When on a horse, do you know that steering is vital in bringing the fun? Whether you are a beginner or a pro, steering is a skill you should have at your fingertips. So, here we will tell you everything about how to steer a horse, including tips and common mistakes.
Many people have ways to make the horse run. One common thing with all forms is that you will have to use your body to control your horse. So, let’s start with the meaning of steering a horse, especially for beginners.
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What is Steering a Horse?
Steering a horse means walking or running with your horse. Like riding a bicycle, you have to move your body to control how your horse will walk or run. Every movement you make while on the horse determines what your horse will do.
Do you want to go left, right, or back? Focus on where you wish to go, control your body and watch your horse follow your orders. So, you can do this activity using reins, as many people do, or using your legs.
5 Common Horse-Steering Mistakes
As you keep on riding your horse, one of your aims is to have fun. But, during these moments, some mistakes are inevitable. It’s never an exception whether you are a beginner or a pro.
So, below are seven common mistakes people make during horse steering, whether you are using your legs or reins to run.
1. Failing to wear the protective gear
Wearing protective equipment keeps you safe from any injuries. Even if you are a pro, don’t forget to wear the gear. You will never know where accidents can come from, so ensure you take care.
2. Getting grip using your legs
While on your horse, maintaining your grip using your knees or thighs is not good. Your grip should come from the balance you get while on the horse. If you don’t get a balance, expect to fall off your horse.
But how do you fall while gripping using your legs? Well, in whichever place you choose to grab your horse, it will disrupt the motion. It’s because horses a very sensitive.
Also, as you grip, you will lock your legs, and you will not understand the horse’s motion. So, this act will make your horse uncomfortable, and it will not follow your orders. In the end, you find yourself on the ground.
3. Poor holding of the reins
If you are using reins to steer your horse, the way you hold them can cause problems. So, it would help if you neither held them too tight nor too loose.
Holding these tools too tight comes from being tense. It will make you uncomfortable on the horse, losing your balance.
4. Placing your face down
While steering your horse, being confident is essential. However, you can never have confidence when your face is down while riding your horse. It will make you lose your focus.
This mistake is common in beginners. Mostly, as you face down, you will keep on looking at the horse’s head and neck.
5. Fearing to ride
Every rider, a pro or a starter, sometimes has a fear of horse riding. Anxiety can cause minor accidents, which include falling off and horse bolting. Generally, fear can come from things that have no relation to horse riding.
10 Tips to steer a horse
Everyone wants to have fun when riding their horses. But what if your horse gives you a hard time during steering? It will become dangerous to you and make you have less fun.
So, here are ten tips to help you have good steering skills.
1. Wear the Safety Gears
Like riding a motorcycle or a bicycle, your body faces many dangers. Ensure you wear safety gear like a helmet, gloves, crash vests, and stir-ups on every ride. It will save you if you encounter an accident.
Also, learn how to wear every safety gear well before riding. Remember, the equipment will not protect you entirely from accidents but will reduce the number of injuries you can get.
2. Always Concentrate
While riding your horse, you will have fun, and you can quickly get a distraction. Most beginners will want to see your legs, face, and the head of the horse. So, it can lead to a distraction and make you fall off the horse.
Always keep your head up and your eyes open to know what is going on with the surroundings. Also, don’t be afraid of anything while on the horse. Once you get onto your horse, feel free and comfortable. Consider horse steering as an activity that should you give peace, freedom, and joy.
3. Use Your Feet to Know How to Trot
Mastering the movement of your legs is vital to your progress in horse steering. Like jogging, you will feel your horse bounce in the air, and the same will happen to you. Always keep your legs under your body and use your feet to trot your horse.
4. Hold the Reins Correctly
Learn how to hold the reins in a good position. Also, ensure to adjust them in a better position in case they slip. It will make you apply the correct amount of pressure to every part of the body.
As you use the tools, ensure that you follow the horse’s movement using your hands. So, if you have soft hands while using the reins, your horse will act well on you.
5. Focus on Your Balance
Remember that your balance is critical during horse steering. So, get onto the saddle, relax, and let your body sink on it.
Your legs should remain under you, and you will balance well on the horse. Never use your legs to get a tight grip on the horse.
6. Steer it from the Back to Front
Before beginning to ride your horse, know that you will propel it from the back. The back-to-front connection means that energy starts in the back legs, to the backline, before you feel the movement as the rider. So, don’t be too hard on your horse if you want to get the best from the horse’s hind legs.
It works with either using reins or your body alone. So, with the diagonal movement, the left hind hip will push the right shoulder, as the right hind hip pushes the left shoulder. Also, allow the flow of energy to take place.
What if you steer your horse from the front legs? If you do this activity using the reins, it will make your horse lose its balance and resist your orders.
7. Align the Horse’s Body
Starting from the nose and down to the tail, your horse needs a body balance. An alignment will help your horse to bend, walk, and run. Always before riding, make sure the nose is at the centerline of its chest.
Your balance will also affect your horse’s position. The horse will have it rough to keep a balance when your alignment is wrong. Keep yourself square so that your hips and shoulders are in a good position.
8. Be Careful on the Turnings
Like driving or riding a bicycle, your horse should have an excellent turning to be stable as you steer it. You will have a different turning skill if you use the reins. So, if you depend on your body to give your horse an excellent turning, be careful not to lose balance.
If you are using the reins, don’t place your shoulders into the turn. It will make you pull the inside rein as you release the outer part. So, in the end, your horse will lose its balance and resist movement.
So, in every turn, reduce the pressure on the inside rein, balance yourself on the horse, and use your legs to align the horse’s hips and shoulders. Your horses will have no resistance and turn well.
9. Use Reins to Create Boundaries
While riding your horse, reins make things easy for you. Use the tools to create limits of where your horse should reach. So, the left reins limit the right turn while the right reins limit the left turnings.
But how will you make the reins create the boundaries? Ensure your hands are level with each one another. Remember, the hands should look like they connect to the straight bar on the horse.
Develop a limit using the outer rein by keeping the left rein on the straight bar. Remember, your left hand should not move forward.
10. Take a Good Bend
When steering, the horse’s bend should be the same as the turn’s shape. So, if the curve is stiff, the hind legs will be out of position. Make your horse bend around the seat bone and leg by placing your leg behind the girth.
Do you want to become a professional in horse riding? Then it would be best if you kept on making a small turning, move on a straight line, and then make a turn. Practicing this act improves your steering skills and causes your horse to become stronger.
Horse riding is a perfect activity that helps you enjoy and have fun. Whether you are new to the game or a professional, there are things you should know to steer your horse well. You can also make mistakes during horse riding.
If you follow our steering tips, you will face minimal problems as you ride it. Also, for beginners, the skills will help your rise on the saddle and stay there for long.
So, do you have any questions or more insights about steering a horse? Kindly share with us.