We believe that above all, Children are more precious than anything. And giving a child who has "horse-dreams" the opportunity to pursue those dreams, while building lifelong memories is our dream.
Helping make those dreams come true we are sponsored by Henderson Pest Elimination,
Helpful Tips for new riders
1. Wear appropriate attire: It might be obvious, but regardless of your preferred style of riding (Western vs. English riding), you don’t want to show up wearing a miniskirt, shorts, or beach sandals. Long pants and proper footwear are essential for horse riding. Any close-toed shoes might do the job, but it would be ideal if you have a pair of a low heeled boot (no more than 1-1.5 inches) to avoid your feet from slipping through the stirrups. Don’t wear scarves, purses or any other accessory that could get tangled in the horse, the saddle or even a tree. Lastly, to be completely safe, it is recommended to always wear a helmet to protect your head (you know, just in case).
2. Great your horse: Keep in mind that your horse is a living creature, not a vehicle that you can control at your will. The horse could also be nervous, tired or even scared to have someone new riding her. Therefore, to establish a good relationship since the beginning, greet your horse when you’re introduced to her at the stables. To greet your horse, extend your arm and offer the back of your hand to her to smell and wait until she touches it with her nose. This simple action is called the “horseman’s handshake” and you could interpret it as a way to ask her for permission to mount her. Having a slice of apple for her, just to help her remember you.
3. Mount with confidence: animals often confuse fear with anger and when the horse senses your fear she may think you are a threat to her. Remember you will be riding a horse which is well trained and actually loves to be rode. If you’re nervous, the horse can feel it and she might become uneasy too. At the stables you’ll find that the horses are typically trained to be mounted on the left side. Most possibly, your guide will be holding your horse’s head while you’re mounting, but if that’s not the case, ask someone to do it so she doesn’t move while you get on him. Lift your left foot into the stirrup, hold both reins with your left hand and propel yourself up with your right leg trying to mount as smoothly as possible. Don’t push the horse down with your arms, this could hurt her; you can put your hands on her back but just for balance.
4. Maintain good posture, don’t slouch: The best position to keep control of your horse is to sit up straight and tall, relax your back, hold the reins gently, set a foot in each stirrup, and hold your balance to not make your horse feel like she’s carrying a heavier load.
5. Be gentle with the reigns, remember this is a well trained horse: Your riding technique might depend on which style you’re learning, English or Western. In English riding, you take a rein in each hand, while in Western riding you grab both reins in one hand. Whichever you choose, relax your arms and never pull too hard or you might hurt your horse. There’s rarely a good reason to lift the reins above your shoulder level, your arms should normally form right angles at the elbow. To direct your horse to the left, move the left rein towards the left in a motion like opening a door. If you want to steer to the right, just do the same with the right rein. Stop by gently pulling back and pushing the heels down.
6. Use your legs to hold on, don’t grip the saddle with your hands: Western style saddles have a saddle horn in your saddle which you can hold on to – but you should not count on the saddle horn to keep your balance. If you feel unstable, try adjusting your posture, extending your legs or holding the reins more gently, but the saddle horn should not be used for that. If you make it a habit to hold the saddle horn, when there’s an unexpected situation along the way, this is a much more ineffective position to keep your balance and you’ll be more likely to fall. That’s why you should never get used to holding onto the saddle horn even though you’re just walking. It’s better to learn properly from the start than developing bad habits that could hurt you in the long run. English style saddles are usually not equipped with saddle horns but you should also avoid holding the front of the saddle for balance.
7. Pay attention, as you are guiding the horse, keep your eyes on the trail, or your area of travel such as the arena or such: Don’t fix your gaze on your horse while you ride. As beautiful as she is, you must always keep your eyes on where you want to go. Staring at your horse would be the equivalent of paying attention to the hood of your car while ignoring the road ahead (you surely wouldn’t want to be in a car with such a driver). It is said that you should look ahead through the horse’s ears. But as long as you keep sight of the path while holding a straight posture, that should be enough to have a safe ride.
8. Stay calm and move your body to the rhythm of your horse. Feel the way she is walking and let her rock you from side to side without resisting. If you’re too tense, you might bounce, get thrown off balance and cause some discomfort in your back. Let the horse be. And this doesn’t mean that you can let him do whatever she wants, but you can play the role of a leader, not the one of a dictator.
9. Most horses have four gaits: walk, trot, canter, and gallop. As you might have deduced galloping is out of the question when you’ve just started with horse riding. The walk is the steadiest gait and that could very well be the fastest you go the first time. It’s not worth it putting your safety at risk just for the sake of impressing someone (besides, a broken arm, if you fall, is not as impressive as it was in high school). You can probably start trotting at one point, but anything faster might not be the wisest decision as a newbie.
10. Dismount with confidence: Whoa! Once you’re ready to dismount, make sure your horse is still and it’s much better if someone holds the horse while you do so. Get both feet out of the stirrups, lean forward, swing your right leg over the horse, and jump off. Just as when you mounted, try to do it as smoothly as you can. Thank your horse, give him some water and embrace the feeling of having come back safe. You most possibly won’t be able to wait much longer to get on a horse again!
11. Be courteous to others: Even if you were born riding a horse don’t show off. Everyone has to start somewhere and showing off is not only rude to others who really want to learn, but it’s also dangerous and might result in your being banned from The Leadership Horse Club.
Remember its our intent that everyone has fun and learns great leadership skills. Leaders don’t show off !
We will be holding activities and meetings soon. At each activity there will be a registration which is required so that we can book the right number of trainers and horses. And also snacks will be provided for after the lessons, the next meeting / activity will include sodas and a Belgian treat, Chocolate sandwiches made with Nutella and a few other varieties.
Apples will be provided as treats to the horses, remember NEVER give chocolates to any animal.
Sign up for healthy living tips and hear about upcoming workshops.