Horseback Riding

How to ride like a pro

Step One: Groom your horse

Materials needed:

  • mane and tail brush
  • fine curry comb
  • stiff grooming brush
  • hoof pick
(Picture down below). To start off, grab the mane and tail brush. Start combing through your horses mane and tail to get tangles and dried dirt out. Don't worry if you have to tug. Horses don't have any feeling in the areas of their mane and tail.

Next, get the fine curry comb and immediately start rubbing your horses coat in circular motions. This will get dried mud out of your horses fur.

After that, pick up the stiff grooming brush. While the curry comb got rid of the hard, dry, mud, this brush will sweep off any dead hairs or loose sand/dust from the coat. You are now done with grooming your horses coat, mane and tail.

Because this is only before a ride, their is no need to give your horse a bath. Soon following, locate the hoof pick. Sometimes getting your horse to pick up their leg is tricky, but the easiest way is to run your hand along the front of the leg and squeeze the leg as you get closer to the hoof. Once the hoof is picked up, hold the area just above the hoof in one hand, while your other hand uses the tool. Carefully scrape out any dirt, mud, or rocks. Make sure to avoid the frog of the foot! This can hurt your horse.
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Step Two: Tacking up

Materials


  • Bridle
  • Saddle
  • saddle pads
  • Saddle blanket
  • stirrups
  • (Optional) saddle bag
First, you need to get on your horses left side, and place the saddle pad over the back, starting just behind the withers. Slide the pads into a correct position so your horses hair lays flat. After that, place the saddle blanket directly over the pads.

Next comes the saddle. Before you put it on, make sure the stirrup and girth are flipped up over the seat of the saddle. Still standing on the left side, lift the saddle up and place it square on your horses back, and make sure it's centered.

The saddle horn, (what you hold on to other than the reins) should be directly in front of you, not behind you. Going around to the other side, pull down the girth and stirrup. Now back on the left side, hook the stirrup over the horn and reach under your horses belly and pull the girth towards you. Now that it's on your side, pull it through the ring and secure it in a hole that fits the size of your horse. Make sure it's tight. You should just be able to fit your finger underneath it and touch your horses belly.

Now on to the bridle. Sometimes, this can get a little tricky because most horses don't find it comfortable! First, holding the metal mouth piece, slide it into your horses mouth, in between their top and bottom teeth, and resting on their tongue. If you are having trouble getting your horse to keep its mouth open, use your thumb and press on the corner of their mouth.

Immediately after you get the piece in the mouth, slip the rest of the bridle over the ears of your horse. Now attach reins on the rings underneath the mouthpiece, then bring them over the ears and rest them on the saddle horn.

Secure a saddle bag on the horn if you need to carry anything.

Step three: Mounting and Progressing

If you use steps, untie your horse and lead him to the steps.

Mount by putting your left foot in the stirrup and swing your right leg over to the other side. Grab your reins, and secure a saddle bag with a zip-tie to make sure it doesn't fall off and spook your horse.

Now, adjust your stirrups to the correct hole. Whether you have to move them up or down, you should be at most two inches above your seat when you stand up.

Now get your horse moving, and enjoy a fun, safe ride!