What To Know Before Starting Horse Riding

Although people may not think “fitness” when they consider taking the reins, horseback riding can be a serious butt-kicking workout. It may look like the horse is getting all the exercise, but it takes balance, strong legs, and a stable core to stay in the saddle. This old school hobby is an awesome way to spend some quality time in the great outdoors and get beyond a basic gym routine. Before hitting the trails, check out our guide to horsing around with bournevalestables.co.uk

Since people first hopped into the saddle around 3500 BCE, horses and humans have been inseparable partners in crime. When the automobile (aka “horseless carriage”) got popular in the late 1800s, horses became used for recreation, not work. These days most people pony up to exercise, compete, or just have fun. The first step before heading to the barn is deciding which style of riding to try. Most stables teach English style or Western style, although some places offer both. So what’s the difference between English and Western? The two styles use different equipment (aka “tack”), which affects the rider’s position and communication with the horse. English tack is smaller and less bulky, which makes for closer contact between the horse and rider. Western saddles were originally used by cowboys on long cattle drives, so they’re built for comfort and stability with a deep seat, long stirrups, and a saddle horn for looping a lasso (or hanging on!).

A new rider might feel like a sack of potatoes in the saddle, but maintaining the correct position requires a surprising amount of strength. Squeezing the horse to change gaits works the inner thighs, while sitting tall and straight in the saddle uses the back, abdominals, and legs. Ready for the challenge? Take these steps to go from wannabe equestrian to confident cowboy (or girl). afety first. The first step for any new rider is to find a well-reputed local stable. Barns aren’t supposed to smell like the Macy’s perfume department, but a safe establishment should be clean, legitimate, and in good repair. Look for a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA)-certified riding instructor who has experience with beginners.

horse riding Dress the part. Wear long pants to protect legs from chafing against the saddle, and close-toed shoes with a small heel to keep feet from slipping out of the stirrups. Avoid all clothing that could get tangled in equipment including scarves, thin tank top straps, and long, loose sweaters or shirts. Most stables provide helmets, but call beforehand to make sure. Although not ideal, a bike helmet is better than nothing to protect the noggin in case of a fall. Drink up. Horseback riding, especially on a warm day, can work up a sweat, so bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the ride. Follow the leader. When leading a horse, stand to the left of their head and hold the long leather straps, called reins, with the right hand below their chin and with the left hand a little bit down the length of the reins so they don’t drag on the ground.

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10 Principles of Training (Dressage)

We all know these moments that you ask A and your horse does B. When you’re having miscommunication with your horse, it is of importance to figure out why that happened instead of getting angry with your horse. You can learn with danieltimson.co.uk.

Especially when, as a result, the level of tension rises.

In that situation  your horse can’t think properly anymore due to the release of stress hormones like cortisol. So you can imagine giving your aids when your horse in survival mode has a different outcome than when he’s relaxed and he has the right mindset for learning.

So we want to prevent high levels of tension and stress in order for you to be able to effectively train your horse.

Ten principles of training you must adopt in your training with danieltimson.co.uk.

horse-176990_960_720So do you want to know if your training method is effective and respects the learning capabilities of your horse? Find out below!

  1. Train according to the horse’s ethology and cognition

We should not overestimate the learning capabilities of our horses and at the same time underestimate them by suggesting that they do not have emotions and feelings. Besides we have to keep in mind what the natural behaviour of our horses implies, like for example that they are social animals and their digestive systems are based on grazing 16 hours a day.

  1. Use learning theory appropriately

Make sure you use habituation, (de)sensitisation, operant conditioning, shaping and classical conditioning in the right way. Read more about that here.

  1. Train easy-to-discriminate signals

Do you have different and easy-to-discriminate aids for a the different movements, like gait transitions? If this isn’t clear to your horse, this will most likely lead to stress.

  1. Shape responses and movements

Make sure you take small steps when teaching your horse new movements and responses and build from there. Reward your horse when he makes a baisc attempt and build from there to eventually get the right response.

  1. Elicit responses one-at-a-time

Don’t give multiple aids at once but make sure there’s time inbetween the different aids. The actual time depends on the training level of your horse. But if you give multiple aids at once, you run the risk of desensitisation, which we want to prevent in dressage.

  1. Train only one response per aid

Does every aid lead to a single response? Don’t ask for multiple responses when giving a single aid. Above all, rein and leg aids should be separated.

  1. Form consistent habits

Be consistent in how you teach your horse new exercises and movements. Use the same signals in the same way at the same place. Once that’s reinforced you can start making gradual changes.

  1. Train persistence of responses

Teach your horse to ‘keep going’ in rhythm, straightness and outline so that you don’t have to constantly give aids and run the risk of your horse getting used to your aids and becoming dull.

  1. Avoid and dissacoiate flight responses

Flight responses with a high level of stress have several negative consequences, like learning and memory deficits, long-term insecurity and digestive disturbances.

  1. Try to obtain the optimal level of arousal

When training the level of tension shouldn’t be too high and there should be an appropriate level of relaxation. At the same the level of tension has to be high enough to get the required muscle tone and attentiveness.

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4 Tips For Riding A Great Dressage

When it comes to riding a polished dressage test with danieltimson.co.uk, preparation is the key to success.  So I want give you some competition tips to help you have the best experience possible.

Before I get started with the actual tests, I want to just talk in general about riding dressage tests because there’s a lot of things that they all have in common.

  1. MEMORIZE YOUR TEST
    The first thing is that you need to know your test. I mean REALLY know it. Even though from Training Level through 4th level, you can have some read your test out loud, it’s still important that you really know your test. This is critical so your test doesn’t look like a bunch of movements strung together.5058596066_b23ba7d143_o

That way you can use the reader if you occasionally blank out. But for the most part, you won’t even be listening to the reader because you’ll be paying attention to
your horse.

So you want to be able to do the dressage test with danieltimson.co.uk on autopilot, so that you can reserve all of your focus for riding your horse. You want to be riding your horse not
concentrating on what comes next in the pattern.

To help you do this, start memorising your test early on.

I have 3 different ways that I memorize tests. They include:

  1. Visualization-I know that it takes approximately 21 days to develop a habit. So I start visualizing my dressage test every day at least 3 weeks before a show. I sit in an easy chair or lie down on my bed, close my eyes, and take 3 really deep breaths.

You want to do diaphragmatic breathing, so as you inhale, feel like your stomach is getting fat. That means you’re taking air way down into the bottom of your lungs. As you exhale, feel yourself sinking into the chair or bed.

Visualizing your dressage test is going to help you do two things. First, it’s going to help you memorize your test. Secondly, when you visualize the perfect ride, you program your subconscious mind to ride correctly. That’s because when you do “perfect practice” in your mind’s eye, your muscles will fire in the correct way.

As you visualize, go through your dressage test stride for stride. Fill in as much detail as you can.

What are you wearing? What does your horse look like? What does the arena look like? What color is your jacket? What color are your gloves?

Fill in as many details as you can AND include your senses. Hear the rhythm of the footfalls. Feel the contact with your horse’s mouth. See your horse’s head and neck out in front of you. Smell the fly spray. Also, add emotion to your mental movies.
Experience yourself feeling calm, relaxed, poised and the harmony of being at one with your horse.

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4 Tips For Riding A Great Dressage

When it comes to riding a polished dressage test with danieltimson.co.uk, preparation is the key to success.  So I want give you some competition tips to help you have the best experience possible.

Before I get started with the actual tests, I want to just talk in general about riding dressage tests because there’s a lot of things that they all have in common.

  1. MEMORIZE YOUR TEST5058596066_b23ba7d143_o
    The first thing is that you need to know your test. I mean REALLY know it. Even though from Training Level through 4th level, you can have some read your test out loud, it’s still important that you really know your test. This is critical so your test doesn’t look like a bunch of movements strung together.

That way you can use the reader if you occasionally blank out. But for the most part, you won’t even be listening to the reader because you’ll be paying attention to
your horse.

So you want to be able to do the dressage test with danieltimson.co.uk on autopilot, so that you can reserve all of your focus for riding your horse. You want to be riding your horse not
concentrating on what comes next in the pattern.

To help you do this, start memorising your test early on.

I have 3 different ways that I memorize tests. They include:

  1. Visualization-I know that it takes approximately 21 days to develop a habit. So I start visualizing my dressage test every day at least 3 weeks before a show. I sit in an easy chair or lie down on my bed, close my eyes, and take 3 really deep breaths.

You want to do diaphragmatic breathing, so as you inhale, feel like your stomach is getting fat. That means you’re taking air way down into the bottom of your lungs. As you exhale, feel yourself sinking into the chair or bed.

Visualizing your dressage test is going to help you do two things. First, it’s going to help you memorize your test. Secondly, when you visualize the perfect ride, you program your subconscious mind to ride correctly. That’s because when you do “perfect practice” in your mind’s eye, your muscles will fire in the correct way.

As you visualize, go through your dressage test stride for stride. Fill in as much detail as you can.

What are you wearing? What does your horse look like? What does the arena look like? What color is your jacket? What color are your gloves?

Fill in as many details as you can AND include your senses. Hear the rhythm of the footfalls. Feel the contact with your horse’s mouth. See your horse’s head and neck out in front of you. Smell the fly spray. Also, add emotion to your mental movies. Experience yourself feeling calm, relaxed, poised and the harmony of being at one with your horse.

Read More
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