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SafeStallion - Common Beginner Horse Riding Mistakes

SafeStallion - Common Beginner Horse Riding Mistakes

Being new to riding and pretty much every thing you try, you are guaranteed to make mistakes because of your lack of experience. While mistakes are not bad, they can be beneficial if you can identify them and make up a solution. Wihtout any further delay, there are some of the most common mistakes beginner horse riders make.

  • Hands in the Air

    • It is instinctual for us to use our hands and arms to balance us when we start to feel insecure. Beginner riders often end up with their hands way up in the air, sometimes at shoulder height. This leaves the reins much to long, and the rider then has no control of the horse. Or, the rider allows the reins to slide through their hands and lifts their hands to make contact, rather than shortening the reins.
  • Gripping Tightly With Your Legs
    • Riding is more about balance than grip. Your muscles will be active, without being tense, and you don't want to be a clothespin on your horse's back. Clenching with your upper or lower leg or both is tiring and may be understood by your horse as a cue to move forward. Clenching and gripping will make your body tense, which can affect your horse's attitude.
  • Standing Tippy Toe
    • This often happens when riders first learn to post the trot. Trying to lift yourself out of the saddle by rocking up (usually hunching the shoulders and trying to 'hop' out of the saddle) and standing on your tip toes will likely have you behind the rhythm of the trot and double bouncing heavily in the saddle. Your hands may go up as you try to counterbalance yourself. This leads to a grumpy horse and an unbalanced, uncomfortable rider.
  • Ramming Your Feet Into the Stirrups
    • Having your feet rammed too far into the stirrups is uncomfortable, and can be dangerous if you're not using safety stirrups or wearing proper boots.
  • Slouching
    • Whether we're embarrassed about our height, apprehensive about riding or trying to imitate hunched over cowboys we see in movies, slouching is a common mistake. Some nervous riders appear to want to curl into the fetal position as they ride. However, it's hard to control a horse while hunched, and your balance will be affected. Anything that affects our balance also affects our horse's ability to do its job well.
As stated before, while mistakes are not bad, you have to learn from every situation and mistake you make and take actions towards fixing. Thank you for reading and see you in the next one!

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