For many of us, horseback riding is a favorite pastime — but due to a horse's size, speed and unpredictable nature, there is always a risk involved when riding.
Whether you're riding a dead broke horse in the arena or a young, green horse out on a trail, safety is key. Riders need to remember that at any moment the horse could unexpectedly buck, rear or spook, causing an accident.
5 Horseback Riding Safety Tips and Rules
Before you climb in the saddle, there are a few horse safety rules you'll want to keep in mind.
1. Have the Proper Horse Tack, Attire and Gear
No matter which discipline you ride, you need to ensure your tack is in good condition and fits your horse well. A saddle that pinches, for example, could cause a horse to buck from pain when they're asked to move forward.
Riders also need to ensure they are wearing the proper attire and gear. Don't wear loose clothing or anything that could get caught — like sneakers with laces. Any time you are riding, make sure you have a riding helmet on that fits you. For certain disciplines like cross country riding, a vest will provide you with additional protection.
2. Don't Ride Alone
It's always safer to ride with at least one other rider — especially if you're riding a green horse. If something happens, they will be able to assist you or call for help. Plus, because horses are herd animals, they tend to feel more confident when they're in a group with other horses. If you're riding with a group, though, keep in mind that everyone needs to ride at the pace of the less-experienced riders.
If you don't have anyone to ride with, let a family member or friend know you'll be out riding and how long you expect to be gone.
3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Whenever you're out riding, it's important to be alert and aware of your surroundings. It's better for you to see a deer lurking behind a bush and prepare before your horse sees it and bolts off in fear.
4. Make Sure You and Your Horse Are Ready
Before you try something new, make sure you and your horse are ready. Consider your horse's fitness level, training and your own abilities as a rider before you ask them to do an all-day hunter pace or jump a cross country course, for example.
5. Know How to Handle All Kinds of Situations
It's important that riders understand how to handle a variety of situations before they occur. You should work alongside an experienced trainer and learn safety maneuvers, ranging from how to do a one rein stop to how to perform an emergency dismount.
Find the Horse Tack, Riding Apparel and Accessories You Need to Stay Safe and Love the Ride
Here at Horse Tack Co., equestrians will find everything from riding helmets and vests to reflective tack designed to keep them both safe and stylish when horseback riding.
We have tack, apparel and accessories for all disciplines, riding abilities, styles and budgets. If you need any help, give our team a call at 866-624-8225 or contact us online today.