What once was a standard part of most people’s education is now a rare and rarified skill. That is, the proper care and handling of a horse. Still, horse riding remains a popular leisure time activity and many, tired of the confines and confusion of city and even village life, are looking to this ancient pastime for solace and relaxation. And it is true; there is little that can compare to the peace of a good walk in the woods on a horse, or the excitement of a run down the path with your favorite mount.
But if you have never ridden a horse, the idea of starting now, at your stage in life, can be daunting. Fortunately, horse riding lessons in Birmingham and other parts of the UK are readily available. Expert staff using well trained and stable stock will be ready and willing to initiate you into the mysteries of equestrianism. You will be able to experience the same thrills and pleasures as your ancestors as you learn to walk, canter and even gallop across the countryside.
Though the sight of a modern rider might confuse our forbearers. Trainers replacing riding boots, denims and bright colored jackets instead of habit, and personalised numnah to protect the horses back would give them pause. But in reality, little has changed.
The first step in learning to ride is to become comfortable with your mount. And that is no little feat, as from head to hoof, a horse is generally much taller than the rider, and composed of a thousand pounds or more of muscle and bone. But though imposing, most horses are easy to get along with, and a trained mount responds well to a few kind words and gentle but firm commands. Of course, a chunk of carrot or a cube of sugar never hurts.
Most new riders begin by being waked about the paddock by a trainer, to allow them to get used to balancing in the saddle. The English saddle, though it has many advantages other styles, does require some getting used to.
Once your balance has been established, and you have learned how to direct your mount, you will be allowed to venture out on one of the simpler paths. For now, walking is best. The faster gates require a bit more experience.
You should always try to go with a group, especially in your first few times on a horse, and it is best to have an experienced rider in your company. That way, should anything untoward occur, there will be help at hand and a knowledgeable companion to advise and direct.
Once you have taken a few rides, you will be ready for the more advanced techniques. Again, it is recommended to spend some time in the paddock with a trainer learning some of the faster gates, as you are more likely to spill during a gallop or a canter than when walking along the path. But the exhilaration of the speed is worth the extra risk, provided you are properly trained.