Horse back riding can be both great exercise and a great way to engage with the outdoors. This fantastic hobby is loved by many, but before you decide to saddle yourself up on a horse, it is a good idea to consult a professional.

There are many ways in which you could get hurt during horse back riding, horses are after all wild animals and should be treated with care and precision. When you first begin to ride, it can be very exciting, yet also very nerve wracking, so you should read up on all aspects of this activity before embarking on the adventure of horse back riding.

Firstly you should always take lessons from a qualified horse riding teacher. They will familiarise you with the proper techniques of getting up on the horse, and getting down from it. Once you become familiar with how it feels to be on a horse then you will be able to start riding properly. Remember if you lose control of yourself, you will undoubtedly lose control of your horse, so make sure you are 100% confident before going off on your own. Just like a dog can sense fear, so can a horse.

If you are planning on taking up horse riding as a hobby it is a good idea to find yourself a comfortable saddle to suit you. You can have your trainer/coach help you find a good quality saddle for your level of riding. It’s also important that you have good riding boots and other quality equestrian supplies.

However, a great exercise which will help you establish balance is riding bareback. Many children establish excellent balance by riding bareback. If you are confident enough, try it, but make sure your horse if willing to let you do this, otherwise it can very easily just throw you off. The ultimate goal of being a balanced horseback rider is to have good posture, timing, and feel. Good posture on a horse is riding with your heels down and in line with your hips, and your hips inline with your shoulders, and your shoulders inline with your ears; all should be lined up in a straight vertical line.  You should be able to maintain this position throughout each gait.

When you are beginning to ride a horse make sure you ride in an open area, stay away from fences, trees and their low branches and steed grades. Staying on a horse’s back requires balance and concentration, and becomes much more natural and easy with practice. Be careful to keep the horse under your control, and watching for anything that may spook or cause the horse to rear up.

This article has been brought to you by Cross Country Style, a specialist tack shop based in the North East of England. We hope that this article has been informative and resourceful and would appreciate any feedback you may have.