Horse riding is a pastime that is enjoyed by many all over the world for both leisure and sport, but how do you get started? Maybe the idea of riding an independently minded, powerful animal is a little unnerving to you. If this is the case, don’t worry because provided you learn to ride at a good school, you’ll start slowly, and your confidence will grow and grow.
The cost of horses riding might also put you off, but you can get involved without a big financial outlay. It’s true that horse ownership is expensive, but riding lessons are often reasonably priced. You can continue taking lessons even when you’re a seasoned rider. You can also go on horse riding holidays with the price of horse hire included.
Finding a Riding School
Before entertaining romantic ideas about solo riding, you obviously need to learn how to ride. There are things you should look out for when choosing a riding school:
- A good stock of horses and ponies, so you can be paired with an animal that suits your level of experience and comfort.
- Well-maintained riding areas and enclosures.
- Patient and friendly staff (trust your instincts).
- Well-trained instructors with appropriate qualifications.
“If you can, watch a lesson taking place and get a feel for the standard and pace of instruction.”
Horse riding is good for your health and not just physical health. building a relationship with such a strong, good-looking animal offers spiritual benefits. You will develop feelings of forgiveness, trust and empathy towards your horse. Neither horse nor rider are ever perfect. Horse riding will distract you from day-to-day worries and is a great way to relieve stress.
You will also get physically fitter in various ways:
- Maintaining posture and balance on a horse enhances your core strength.
- Inner thighs and pelvic muscles get stronger and muscle tone improves.
- Faster riding when you’re more experienced provides a cardiovascular workout.