Thinking about starting riding lessons? Great-- but there are just a few things you should keep in mind:
Protect the Noggin
Safety equipment is the most important and always will be, no matter if you are a beginner tacking up a horse for the first time or a seasoned pro about to walk into the grand prix ring.
Horseback riding is one of the most dangerous sports and yields one of the highest traumatic brain injury rates out of all sports and recreational activities!
Heeled boots are also not just for making you feel taller or giving a leg slimming effect. Riding with heeled boots prevents your foot from slipping too far into the stirrups. In the event of a fall, you run the risk of getting your foot caught and being dragged by a galloping horse. Injuries will surely hinder your riding or stop it all together. So, let’s keep it safe and sound.
Let’s Talk Tack
After you find a fitting stable with a reputable trainer, you will probably start out on a lesson pony/horse. If you are looking to really move away from leisurely riding and want to start competing, leasing or purchasing your first horse would be an exciting step to discuss with your trainer and barn manager.
If you are one of the lucky souls that finds their “heart horse” early in your riding career, you should stock up on various grooming tools and tack items. An all-purpose saddle that correctly fits you, and especially your horse, is crucial to your horse’s comfort as well as beneficial for your equitation.
An all-purpose saddle is great for riders looking to dabble in multiple disciplines such as dressage, hunters and equitation or even the lower level jumper classes! A regular all-purpose saddle pad will fit nicely under an all-purpose saddle pad. Saddle pads can come in all different patterns and colors to suit your style.
If you hone in on your skills and get some show experience under your belt in a few different English disciplines, you may way to move forward from an all-purpose saddle. An all-purpose saddle is a great starting point, but when you know you want to move up the levels in the jumper or dressage ring, your tack will need to be more specialized as well.
Horse Grooming Supplies
There are a few keystone horse grooming supplies that you will also need as a beginner equestrian as well. Proper grooming is a skill that all true horsemen and women take pride in as it provides the horse with proper skin/coat care and stimulates circulation.
It also gives you a chance to take a thorough look at your horse’s body to look for new cuts, swelling/heat, or any other abnormalities. Basic horse grooming supplies tools such as a curry comb, stiff brush, soft brush and a hoof pick can usually be found in most horse grooming kits.
The last tool that Breeches.com recommends for beginner equestrian is a sense of humor and a good attitude. The horse world is humbling and no matter how much experience you have (or think you have), you will always be thrown a curveball every once in a while. Learn to take a bad lesson or show results in stride and only use it to make you better next time. Learn to laugh at the little stuff and don’t ever lose sight of why you love to ride!