Beginner Horse Riding Lessons: What You Can Expect

beginner horse riding lessonsIf you’re thinking about taking horse riding lessons or have decided to do so, you’re in for a real treat. Whether you have serious equestrian related ambitions, simply want to try something new, or just love horses, taking lessons is a fun and healthy activity and will ensure you get off on the right hoof…er…foot.

Starting Out

Just like with any sport, you have to learn the fundamentals of horses and riding before you can move on. When you start with beginner riding lessons, you can expect to come out with a basic understanding of the animals and the sport. While horses and riding is a ton of fun, there are things you should know that are important for your safety, the horse’s safety, and the safety of others riding with you.

International rider, Jim Milton, has combined the  best teaching methods of professional instructors in the world to develop an efficient system which quickly teaches beginner riders the basics of horseback riding. Learn the Horse Riding Successful Formula by Clicking Here.

Clothes and Equipment:

Do I need to wear or bring anything?

Other than the horse, the equipment you’ll use when riding is one of the most important aspects of riding. Of course, the horse isn’t the only one who has to wear the proper equipment; you, as the rider, need to make sure that you show up to your first lesson with the right equipment. While some lesson facilities may have different requirements, in general riders need to have:

  • An approved riding helmet
  • Boots with at least a two inch heel
  • Pants that are comfortable for riding
Click on the following links to learn about What to Wear and Other Riding Gear

What does the horse wear? 

Before actually getting on the horse, you’ll need to know what the horse is wearing and why. The equipment that the horse wears is called the “tack.” While a horse’s tack will depend on the specific horse’s needs, in general a horse’s tack will consist of:

  • A bridle that will be on the horse’s head
  • A saddle on the horse’s back
  • A saddle pad underneath the saddle to protect the horse’s back.

What Will I Learn in My Lessons? 

The skills you will learn with beginner horse riding lessons are the fundamentals of the sport. Whether you continue with your riding or stop at this level, the skills you learn are vital.

  • Mounting: In order to ride a horse, you have to know how to get on a horse. Your instructor will show and teach you the correct and safe way to mount and dismount a horse.
  • Balance and Control: Once you’re on the horse, the next skill you’ll learn has to do with balance and control of your body. In order to ride and be one with the horse, you have to develop your seat and center of balance. One of the most important parts of developing your balance and harmony with the horse is learning how to “post.” Posting is the motion that allows you to get off of the horse’s back and move in harmony with him while he’s trotting.
  • Stopping and Steering: Once you’ve developed your balance, you’ll then be taught to stop and steer the horse. Stopping and steering are essentials to correct and safe riding.
  • The Aids: Once you’ve developed your seat and have learned to stop and steer, you’ll learn how to ask the horse to walk, trot, canter, and halt.

I Don’t Understand What They Are Saying!

Sometimes riders seem to be speaking in a language of their own. Don’t feel left out of the conversation and learn the basic terms so you can follow your teacher’s instructions.

Beginner riding lessons can be considered the “gateway” to riding and consist of the skills that will be the foundation for any rider’s riding career.

Watch this video on mounting up and dismounting off a horse:

Filed in: Top 3 articles, What To Expect During Lessons

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13 Responses to "Beginner Horse Riding Lessons: What You Can Expect"

  1. Greg says:

    Do you think you can learn to ride a horse after you are 40? As I said on the other comment I just left, I’m scared of horses but sometimes I wonder………maybe I should give it a go! And then I remember, I don’t even like a horses smell! My daughters absolutely love them though!

    • Val says:

      I started horse riding in May 2012 at 57 – I had previously done a little bit of riding 25 years ago so I am essentially starting from scratch again. It can be scary but you have to work on overcoming that fear because it is just a destructive, negative emotion that could stop you doing anything enjoyable in life. Since May I have fallen off once and that was about 2 weeks ago and my own fault as after a 6 week break over christmas I was all over the place. The poor horse couldn’t read my signals and she went one way while I went the other. I had a bruise on my behooky and a bruise on my hand but didn’t hurt myself. If you fall get back on, even if it is just a walk or trot. I try to do things at my own pace and managed to reach my goal of a canter by christmas. If I can improve my canter by next christmas I will be quite happy. I probably drive the instructors mad but I am the one paying and I am old enough to decide my own pace. Over summer 2012 we had quite a few hacks out which are great experience. I say go for it but don’t be rushed, take your time and enjoy it. You may be a natural.

    • nicole says:

      you can always learn to ride a horse as long as you are being serious and paying attention to what the instructor has to say. they are there to help you get better. you can always look up different places to learn and get ratings from the people that have been there.

  2. Kellie P says:

    I remember my first horse riding lesson. I was so terrified I nearly made myself sick! I was very lucky though, my horse was really quiet and seemed to know that I was freaking out!! I’ve gotten better and better over the years but I still remember that first lesson!

  3. Jade Dernbach says:

    I agree with your post. During my learning periods in my horse riding school I faced the same problem . So, this is a very common issue that everyone faces at the beginner stage.

  4. Jessi says:

    When I first began riding I didn’t take lessons. My dad taught me the basics and other stuff as he learn it. The rest I either read about or learned from tips when I started 4-H. When I did start taking lessons it wasn’t to learn how to ride it was to learn how to compete. Recently I started teachings some younger children how to ride. I was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas on beginner exercise’s that I may not know about or point me to a useful website.

  5. Emery says:

    I’ve been riding since i was 5 years old and i just learned how to canter 3 years ago and i’m 12

  6. Clarice says:

    Well I’m 11 and am starting riding beginners lessons after absolutely begging my mum and dad for 3 years am I too old to begin riding though

  7. Julie says:

    I am 14 years old and I’ve been interested in horseback riding for about half a year now. I’m kind of nervous about starting lessons. I feel like I’m starting way too late. I still have to find a barn to take lessons at and I’m not sure what to look for in a good stable. I’m the first person in my family to start something like this.

    • Janie says:

      I just rode English for the first time recently and the instructor had me jump 18 and 22 inch jumps. Is that to much to soon or is that expected.

    • Sara says:

      Don’t Worry You’ll Be Fine! I am an advanced English Hunt Seat Rider and I remember my first lesson 6 years ago. I was really bad but I took a break and started again this year and I’m 14 too so you’ll be fine. Good Stables have huge indoor rings English and Western lesson horses,helmets, and several lesson horses. And you’re not starting late you’ll catch up really fast.

    • Pennu says:

      No you’re not too late! I just had my first lesson yesterday and it was great. And I’m 15. I worked on steering and walking, balance. I also began to post while trotting. The instructors are usually very knowledgable and very kind. Try it out. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, but if you don’t you can always take a break from it.

  8. Robert says:

    I am 64 and started lessons last month. The horse I use for training is a large gelding. He is well trained and responds well to the reins and leg pressure.

    One lesson four or five, I put him in a lope, at the instructors request. We were in an oblong arena. The first turn went fine, but I was not stable and attempted to slow him. I became more unstable and slid to the left. Bunny went to the right, as his instincts dictated. The laws of physics are ever-present and will always prevail.

    My shoulder hit the rail and momentum carried me forward. My head hit a telephone pole that was outside the rail. I fell to the dirt and laid their for a few moments while I self-evaluated my condition. I got up and got back on the saddle and put Bunny in a lope. I bought a helmet a few days later.

    I am now more apprehensive and my progress has slowed. I want to feel in control and we are working on this. We also changed to a mare. Bunny is a hot-blood race horse and I was always working to slow him. Gus is a quarter-horse and I need to kick her to keep her going.

    My goal is to ride a a gallop. I want to learn to show-rein.

    1. Some say that to learn anything you must start at a young age. Start whenever you want to and don’t let opinions of others determine your destiny. There is a advantage in being more mature.

    2. Only a fool has no fear. Fear keeps us alive. It also can be debilitating. Fear and thrill have the same effect on our bodies. Everything that we enjoy as a thrill has an element of danger. To overcome fear think of the activity as an adventure. Discover the reason for your fear. For me is it because I feel as if I am not in control. I am working on getting over the edge and being more assertive. Instead of asking for a lope and holding on, my plan is to ask for a lope and control the horse.

    3. Everyone who rides either has fallen or will fall. Hear a helmet. I bought a helmet with a tooled leather cover. When you fall get back on. Don’t stay in the dirt or you may never get up.

    4. My doctor attributed my lack of serious injury to a strong neck and back. Riding a horse is not a ride in a car. It takes work. Do your exercises. Push-ups and core work. Work on balance while sitting on an exercise ball.

    5. Youngsters show up ready and willing, but are often not prepared. Teens and adults have the maturity and focus to study. Do your homework. Think about every step in putting a saddle on and taking it off. Watch videos on how to ride a trot and a lope.

    6. I taught myself to rope. I bring a rope and tie it to my saddle. I swing it at a walk and try to rope barrels and cones. This give me something to do while controlling the horse. And it makes the adventure a challenge and more fun.

    7. Relax.

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