Whether you have tried horseback riding or not, your first time on a horse can be an intimidating event. It’s an experience that introduces you to the fun of the sport, as well as the enjoyment of bonding with an animal. Before you saddle up, there are a few steps to keep in mind to ensure that your first ride on a horse goes safely and smoothly.
Get to Know Your Horse
The first step you should take is to introduce yourself to the horse you’ll be riding. This is what’s known as the “horseman’s handshake.” Offer your hand to the horse, so they can smell it; that way, they’ll be familiar with you on the hop on.
Always Wear the Right Gear
One of the biggest mistakes a first-time ride can make is not wearing the right gear and equipment. You should always wear long pants that can cover your legs and the proper footwear to be able to get up onto the horse. Close-toed shoes are preferred, but it’s important to ask your instructor for specific shoes that are meant for horseback riding.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Once you start riding, there’s a lot to take in. Being nervous is very common when you go horseback riding for the first time. You’ll be traveling at a faster speed, and the horse will be responsive to your movements. Don’t let these things get in your head or distract you because the horse is also relying on you for comfort and mobility. You never want to tense up because the horse may react to your emotions.
Always remember to take your first ride slow. If you’re looking to get into horseback riding or riding horses for leisure, get acquainted with horses. Take the process slow, so if you don’t feel comfortable with it, you can learn to get used to it.
At Silver Spur Outfitters & Lodge, we have summer pack trips at our lodge in Dixie, Idaho that include exploring the backcountry on a wilderness pack trip on horseback. If you’re looking to explore the backcountry in Idaho and get used to riding on a horse, contact Silver Spur Outfitters & Lodge at 208-842-2417 today or visit us online for more information.