Horse riding is good fun, and a very healthy sport for all ages to take part in, but it should always be kept in mind that riding can be a dangerous activity. So with this in mind I have written these few tips on safety and horsemanship to help you enjoy your sport.
If you are new to riding then you should definitely take some lessons from a good qualified instructor first. Your instructor will teach you all the basics about horse riding and will advise you on all the relevant safety measures that you should take when around horses.
Although this is very basic information you should still follow these rules at all times. Never ever walk around behind a horse. When a horse can hear something behind it and can only barely see some movement, out of fear many horses will kick out, it should be remembered that a kick from a horse can cause serious injury and may even prove fatal!!
Next, wear a suitable riding hat or helmet, there is no fun in landing on your head when you have been thrown or fallen from a horse. Also you should wear appropriate foot ware, riding boots if possible these will help you to keep your feet in their stirrups.
Riding solo is not to be recommended, if you fell and were injured you could be in serious trouble before you were found. Even if you are an experienced rider on a calm intelligent animal and were going into the forest to ride alone you should still tell someone what route you are taking and when you expect to return.
How you handle the reins is crucial to controlling your horse and keeping good balance. Keep your hands low just above the front of the saddle this will help to keep your centre of gravity low and help you to be stable in the saddle.
Now if you have a healthy well adjusted animal to ride, within reason there are few boundaries on what you and your horse can do. Whether you wish to walk, trot, canter or gallop the only barrier is the skill of the rider.
The most important safety skill of riding is being able to stop your horse where and whenever you want. If you have maintained the correct hand position and grip on the reins while riding it should be relatively easy to stop your horse, just pulling your hands back firmly will pull the horse’s head down and bring him to a halt.
Directing a horse is also easy if they are given the proper signals. If you wish to turn to the right just pull back on the right reins and apply pressure to the horses belly with your right boot, and for turning left do exactly the same with the left reins and boot.