Undoubtedly when you decide that you would like to learn to ride a horse, there are several factors which need to be considered.
What Riding School Should I Choose?
It is best to choose an established, well-known riding school to learn how to ride properly. Many safety issues will be explained to you by the professionals. If you are interested in more than recreational riding, established, horse riding facilities can prepare you for shows and competitive events. Do some research and read reviews on several riding schools before making your choice.
What Do I Wear?
First and foremost, the most important thing you will need is a riding hat/helmet. Never get on a horse without one. You will need shoes that will not get caught in the stirrups, so smooth sole shoes are recommended. Choose a comfortable fitted pair of jeans and a top that is also comfortable. This is all that is required for your first few lessons. If you decide that this is something you would like to continue with, then there are outfits designed for horseback riding you can purchase. There is also special footwear.
It is always better to familiarise yourself with information regarding horses and proper terminologies like saddle, bridle and reins. Also learn the basics of some riding techniques, like Western and English.
Your First Lesson
When you first arrive, you will meet your instructor. You will more than likely be given a tame pony to use for your first lesson. Address your pony by name and speak to it and caress its neck to build a bond with it. You will then learn how to mount the horse. Always stand to the side of the pony with your left shoulder to his facing his tail. You then put your left foot into the stirrup taking hold of the saddle with your right hand. Place your weight on the stirrup. Then press your toe under the middle of the pony, allowing your body to raise to face the side of the pony. Then swing your right leg over the saddle, sit down gently and place your right foot into the other stirrup. Be very gentle when mounting the pony so as not to frighten him.
Sitting in the Right Position on the Saddle
Your weight should be evenly distributed over the saddle. Make sure you are in an upright sitting position and feel comfortable for a safe ride. Your knees and thighs should be resting against the sides of the pony. Your toes should be up in a forward position with your heel down, while the ball of your foot rests in the stirrups. You should be properly aligned from head to heel.