Horse Riding Tips - Safety

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned rider, there are many horse riding tips everyone should keep in mind. When coaching students, safety is always of prime consideration. Accidents occur both in the stable and while riding but, by following some safety tips, your time with your horse will be much happier.

There are many elements to consider when making an outing with a horse as safe as possible. The most important horse riding tip is to be sure the horse and rider are a good match. If you are going to ride a horse you have not ridden before, you must be certain that your level of experience is appropriate to the temperament and training of the horse. Otherwise, communication between the two of you will be muddled and the possibility of an accident heightened. Even with a good pairing, the rider needs to be horse savvy. There are many lines of communication between the horse and rider. Your voice, hands, seat, and legs are all methods of letting the horse know your wishes. The horse uses his body language, expression, and responsiveness to let you know if the communications are being understood.

Another important horse riding tip is to plan to have a safe ride. You should always be properly attired, including wearing a good boot with heel and a helmet that fits. Often people ignore the helmet because of discomforts, such as headaches from improper sizing, but helmets should never be an optional piece of riding equipment. Also, be certain that your tack is in proper order with no frayed stitching or cracked leather. Size is just as important for the horse as it is for the rider so check that it does not pinch the horse's back. Finally, consider where you plan to ride. If you are riding in an arena, the environment is much more controlled. Your horse is not as likely to step in a hole or trip as he would on a trail over uneven ground. When riding out, whether in a field or along a trail, always ride with someone. Never go out alone and be certain that someone at the stable is aware of your plans.

Once the ride is underway, continue to keep safety in the forefront of your mind. As you ride, give space to other riders. In the arena, if overtaking someone, let the rider ahead of you know of your plans to pass and leave a safety margin between your horses. When out on the trail, always leave a full horse length or two between each horse so that no one feels crowded or could be easily kicked. The most important horse riding tip for group rides is to keep your activity level suitable for every horse and rider in your group. If you have a novice horse or green rider along, remember they are not comfortable or safe when over-faced, that is, they have not performed a certain movement previously. Choose activities that are appropriate for their current skill level. Only ask when horse and rider have practiced the movement.