Horses are intelligent creatures. They are not like machines which you can just start by keying in and flooring the accelerator. Just like humans, they have varying moods and personalities. Some are amiable and trust easily; others need extra effort for rapport to be established. While most equestrians have memorable and joyous first-time ride with their equine companion, others do not share the similar sentiment.
For newbies, it is very hard to tell what to do, especially when things seem to be out of control and that they have begun panicking. That is why it is very important to bear these advices in mind before you begin to attempt to ride for the first time, and to simulate the entire riding experience in mind many times before you attempt to do so.
Don’t Be Intimidating
If it’s going to be your first time meeting your horse, or any other horse for that matter, then you have to make sure that you do not start off with the wrong foot, even while having your horse riding lessons. Horses are not machines, and therefore have their feelings. If you come out as too aggressive when approaching your equine companion, chances are that it would be intimidated, and apprehensive. Make sure that you do not approach your equine friend in a straightforward manner; try going in an arc, and making sure that it notices you even from a distance. Then try to make skin contact with the horse, or offer your hand to be smelled by the horse. It won’t bite – hopefully!
Proper Body Positioning
Most newbies have issue with this, due to well, their lack of experience. If you’re having a lot of discomfort while riding, the most probable reason is that your body is not aligned properly. The correct body positioning and seating alignment is: your back and shoulders must be straight, and a straight line can be drawn from points in your body starting from the ear, shoulder, centre of your hip, and heel. Also, your feet should be properly secured in the stirrups, while your hands hold tightly on the reins.
Know the Proper Commands
It is expected that you are already aware of how to signal your horse to walk, trot, canter, and stop before you even attempt to ride atop your equine companion. However, things can be very different once you’re already holding the reins. Knowing it by theory is one thing; experiencing it fully is another. And should your horse seem to be out of control, make sure that you know how to execute the “stop” signal properly at least. Your “whoa” call should at least be very audible, followed by a firm backward pull on the reins, and complemented by a deeper seating on the saddle.
But if these were not enough, you can try the emergency stop sign. With both hands grasping tightly on the reins, pull it on one side – either to the left or right – sufficiently enough to make the horse turn to your desired side. That should be enough to slow him down. But remember, you should only do this during times of emergency.