This article is intended for those who have already made a fundamental decision on how to learn to ride a horse, and have chosen a place to study.
Usually, in beginner riding schools, beginners can choose either individual or group lessons. Some starter schools offer only one-to-one lessons. Both of these approaches give results and have a right to exist. But, if you have a choice, we still recommend taking the first few lessons on an individual basis.
Schedule your first lesson at a time when you can definitely come to the stable a bit in advance. If this is a group lesson, you may not be allowed to attend a lesson for more than five minutes. Try to arrive at the place 15 minutes before the start of the lesson.
What to wear
Most riding schools provide helmets for students. If the school of your choice does not have such a practice, it is better to borrow a helmet or rent it - if you do not like classes, you will not spend money on an unnecessary purchase.
Wear long trousers and closed-toe pumps with small heels. Never wear sandals, slippers, or crocuses. As the upper part of the outfit, a long-sleeved T-shirt is most suitable. If it happens in winter, remember that horseback riding is a very active activity, and in addition to this, you are sitting on a powerful heater. The rule is this: when you ride a horse, you should be a little cold. Therefore, it is worth making a choice in favor of several layers of clothing that are easily removable.
Remove all jewelry (exceptions may be simple, tight-fitting wedding rings and stud earrings). Riding jewelry sometimes leads to very unpleasant injuries.
If you have long hair, collect it in a ponytail. Some riders take their hair under a special net - this is convenient and looks neat.
Do not spend money on expensive clothes and accessories until you are sure that you have taken up horse riding seriously and for a long time.
How to prepare for the lesson?
First of all, do not eat at least an hour before class. It is best to eat after class, otherwise study will be hard for you. In no case do not drink alcohol! Your reaction will be disturbed.
As we wrote above, try to arrive at the place 15 minutes before the start of the lesson. In some schools, first they talk about various practical points before the lesson, be prepared for this.
Perhaps you have already chosen a horse for training, or the instructor makes the decision - this happens differently in different schools. Most often, beginners are provided with horses of a suitable size and not of their first youth - over 12 years old. Some horses are used for training beginners at the age of 30!
Listen carefully to the instructor. Follow its directions exactly!
Do not run in the aisles of the stable and in any case do not smoke in the stable itself or near it. Hay dust is a highly flammable substance, and any fire nearby presents a serious risk of fire.
Horses and safety
During the lesson you will interact with large animals. Horses weigh between 250 (ponies) and 800 (heavy trucks) kilograms. The instructor will teach you the basics of safety, but if you know something in advance, it certainly won’t hurt.
- Horses do not see what is happening behind, and there is a “white spot” right in front of their nose in their field of vision. It is not recommended to approach the horse from behind. If this cannot be avoided in any way, stay as close as possible to the horse’s croup, hold your hand on it and talk to it so that it does not forget that there is a person behind. If you stand as close to the hoof as possible, then even if the horse kicks you, the blow will be from the foot, and not from the hoof. It is best to approach the horse from the side.
- As we wrote above, do not wear open-toed shoes, sandals or crocans for horse riding. You can’t also ride barefoot, as there is a big risk that the horse will step on your foot.
- Do not run or scream near the horses. Horses love calm smooth movements. Research has proven that horses respond to negative emotions. They even hear the heartbeat of a rider!
- Do not let small children run and scream near the horse - it may not notice the child, and this will lead to serious injury.
The most important thing
Enjoy it! Riding is a great pastime, and the contact that occurs between the horse and the rider is difficult to compare with anything. Yes, you may have muscle soreness after the first few sessions, but it goes away quickly. The same applies to the fear of riding.
Bring goodies with you. Most horses love carrots.