Training, Showing and Learning to Ride a Horse

Learning to ride a horse the right way is an essential part of owning a horse and being able to enjoy the most of your time with your animal.

| December 2014

Want to raise a healthy, happy horse, but don’t know where to begin? Samantha Johnson and Daniel Johnson provide an essential primer of horse ownership in How to Raise Horses (Voyageur Press, 2011), explaining things for beginner and veteran horse owners. This excerpt, which discusses many things a horse owner can do to become acquainted with his or her new horse, is from Chapter 8, “Enjoying Your Horse.”

Becoming Acquainted with Your Horse

There are many different things that you and your horse can do together so consider the possibilities and enjoy yourself. Whether you decide on trail riding, dressage, or attending breed shows, you’ll have a wonderful time as you explore these new opportunities and learn more about your horse in the process.

Learning to Ride a Horse

You may be thinking, “But I already know how to ride. I rode as a kid. I went to camp and rode horses and I only fell off once.” In that case, you may consider yourself already a proficient (or at least, a fairly proficient) rider.

However, as disappointing as it may be to hear, riding a couple of times as a child doesn’t really count as knowing how to ride. You may know how to sit on a horse and you may know the “cluck” to go and “whoa” to stop routine, but learning to ride properly takes time and education and, ideally, lessons.



Many riders want to ride for the fun of it; for the thrill of seeing the world from horseback and the enjoyment of hours spent in the saddle. They don’t really care whether their position is correct while doing so and don’t give much thought to sitting up straight and looking forward. Who cares where your hands are? It’s just supposed to be fun, right?

Correct riding position makes an effective rider, and the more effective you are as a rider, the better you and your horse will be able to communicate. The better you and your horse communicate, the more fun those trail rides and hours in the saddle will be.






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