Riding at a Walk Is the First Step Toward Horseback Adventures
The joys of horseback riding begin with lessons at a walking pace when the rider learns how to give signals to go forward, move in circles, stop and much more.
If you are a beginning rider, a good place to start is with an instructor and a school horse at a stable with assorted arenas, riding equipment and horse jump accessories. Riding lessons begin with working a horse at various gaits on flat terrain in an enclosed area, and classes in English equitation are offered in group or individual sessions.
Goals Include Learning Skills and Gaining Confidence
As a novice rider, you may be eager to try faster gaits and even small jumps. Just as crawling and walking come before running for humans, you must first spend time on horseback at a walk to learn how to communicate with a horse and to grow comfortable in the saddle.
Both Rider and Horse Need Patience
Riding involves proper positioning of the hands, head, spine, legs and seat. Your instructor will help you learn how to use your legs, seat and the reins to direct your horse. Knowing how to stop a horse is essential, and practicing halt cues is fundamental to controlling a horse. A school horse is trained to respond to properly applied commands, and this valuable four-legged teacher also possesses the patience to tolerate miscues.
At a walk, you will have time and opportunities to see and feel the horse’s response to your commands. You can try walking the horse at leisurely and brisk paces. With practice, you’ll become more coordinated, and giving cues will become more natural.
Lessons Provide Path to Partnership
You and your horse can develop a rhythm at a walk that will be important as your partnership advances into other gaits and activities. After many miles at a walk, you’ll be more secure in the saddle, and it won’t be long before you’ll be comfortable enough to ask your horse to trot.