New Year New Hobby? If you want to start horse riding in the new year, this article by Alexndra Uren is for you!
How to Start Horse Riding
We may be a little biased, but the Just Jodz team are firm believers that horse riding is a sport everyone should try at least once – and it’ll only be a few minutes in the saddle before you’re as pony mad as the rest of us!
The great thing about horse riding is anyone can do it. With established riding schools and RDA centres all over the UK, starting riding is easier than ever.
Fancy spending time with one of the most gentle and lovable creatures in the world? Well if you’ve made it this far it must be on your radar! Here’s our top tips.
Choose a Reputable Riding School
The number one most important thing is the riding school. Beginner riders need to learn in a BHS approved centre, which will have impeccable standards for both rider safety and horse welfare.
Check that the school has steady, experienced and safe horses that are suitable for total beginners. The instructor should be fully qualified, encouraging and friendly, and it’s a good idea to see if you can watch a beginner’s lesson before you have your own.
You’ll be on the leadrope for the first few lessons while you master the basics, and it won’t be long before your confidence is skyrocketing! Group lessons are great as you can learn from other beginners, but many new riders prefer a private lesson to start with. Remember that everyone moves at their own pace, so try not to compare yourself to others.
Get the Right Gear
For your first few lessons, you should be able to borrow what you need from the riding school, both a hat and, if necessary, a body protector. For your footwear, you’ll need sturdy shoes with smooth soles. A pair of gloves will also make holding the reins more comfortable.
Trust us when we say that if you’re new to riding-wear, you’re in for a treat! Specifically designed to be comfortable all day long, riding trousers like breeches, jodhpurs and leggings will soon become your daily outfit choice, whether you’re spending time in the saddle or not!
A pair of versatile riding leggings in your favourite colour is essential. Our riding leggings and tights are comfortable and supportive while you’re in the saddle, but they’re also subtle enough to wear out and about or to the gym. If you fancy treating yourself to some great quality riding gear, our breeches are affordable, colourful and practical .
Spend Time with Horses
While this is by no means an essential, many beginner riders find they improve quicker and learn more when they’re able to spend time with their horse out of the saddle. It’s well worth asking the riding school if you can turn up early to give your horse a groom, learn to tack up or enjoy some bonding with your new friend.
Not only will this help develop the relationship between you and your horse before you get on, it’s a great way to learn a range of skills that aren’t taught to you in the saddle. Horses have the most loveable personalities, and riding is only a small part of a hugely rewarding lifestyle. Grooming and spending time with your horse will help you enjoy this wonderful sport even more.
Learn to Love the Journey!
Learning to horse ride is a journey and, like with any new skill, there will be ups and downs. The elation that comes from your first canter or your first hack out without a lead rope is virtually impossible to beat, but when setbacks occur it can be hard to pick yourself up.
Remember, even the best of the best horse riders still have a huge amount to learn, so try not to let it get to you if you struggle in a less-than-perfect lesson. Learn to love the journey and the milestones you achieve along the way – no matter how small they might seem.
So, give your new friend a big pat and give yourself an equally big pat – you’ve got an incredible journey ahead of you!