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March 20, 2023 4 min read

*We do not recommend use of this blog as a primary guide for learning how to ride a horse, or in place of proper training with an experienced professional.

Horse riding may feel like an overwhelming feat, especially for first timers. It comes as no surprise, but there are a number of training and safety precautions that come with learning to ride a horse. However, with the right trainer, gear, and self-confidence, learning to ride a horse can be one of the most gratifying achievements.


Horse Riding Safety equipment

Horseback riding is a sport and like all sports, comes with inherent risks. That is why you need to wear proper safety gear and follow all precautions (whether you’re a beginner or experienced).

Horse Riding Helmets

Horse riding helmets feature a hard shell with dense foam lining that protects your head in a fall. Make sure your helmet is SEI-Certified so you’re confident it’s passed all the safety tests–including a drop test.

Horse Riding Boots

Horse riding boots are crucial, both when working around and riding horses. A high quality pair of boots will help protect your feet if they get stepped on, and help prevent your foot from sliding through the stirrup should you fall off your horse when riding.

Safety Stirrups

Safety stirrups are designed to release your foot quickly and easily in the event of an accident. There are a variety of designs and release mechanisms available, including peacock stirrups, shaped irons and breakaway stirrups with mechanical or flexible arms. It’s important to do your research and decide which one you’re most comfortable with, and chat with your trainer as they might have some informed suggestions.

Horse Riding Body Protector

Body protectors help shield the bones, internal organs, and joints in the torso and as well as other body parts in case of a fall or any riding accident. When you fall from your horse, the body protector is designed to help absorb that shock.

Medical ID Bracelet

Medical ID bracelets contain important information to rescue personnel if you’re unable to communicate in an emergency such as your name, emergency contact person, existing medical conditions (i.e. diabetes), and any allergies you may have.


Top 10 tips for beginner horse riders

New to horseback riding? It’s normal to feel nervous in the beginning but hopefully the below tips will be helpful in getting you prepared and alleviate some of that initial anxiety:

1. Safety gear
Regardless of your preferred style of riding, always make sure that you wear proper safety clothing and shoes. Not only does it help to reduce the severity of injuries in the occurrence of an accident, but wearing safety gear such as a helmet, riding boots, a crash vest, and safety stirrups can make you feel more confident in the saddle. Similarly, you can feel more confident and comfortable with the right Saddlery gear, including high quality breeches, and riderwear.

2. Be gentle with your horse
Remember that your horse is a living creature. It may also be nervous, tired or even scared especially when someone new is in the picture. When riding a horse for the first time, greet the horse and try to establish a good relationship with them. The more your horse trusts you, the more confident you will feel.

3. Remain confident when mounting
Horses can feel emotions meaning they can sense if you’re nervous which might make them feel uneasy too. Ensure your trainer shows you how to mount the horse safely and confidently.

4. Maintain proper posture
Once mounted, sit up straight and tall, relax your back, and hold the reins gently. Set a foot in each stirrup, and hold your balance to not make your horse feel like he’s carrying a heavier load.

5. Be gentle with the reins
Whatever your riding style, always relax your arms when holding the reins in your hands. Never pull too hard as it might hurt your horse. To direct your horse, just move the left rein towards the direction you want in a motion similar to opening a door. Stop by gently pulling back and pushing the heels down. Again, ensure you have a trainer to show you how to do this before you attempt it yourself.

6. Recognise a horse’s body language
Recognising a horse’s body language and understanding what it means is an important skill to learn if you want to stay safe around horses. Horses can’t speak, so they’re limited in their communication with you, so it’s crucial to take the time to properly understand their body language to better understand how they feel.


7. Keep your eyes where you’re going
Always keep your eyes on the road ahead. Beginner riders tend to look down at their hands and the horse’s mane. This is normal for first-timers but it will help you and your horse if you try your best to keep your eyes on the direction you want to go. Not to mention, when you look up, you’ll notice that your horse is much more willing to move forward.

8. Stay calm whilst riding the horse
Horses mirror your emotions. As we mentioned, horses can sense your emotions so when you start to tense up in the saddle, they feel this. Keep a relaxed stance with a horse by breathing slowly. This will ensure your body remains loose and your heart rate remains slow and steady; something that your horse will pick up on.

9. Dismount properly
Make sure your horse is still before trying to dismount. Get both feet out of the stirrups, lean forward, swing your right leg over the horse, and jump off.

10. Learn with a trainer
With the likes of TikTok, and YouTube these days you can learn almost anything online. However, when it comes to learning how to ride a horse, and all things Saddlery it’s crucial you learn with a trained professional to ensure you follow all safety protocols and minimise the occurrence of accidents.

Got more questions? Contact us online or visit us in-store to chat more about our Saddlery, horses or for any horse trainer recommendations. Looking for quality riderwear to get you started in the saddle? Shop our extensive range of breeches, and riderwear online and in-store!