How to learn to ride a horse

The latest data provided by the Consejo Superior de Deportes indicate that in Spain there are more than 68,000 people federated in the equestrian sport. However, this figure is infinitely lower than the number of men and women who are closely related to the equestrian world. It is not necessary to be federated to learn to ride a horse, although it is an indispensable requirement to obtain a federative license to participate in competitions of this sport.

At SLAM International we have this modality, horseback riding, one of our main sports activities. And it should be noted that in the world of horses and competition we can distinguish two different concepts: riding, which is the ability of the rider to ride a horse, and equestrianism, which is a sport discipline based on horse racing.

Equestrianism includes dressage, cowboy dressage and show jumping. Raids, for example, are more closely linked to the equestrian phenomenon. Be that as it may, in equitation, dressage, show jumping and eventing are Olympic disciplines, all of them in individual and team categories, for both men and women.

What to consider before riding a horse

Having summarized the whole universe of concepts, the first thing to learn to get started in this world is to know how to ride a horse. All instructors emphasize several recommendations, the most important of which are the following:

  • It is essential to choose a good professional to teach the basic lessons, trust him and pay attention to his indications.
  • Never be in a hurry. Horseback riding is an activity that you learn little by little. You will not be able to gallop from the first day or have absolute control of the horse with only a few hours of training.
  • It is essential to always wear a helmet. This is the main safety element, as it prevents serious head injuries in case of a fall. It is also mandatory for children.
  • The horse must be treated firmly, but not aggressively. It is a living being that deserves affection and respect. In addition, if we have a pleasant attitude with him, we will avoid unexpected reactions.
  • Riding a horse forces you to be calm and serene. It is advisable not to pull too much on the reins or make sudden movements that frighten the animal.
  • Start riding on animals that are docile and calm. And, if possible, try several horses, as each one can teach you different things.
  • Don’t be afraid and trust your instructor. If he believes that you are sufficiently prepared to get on the back of an animal, do it with determination and confidence. Fear is always a brake on your possibilities as a horseman.

What are the benefits of horseback riding?

Many people want to ride horses for a variety of reasons. One of the most frequent is for family tradition, but in addition to this, there is the love for these animals or the benefits of this practice. And it is precisely there where we want to focus on the positive aspects of horseback riding.

  • Horseback riding invites you to feel love for animals and nature. It is an activity that is framed both in the field of sports, protection in the State Security Forces, in rural tourism and nature or the world of faith, with a multitude of pilgrimages.
  • Horseback riding reduces stress, activates the creative side of the brain and stimulates serotonin.
  • It improves coordination and reflexes, while strengthening character and discipline.
  • It promotes a healthy lifestyle with benefits in physical, psychological and cognitive abilities.

Tips for safe horseback riding

Now that we know what to do before starting horseback riding or horseback riding, and what are the benefits of practicing these activities, it is time to know how to ride a horse and what steps to follow.

The previous recommendations serve as a prelude, so that once they have been internalized, more advanced ones must be put into practice. So, in addition to following your instructor’s instructions, riding safely, protecting yourself with a helmet and starting with docile horses, try to keep a minimum distance from other people if you are riding in a group.

Do not forget to periodically check all harnesses before riding: reins, girths, saddles, bridles… to avoid falling into danger during your riding session. Use appropriate equipment, with non-slip footwear, and learn how to dismount in an emergency.

Another interesting point is to always be attentive to the horse’s movements and master the technique in case you suffer a fall, to avoid further damage. Finally, always maintain a calm attitude so that the animal does not make movements that are difficult for you to control.

All these lessons, and many more, you can put into practice in SLAM International, where we offer excellent facilities to acquire skills in this sport. At the same time, we offer the possibility of acquiring the qualifications of gallops approved by the Federation of Castilla y Leon, with theoretical and practical training.

We currently have an area of 110 hectares with riding arenas, tracks and boxes in which up to 116 horses can be concentrated. And all this in an area of incomparable beauty, the Sierra de Guadarrama.

If you want to learn how to ride a horse, the steps to follow are clear: let yourself be advised by trained and expert instructors, understand that this task is not something quick and requires patience and, finally, show passion for animals and a lot of respect for this activity.