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If you want to learn to ride a horse, there are a few things you should know before you begin. Horses can be wonderful animals to interact with if you know how to approach them. Try to find a riding school with a good reputation to learn your riding skills. They will be sure you are riding a hose suited to your skills. If this is not possible these tips will help you have a good riding experience with your horse.
You will need to wear good boots or shoes with heels and smooth soles when you ride. Take some time before mounting your horse to groom it and lead it around so the horse can get accustom to being around you. Remember to never approach your horse from the rear. This can startle him and you quite probably will get kicked. When you mount your horse, always mount from the horses left side. Standing beside the horses shoulder, facing its rear end grab both reins and a lock of mane in your left hand. Do not pull the mane. Hold it gently but firmly. Using your right hand, turn the stirrup iron toward you and insert the tip of your left foot. Reach up with your right hand and grasp the saddle horn and using your right foot spring upward and throw your right leg across the saddle. Your first attempts to mount a horse may be difficult. But continue practicing until you can get into the saddle smoothly and feel comfortable with your mount. While you are practicing, be sure to reassure your horse by softly talking to it and rubbing its neck.
Once you are seated comfortably in the saddle you will use your hands, legs and voice to control the horse. To get your horse to move forward, gently pull back on the reins to get his attention and then allow some slack. Shake the reins gently and make a clicking noise with your mouth. Once the horse begins to move forward you will want to hold the reins firmly, but not too tight. If there is too much slack the horse may think he is suppose to run and if you tighten the reins too much he will think you want him to stop. When you want to turn right or left, move your hand horizontally to the right or left until the rein touches the horses neck. While doing this you should apply pressure with the right or left leg.
While you are walking on the horse try to keep your body vertical and allow your hands to be pulled naturally by the action of the horses neck. When you want the horse to go faster gently kick the horses side with your feet while making a clicking sound with your mouth. Be sure to keep a relaxed but firm grip on the reins. When the horse begins to trot you will find yourself bouncing in the saddle. To correct this relax your lower back and leg muscles and push down into the saddle with each downward movement of the horse. When you are ready to stop your horse or slow its pace simply pull back slightly on the reins until you have reached the desired speed.
When riding a horse it is very important that you become familiar with the parts of the saddle and bridle before you ride. A bridle consist of the leather straps over a horses head that contain a mouth piece for controlling the animal. The reins are attached to this mouth piece and long enough to reach the riders hands. The stirrups are attached to the saddle and hang down on the sides for mounting. The saddle horn is a good size piece of leather that is used for gripping and sits on the front of the saddle.