[Horseback Riding] Basic Steering

** I am starting to take horse riding lesson today, it’s fun and easy. The following are just my notes for the lesson, since I am just a beginner, so they might not be accurate. Please take proper lessons with a real instructor. And please, beware of your safety, never walk behind a horse and always wear a helmet. **

On the first lesson, the instructor started off by having me brush off her horse named Doctor. He’s a huge horse, a little intimating. But I read somewhere that horse can read if your are scare of it, so I pretend I’m okay with it. After brushing the sand, dust and oil off the horse, we lay a mat on the horse back and hook up the saddle. We put on the bridle and the hold reins and off we go.  =D

Walking the Horse

  • Make a loop with reins and hold with left hand when you are left side of the horse
  • Stand right beside the horse’s head so it can see you
  • Make a “lock ‘n load” sound but suck in and start walking forward, pull the reins lightly
  • The horse would walk with you, if you turn, it will follow
  • If you walk in front of the horse, it would stop walking because it can’t see you

Riding the Horse at Rest

  • Make sure you sit on the saddle straight and tall
  • Your leg should spread straight out away from the horse’s body
  • Put some of your weight onto the loop where your feet rest
  • Hold the two reins, one on each hand
  • Make sure to leave some length so the horse can turn its head

Going Forward

  • Make sure you are not pulling the reins
  • Make the suck-in “Lock ‘n Load” sound
  • Use the side of your shoe to rub against the horse’s side
  • Horse should move forward
  • Try to go with the horse’s motion and “riding” it

Turning to Direction

  • If you want to turn left, pull on the left rein
  • If you want to turn right, pull on the right rein
  • The horse’s head usually aim at where it is going
  • As soon as the horse responded, “reward” it by letting the reins loose

Sharp Turn

  • Pull on the rein of the respective direction you are trying to head
  • On the opposite side, place/push your leg at the side of the horse’s leg
  • That prevent the horse from “using that leg” and result in a sharper turn
  • Example: pull on left rein, leg push on the right to do a sharp left turn

Stopping

  • Make a “Huuuuuuuuu” sound
  • Pull the reins back toward yourself
  • The horse would stop moving

General Information about Horses

  • Treat them well, and they treat you well
  • Look at it, you can see expressions in its eyes
  • Communicate with the horse by touching it
  • Reward it after rides by brushing its sweat off
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