Learning how to ride a horse should be on everyone’s bucket list. When you know how to ride a horse, you have achieved a major skill. Riding horses can boost your confidence when you realize that you are now able to control an animal that weighs more than 1,000 pounds. Learning how to ride a horse is about more than just sitting on a horse, kicking your heels, and hollering, “Giddy up!” While no article can replace qualified instructions on a real horse, keeping these things in mind can make your first riding lessons go more smoothly.
First, attend a riding class taught by a qualified and knowledgeable instructor. It is so much easier to learn from a professional who has experience teaching than to just try and pick it up from a friend with an extra horse.
Second, understand that you probably will not get your mount correct the first time you try to learn how to ride a horse. It will likely take you several attempts when you are learning how to ride a horse. That is okay. All first time riders experience this. There is a learning curve to swinging your leg high and over a horse.
Third, know that your teacher will insist you master the slow walk before they even think about letting you gallop across the pasture. This is for the safety of both you and the horse. If you can’t learn to steer a horse at a slow walk, you certainly will not be able to do it at a gallop. The speed of your horse progresses from a slow walk, to a walk, onto a cantor, then to a gallop. It can take several weeks or months to develop the skills and relationship with your horse to move from one speed to the next.
Finally, remember that this is supposed to be fun. Very few people learn how to ride a horse for fame or fortune. If you always keep sight of why you wanted to learn how to ride a horse, then the experience will hold more meaning for you and provide many hours of relaxation and fun.