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The Penndulum

How-To Ride A Horse

Riding a horse is not as easy as it seems. Some equestrians have been riding horses since they were just little kids. Riding a horse requires a lot of patience and skill. Apart from all of the hard work that comes with riding a horse, it can be very beneficial. Lexi Boyle and Maggie Hamburg are two local girls who’ve been riding horses for over six years. When asking Boyle if riding with the horses allows her to escape from everything, she says, “Sometimes I do, like it’s just so fun, and you can just escape everything and just be with the horses.” She started by doing a six-week lesson and immediately fell in love with it. Nevertheless, the reason the girls and guys keep coming to their riding lessons doesn’t have much to do with their friends; instead, it has to do more with being in tune with the horses. Hamburg says, “I think that each horse is different, and you build a connection with them…the more time you spend with them, you [get to] figure out their personality.” I had the opportunity to get close to the riders and experience what a regular lesson was for them. I instantly saw all the girls’ joy when writing their names on the board and seeing which horse they got to ride this time! They all had different duties around the barn to help each other out, along with riding a horse. Many girls were getting ready for competitions later this year. It takes up to 3 years to ride a horse independently. If you have the time and patience, take a riding lesson or two. You never know if you might just love it.

Wearing proper horse riding equipment is essential when riding a horse. Your safety is the most important thing to look out for. The proper horse riding equipment consists of long pants, low-heeled boots that are closed around the toes, no accessories, and a sturdy helmet. Now, you are ready to greet the horse. The horse could be nervous, tired, or even scared. Make sure when greeting the horse you extend the back of your hand to allow them to sniff you. Wait until their nose touches your hand. This shows the rider that the horse permits them to ride them. Establishing a good relationship with your horse will show during the ride.

Sarah Ferry greeting the horse at Everything Little Farm. (Lia Peralta Joa)

Getting on the horse is a different story. Don’t be afraid to take it easy the first time. Walking is always allowed before you try jumps. When getting on the horse, make sure to stand on the horse’s left side and have someone holding the horse to give you balance. Generally, you should have a step stool underneath you to make the process a little bit easier. Put all of your weight on the ball of your left foot. Hold the reins gently with your right hand in front of the saddle. Place your left foot in the stirrup (the ring that holds the foot in place), and swing your right foot up and around your horse. Properly adjust the stirrups to your length and where they feel most comfortable.

Sarah Ferry getting on top of the horse by using the left stirrup and the support of a step stool at Everything Little Farm. (Lia Peralta Joa)

Here comes the fun part. Riding a horse is all about confidence. Make sure to sit up straight and tall rather than slouching. This may be nerve-racking, but try to keep calm. Keep your shoulders straight and maintain your heels right under your hips. Your legs should be turned inwards. Essentially, you will be hugging the horse with your legs. Relax your arms, and don’t pull too tightly on the reigns. Your arms should form right angles at the elbow.

Sarah Ferry riding the horse around the indoor arena at Everything Little Farm. (Lia Peralta Joa)

The hard part is done. When getting off the horse, make sure you have someone holding your horse still to give you some balance. Get both feet out of the stirrups, lean forward, swing your right foot over the horse to meet your left foot, and jump off. Don’t forget, practice makes perfect!

Sarah Ferry removing the saddle from her horse at Everything Little Farm. (Lia Peralta Joa)

Sources:
https://www.equestrian-escapes.com/10-Of-The-World%E2%80%99s-Best-Horse-Breeds/
https://thehorseandstable.com/horse-breeds/worst-horse-breeds-for-beginners/
https://horserookie.com/what-do-you-call-a-place-where-you-ride-horses/
https://www.visitbuckscounty.com/search/?q=horse%20riding https://jentristables.com/
https://www.thepinehillranch.com/the-must-have-list-for-anyone-who-wants-to-start-horse-riding/
https://www.gabineurohr.com/index.php/colt-starting/educational/222-the-ultimate-checklist-before-you-start-your-horse
https://www.equishop.com/en/blog/12-traits-and-skills-of-a-good-rider-n66
https://www.blueheronridingacademy.com/post/how-long-does-it-take-to-learn-to-ride-a-horse
https://www.wikihow.com/Ride-a-Horse
https://www.bookhorseridingholidays.com/news/tips-beginner-horse-riders

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About the Contributor
Lia Peralta Joa, Student Writer
Lia Peralta Joa, Grade 12. Interests/hobbies include dancing, theater, NHS, the Pennridge Student Council, going to amusement parks, traveling, playing board games, self-care, and hanging out with friends and family. Lia hopes to obtain her cosmetology and esthetician license and open a salon. She plans to major in broadcast journalism at Penn State University as well.

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