Your First Ride Page 3
Dismounting your horse:
Hold the reins in your left hand and put your right hand on the swell of the saddle next to the horn.
Take your right foot out of the stirrup and swing your leg over the horse’s back and begin to lower yourself to the ground.
Once your right foot is on the ground, take your left foot out of the stirrup (if you are not yet tall enough to do this you will need to have an adult to help you down.
Repeat the steps for mounting and dismounting until you are very comfortable with both, this will be a very important part of riding any horse.
Now you are in the saddle...
When you sit on your horse, you should be relaxed and comfortable yet alert and ready for action. You should sit deep in the saddle with your back straight but not stiff and your thighs and lower legs in contact with the saddle and the horse. Your body should be relaxed enough to follow the horse's movements.
Hold your reins in your hands in a relaxed position in front of you with your palms facing the saddle horn. This is the safest way to learn how to rein your horse whether you have a spilt or a single rein.
When you are sitting on your horse, your arms must be in the right position. If you are holding the reins correctly, the reins and lower part of your arm should form a straight diagonal line running directly from the bit back to your elbows. Keep your head up and look straight ahead between your horse's ears. Keep your upper arms relaxed and close to your body. Your heels should be pointed down and toes slightly upward in the stirrup.
Your first riding lessons are likely to be on the lunge or lead line. The instructor controls your horse, leaving you free to concentrate on sitting correctly and applying the aids. A lunge line is a long rein attached to a special halter that is worn over the bridle. On your very first ride, your teacher may need to hold the front of the saddle or neck strap until you feel more confident.