Top 10 Mistakes beginners make

1) Leaning forward

Number one mistake beginners tend to make is to lean forward in the saddle and not sit-up straight. To balance on the horse the most important thing is to sit-up tall in the saddle. By leaning forward, you put both yourself and the horse in imbalance and one step in the wrong direction and you can end up on the ground.

2) Holding the balance in the reins

Beginner horse riders tend to pull the horse’s mouth as they hold their balance in the reins. The balance should be in the seat, not the hands. Horse’s have sensitive mouths and riders should therefore always ride with light gentle hands and focus on using their body more.

3) Riding with the hands too high

It is common for beginner riders to ride with their hands right in front of them as it doesn’t come natural to keep them low. Your hands should be adjacent with the saddle and mane and beginners are often encouraged to hold on to the horses mane to avoid pulling their mouth if they loose their balance.

4) Let the horse do its own thing
A lot of times beginners will just sit and go along and just follow the horse rather than the other way around and all of a sudden your hear from the feed room “but he just walked here I couldn’t steer him”.  As a rider you need to be proactive and make sure you plan every step or else it is very likely that the horse will wander off in its own preferable direction.

5) Riding with the hands wide apart
Another common error for beginner riders is to hold their hands wide apart, expecially when turning. A rider should eep their hands nice and neat together with their thumbs pointing up.

6) Turning with both hands
Turning can be a difficult task to maneouver as a beginner and people usually make the mistake of turning their horse with both their hands to the left or the right. This will not only give mixed signals to the horse but it will also put rider out of balance. Make sure you keep one hand resting on the point on the saddle and the turning hand gently leads the turning reins.

7) Points toes down
The weight of the rider should be kept in the heels. Beginners usually sit more on top of the horse rather than relaxing and coming down deep in the saddle. It usually takes a while for beginners to get used to having slightly bent legs in the stirrups with their heels down.

 8) Looks down
Looking up and keeping your eyes on where you are going can be a difficult task for a beginner. A horse rider should never look down as if your horse spooks or suddenly stops, you will 100% end up on the ground in front of you. By keeping your eyes and energy up you have a greater chance of staying on.

9) Not firm enough
Horses know if there’s an inexperienced rider on them and they will usually take advantage of this (by stopping or turning home etc). Be confident and firm with your aids, and your horse will listen better.

10) Get on a horse that is too green
You often see beginner riders that have worked their confidence up on calm school horses and they all of a sudden think they are professional equestrian riders that can take on any horse. It is a BIG difference of riding a lazy school horse than from a young unbalanced horse. An unbalance horse needs a balanced rider and the other way around. Leave the educating of horses to the very experienced riders.
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