The most important thing in improving your riding is to RELAX. Every horse is different. Learn something from each one you ride. Don't expect to become an expert rider in a very short time. Ride and have fun, and learn as you ride...
* Leave your wallet and loose change in your room or car
* A heeled boot or shoe is best
* Long pants are always recommended
* Tight jeans / heavy seams cause chafing & saddle sores
* Advanced rides - require that you are able to sit in the canter & control your horse under all conditions
* Intermediate ride - you will walk and trot
* Beginner rides - you will walk at a leisurely pace
* Place the ball of your foot in the stirrup and keep your heels down. Don't slide your foot in as far as it will go; you won't lose your stirrups & you'll have a better seat in the saddle
* Always keep comfortable pressure on your stirrups
* Keep your hands in front of the saddle horn, resting on the horse's neck.
* Ride with one hand and be gentle, our horses neck rein.
* Pull the reins gently toward your belly button
* When the horse stops, push your hand forward again to put some slack in the reins.
* Using the word "WHOA" is helpful, too
* Western style trotting means you must keep your hips loose with just enough pressure on the stirrups
* Keep your seat heavy in the saddle and let your body be a sponge to absorb the bouncing
* Arch the small of your back and sit slightly forward with just enough pressure on the stirrups
* Relax at the waist and roll with the rhythm of the horse
All equestrian activities are provided by West Michigan Equestrian.