Sports & Wellness
Horse Riding: beginner guide to a noble sport
So you decided to start riding but do not know the first thing about this sport? Somerton tells you everything you need to know before you approach a horse.
Whom do you imagine when you think about horse riding. Brave knights? Prince Charming? Well-mannered aristocrats? Equestrian sportsmen? Whatever your answer is, it is correct. The horse was tamed around 2000 BC and since then people used these animals for farming, travelling and unfortunately for fighting. Vikings, knights, cowboys, cavalry and other warriors were traditionally portrayed riding a horse. In the 20th century horse riding became a privilege of aristocrats along with such activities as hunting and polo. Gradually the role of the horse in battle has ended.
Nowadays, horse riding is an activity available to the general public as a popular sport. Although having a horse still demands considerable wealth and horsemanship has remained a valued social asset and symbol of prestige.
But most people go riding not because of prestige but because of enormous benefits for physical and mental health.
Benefits of horse riding
Suitable for every age
Anyone can start riding a horse: a child, an adult or a senior. This sport has practically no age limitations.
Increases muscle tone and strength
To maintain on a horse you have to engage the muscles from the core to the inner thighs and arms. This makes you tense several muscle groups and keeps them fit.
Improves overall coordination and posture
To ride a horse you need to maintain the correct posture. This engages the core, back and chest muscles. Moreover, you have to coordinate your movements with a horse using your arms, legs, and seat to direct the animal.
Provides cardio exercise
Depending on the ride’s type and intensity horse riding burns from dozens to hundreds of calories. It also increases the heart rate being an excellent cardio exercise.
Riding a horse means communicating with the animal and working as a team. A rider and a horse form a special bond, a kind of friendship if you call it so. Therefore, a rider develops some problem-solving and communicative skills as well as love and respect towards animals. Those are some important things for children to learn.
Exercising and relaxing in the fresh air
It is always good for your health to spend some time in the fresh air. While riding you can explore some new places and escape from everyday routine enjoying the company of such majestic beasts as horses.
It is proven that horseback riders have not only good memory, coordination, orientation skills but also confidence in their own skills. Indeed, how cannot you be confident while riding solemnly along the trail on the back of a horse?
If you are eager to try horse riding, we are happy to give you a few beginner tips for you to know before you first approach a horse.
First of all, you need to know, what equipment you need to ride a horse.
· Shirt (from breathable fabric that does not restrict movements)
· Riding pants (to avoid your legs getting rubbed)
· Half chaps (for support and protection)
· Riding boots (with a good heel so that you don’t slide through the stirrup)
· Riding vest (special attire for protection)
· Saddle pad
As you see, one cannot just climb a horse and ride it. You need to prepare the equipment for yourself and for your horse in advance. If you go on a ride on a hippodrome, they will probably give you the horse’s gear for rent. But you still have to buy the closes for a ride.
Before you even start moving, you have to know how to sit on a horse. This is extremely important because riding a horse is not the same as driving a car. If you can’t maintain on a horse, you can fall and injure yourself. No one wants it, right? So remember the correct riding position.
Sit with your back straight but not very stiff. There should still be some softness in your back. When you sit this light, you make it easier for the horse to carry your weight and avoid the risk of injuries.
From both sides, your ears, shoulders, hips and heels should form a straight line. You should sit as if you are ready to land on your feet, if your horse suddenly disappears.
Make sure you keep the balance and that you put the same amount of your weight on both sides. If you don’t distribute your weight properly, it may be uncomfortable for a horse to carry you and may start kicking.
Keep your reigns not too loose and not too straight. And make sure that you have a straight line from your elbow to your hand and through the rein to the horse’s mouth.
When you are sure that you sit correctly, you can start moving. But it would be dangerous to begin your first ride without a personal trainer. He or she can show you how to communicate with a horse as well as control your position and movements. There are many techniques and types of riding, so if you want to learn all of them, choose a coach at Sport Session.
Want to feel the joy of a free ride? Then put on your helmet and book your first training session now.
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