I know…this blog is about my dogs, shelter dogs and dog stuff in general but I thought I would change the subject a little this morning!

When I was growing up in Liberal, Kansas; my parents raised Thoroughbred Horses. 

They raced mostly in Raton, New Mexico and Denver, Colorado. 

A Thoroughbred is considered a “hot-blooded” horse that is known for their agility, speed and spirit. 

It was fun growing up with race horses!  I have many wonderful memories but I’ll save that for another time. 

 

Horses, Horse Portrait

Horses by Adrian Parnham (Flickr.com)

I thought I might talk about staying safe in the saddle today. 

 

Horses

Horses—Moyan Brenn (Flickr.com)

Riding horses can be an exhilarating experience that will challenge your mind and your body. If you’ve never ridden before, it may take a while to develop your riding skills. Here are some tips that will make your riding experience safe and fun.

Horse riding

If you’re a beginner, safety should be your major concern. Horses are large, strong animals that can hurt you even if they don’t mean to. We’ve all heard stories from family and friends about a bad riding experience, some involving injuries. Whether you’re taking riding lessons or braving the trail on your own, it’s important to learn riding basics to stay safe.

Wear Proper Clothing

* Wear jeans or long pants with a good fit
* Do not wear shorts or Capri pants that will expose your skin to rubbing and chaffing
* Wear sturdy boots with at least a 1-inch flat heel to keep your feet from sliding in the stirrups
* If you don’t have boots, sneakers will do but don’t offer as much protection
* Do not wear shoes with open toes
* Wear a horse riding helmet for protection

Learn Proper Riding Techniques

Greet Your Horse

When you meet your horse, offer the back of your hand for him to smell. This is referred to as a horseman’s handshake because it’s what horses do when they meet each other. This simple greeting may seem silly, but it will gain you points with your horse. When choosing a horse, look for a gentle horse who looks healthy and saddled with proper equipment from a farm supply store.

Look Where You’re Going

Horses are very intuitive animals. They feel the slightest movements from a rider and have an uncanny ability to read a rider’s intentions. To guide your horse and stay safe, always look where you’re going. Hold your head up and use your legs and reins to guide your horse. Look out for large obstacles, trees and shrubs, and horse fencing in your path.

Develop Good Balance

You need good balance while the horse is moving. Sit squarely in the saddle and try to move your body with the horse’s movements. Relax and sit back slightly with a straight back. This will keep you safer if the horse stops suddenly. Keep the ball of your foot on the stirrups and hold the reins loosely. Relax and breathe while you’re riding, so the horse doesn’t sense your tension.

Filed under: All About Animals

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