If you are just learning how to ride a horse or even if you have been riding for a while, you might be wondering what steps you can take to improve your technique and move to the next level. Read on for some tips and tricks.
It might seem a little strange to improve your horseback riding while standing on the ground, but groundwork actually improves the communication between you and your horse and establishes respect and personal space. Work on training your horse to stand still, respond to pressure, walk in a circle and follow a lead.
You will have more difficulty learning to ride well if you fail to practice. Ride as often as you can, but don’t be sloppy about it. Practice specific exercises to improve your hand position, your seat, your control, your pattern of pressure and release and your jumps. Pay close attention to your body language, too, because your horse certainly is.
As part of your training, learn as much as you can about horses and riding. Study horse anatomy, for instance, and the mechanics of riding. Read about everything from the relationship between a horse’s eyesight and horse jump colors to how to post a trot. The more you know, the more you will understand your horse, your technique and your riding goals and pleasures.
Finally, don’t rely on your own judgment about your riding. Get advice from experienced riders and teachers. Take some lessons, for instance, or at the very least, have another rider watch you to critique your technique. Accept that feedback gracefully (even if it is negative), and use it to improve your riding. You can also learn a lot simply by talking to other riders and asking them if they have any favorite tips they can share with you.
Horseback riding is a skill and a pleasure that you can enjoy for many years to come, so learn well now.