Horses are strong, powerful creatures. They are beautiful and majestic, but can also be extremely dangerous. For this reason, it is necessary to learn how to be safe while riding a horse. Here are 5 tips for safe horseback riding.
Wear Appropriate Gear
Always wear an appropriate equestrian hard hat. This can help prevent concussions in case of a fall. Head injuries have a high fatality rate, so it is important to prevent them as much as possible. Wear sturdy boots with a heel that will prevent your foot from getting caught in the stirrup. Wear riding gloves and jeans to prevent chafing and blisters.
Check the cinches on the saddle prior to mounting the horse. It is also important to check the cinches again a few minutes into riding to ensure that the cinch hasn’t loosened. This second check is often overlooked and can result in serious injury.
Match the horse to the rider. Beginner riders should ride on mellow, calm horses that are accustomed to beginner rider mistakes. Ensure that no one is riding a horse that doesn’t match up to their experience level.
The laws exist for a reason. Make sure that you only ride on designated equestrian paths. Avoid riding near roads, because passing vehicles may spook your horse.
When riding in a group, you must maintain a proper distance between horses. This will help prevent kicking. Alternately, don’t hold your horse back too far from the group. Horses have a pack mentality and feeling that they are being left behind may make them anxious and unpredictable.
If you’re new to riding, it is important to learn with an experienced instructor. Improper riding can result in serious injury, so you should never try to learn through trial and error. Even the most experienced riders need to take precautions to keep themselves safe.