When you sign up for riding lessons, you're probably eagerly anticipating climbing onto a horse for the first time and riding through a field. While you'll be doing so eventually, you need to remember that baby steps are in order. Riding a horse is challenging, and not without its share of risks. In order to be fully in control when you climb into the saddle, your riding instructor will guide you through a series of crucial lessons long before you get up on the horse. These things might not seem as exciting as riding, but they're part of the foundation that you'll need to enjoy being on your horse. Here are some things that you should inspect in your first lesson.
Equipping The Horse With Its Bridle
Your riding instructor wants you to feel empowered about every stage of riding a horse, and that includes getting the horse ready. One of the first things that you'll learn in your riding lessons is how to equip the horse with its bridle. Made of leather or canvas, a horse's bridle goes over its face and connects to the reins. As such, it's integral for controlling the animal. Your instructor will show you how to confidently put the bridle on your horse in the correct manner.
Walking With The Horse
Part of outfitting your horse with its bridle involves attaching a lead rope. While you'll use the reins when you're in the saddle, it's the lead rope that you'll be using when your feet are still on the ground. The lead rope connects to the bridle and allows you to walk with the horse. Your instructor will teach you how to hold the rope and walk to lead the horse when you want it to go. Horses outweigh humans by several times over, which means that you're going to learn how to use specific commands and body language to control the animal.
Grooming The Horse
You'll also spend some time grooming the horse before you start to actually ride. This is an important process in helping you to develop a bond with the animal. Despite their large size, horses can actually be very timid — and may feel wary around you. Spending some time brushing their hair and talking to them gently will slowly help you to develop a bond, which will make it easier for you when you begin to ride. Remember not to be impatient, as each of these elements is important for helping you to get the most out of the riding experience.