Dealing with animals requires a certain level of expertise and patience, hence horseback riding can be both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. But when done right, this activity can be satisfying, relaxing and therapeutic. Studies have shown a positive impact of horseback riding on psychological and cognitive processes. If you are a newbie, let’s address the most common horseback riding problems that amateurs face and tips from William Schoellkopf on how to overcome them.
The Horse Seems Aggressive Or Unapproachable:
Some horses feel agitated when approached in a straight line. Try walking in a curvature towards the horse. The aim is to make the horse feel your presence. Be sure the horse is facing your way, and avoid direct eye contact. Finally, when in immediacy, establish a rapport by first extending the hand for the horse to smell. Then, gently pet the horse before hopping on it.
Problems Mounting The Horse:
Remember to mount the horse on the left side as they are typically trained to be acceptable to that. If a horse fidgets, allow is to completely settle and find a balance point instead of forcing it to remain still. Distribute your weight evenly by pushing down on its opposite shoulder when mounting, as opposed to having your weight hanging from one side.
Feeling Wobbly Or Insecure When Riding The Horse:
This is most likely because of incorrect positioning and seating alignment. The rule of thumb is that proper riding posture should allow for a straight line to be drawn through the rider’s ear, shoulder, hip and heel. Your shoulders and back should be straight, and the widest part of your feet should be positioned in the stirrup.
The Horse Does Not Stop When You Pull Back On The Reins:
Stopping is a combination of verbal cues, body positioning and rein movement. Start with a “whoa” call, followed by a halt cue of closing your fingers and tugging backward on the reins in conjunction with pushing your seat deeper into the saddle. Horses are highly intelligent, but they are also shy by nature and can spook easily. Successful horse riding is a combination of learning the proper skills as well as the ability to work with the animals effectively.