your balance or that of your horse.

4.    Standing up during a trot

Trying to stand up during a trot can actually cause horse riders to bump around more violently in the saddle, not to mention upset your horse. Keep your lower leg still with knees bent.

5.    Pushing your feet into the stirrups

Your feet should be secure in the stirrups but that doesn’t mean pushing them in with force. Not only will this be uncomfortable but it can also be unsafe. Instead, the ball of your foot should rest in the stirrup with your legs hanging free.

6.    Bringing up your knees

As mentioned above, leg position is a really important part of learning to ride a horse. You want to avoid having your legs too bent so try and relax and avoid bringing your knees up.

7.    Letting the reins slip

Horses may move their heads at any point and if you don’t allow adjustment for this then it could pull the reins from your hands and leave you lacking control.

8.    Holding the reins too tightly

While letting the reins slip is dangerous, so too is clinging onto them for dear life. Holding the reins too tightly will give your horse mixed messages and affect your ride so remember to stay calm, relaxed and in control.

9.    Holding your breath while riding

This may be caused by tension or concentration but it is never something that should be encouraged. If you have trouble with this then try smiling, humming or breathing in rhythm to your horse’s movements.

10.    Watching the horse

It may seem a strange final point but watching your horse while you ride will stop you from keeping an eye on your surroundings. Keep your head up and look ahead to stay safe.

Learning to ride

Whether you are teaching horse riding for beginners or are a novice yourself, it is easy to make mistakes early on – especially when there is so much to get to grips with. Avoid these ten mistakes to improve those first few horse riding lessons.

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