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  A Newbie’s Guide to Riding Errors
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A Newbie’s Guide to Riding Errors

If you are a horseback riding newbie, you are more than likely vulnerable to committing common mistakes and consequently, may hurt yourself. Horse riding can be a romantic and cowboy/girl-ish adventure that you want to be in while you are on your horseback riding vacation; nevertheless, you want your vacation to be safe as well. There are common mistakes that newbies often indulge into. If you are new to riding, take a look at the following newbie’s guide to riding errors.

1. You must have appropriate riding clothes on. You should know what are the appropriate clothes to wear on a horseback ride. Clothing for the beach or summer gateway would not work on a horseback vacation. Loose shirts and shorts are to be avoided; you have to wear long pants and normal shirts.

2. You must wear boots. You cannot wear open toed shoes, sneakers, sandals or flip-flops while riding a horse; ideally, you should wear cowboy boots that are high heeled with the upper parts extended almost up to the knees. If you cannot get one of those boots, at least wear shoes that have heels.

3. Wearing a helmet is mandatory. As a newbie, you cannot avoid wearing a helmet; in case of a downfall, you may get seriously injured. Accidents happen, even to the most safety conscious rider. Helmets are effective eighty percent of the time in preventing injuries on horseback; however, bike riding helmets are not recommended.

4. Reins are to be held correctly. You must know how to hold the reins as you must know how to hold the steering wheel when you drive a car. The horse follows the reins, thus holding and moving the reins should be as per the rules. You make a mistake with the reins, and you could be on the ground.

5. Hysteria on horseback must be avoided. The first few times, horse riding can be a frustrating experience. If you fail to communicate with the animal properly, things will go wrong. Don’t get upset during such an occasion and start yelling; it may confuse the horse. However, if you yell with proper expression, they may understand.

6. Do not distract the horse. Distracting the horse could be dangerous; you are supposed to connect with nature while you ride a horse. The ringing of a cell phone, slamming noise of a backpack, or flapping wind by a raincoat may scare your horse and could in turn lead to an uncomfortable, or even dangerous, situation.

7. Do not disrespect your guide. This is the most important rule for the newbies. Whether your guide is a cowboy or a wrangler, always listen to him. It is his job to ensure a safe riding environment for you and there is a reason he is experienced enough to command you. Do not overtake your guide or you will lose his guidance.

The above-mentioned errors are not the only ones that can ruin your horse riding vacation. You must listen carefully to your guide at the barn before you climb up on the horseback and make sure that you have a memorable, fun experience horseback riding.

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  1. HorseDiva
    I'm a newbie, thanks for that! Voted!
  2. mered30
    If you do start to fall off the tuck and roll technique works for pretty much every fall.
    1. jst4horses
      I too like tuck and roll, but I learned from Pat Parelli, that it is always better to GET off before you get thrown off. Too many people tell you to stay on, if you know that is not going to happen, GET OFF. I make sure all of my students can get off at a walk, trot, canter and dead run before they are out on their own. Yes, if your feet get to the ground tuck and roll works, but making sure your head does NOT get to the ground is something I learned from bronc riders in rodeo. Watch them. They slide down the leg, and push away from the horse. I once was re-training a very badly abused horse and another trainer came by and said, you must have gotten thrown 60 times, but it isn't so much like thrown, its more like a snake sliding down his leg, and I have to hand it to you, you keep getting back up. That horse turned into one of my best therapy horses for thirteen years before he died. Just be safe. If you feel unsafe, just get down, make the horse do circles, turn around and walk away fast, and drag him along and go lounge him.........so he does not think he won, and he starts to like you up, as Dave Ellis says, he does not want to deal with what happens when he throws you off.........its boring, or dusty, and he knows you are not happy...........if you have done your join up or partnering up work, the horse will not want you to be not happy.

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