15 riding lessons (part 1)
First of all, let me congratulate you on your decision to take up horse riding.
You will experience an extraordinary feeling that is impossible to imagine standing with both feet on the ground. Only when you are sitting in the saddle can you feel the feeling of flight, which has been considered a privilege of birds for centuries.
It doesn’t take much time to learn how to stay in the saddle and control the horse. To achieve this, you will need to meet only a few conditions.
First, it is desirable to practice regularly (at least once a week), and, secondly, your desire to achieve results is necessary. However, do not count on the fact that you will immediately start to work out, and you will start to get real pleasure from riding. But you should not be disappointed after the first time, either.
Rider. Psychological training or a little introspection
So You are determined to learn to ride. We will proceed from this goal of your riding lessons. Why You did it is another question. Doctors ‘ recommendations, sporting ambition, work necessity, love of horses – the reasons can be very diverse. But if You don’t throw away all the extra emotions that distract from achieving results, you may fail. The author has met riders who have been riding for many years, but panic at the slightest disobedience of the horse.
Horse riding is a complex interaction between a person and a horse. Moreover, the person in this system should be the leader. Even if he can’t do anything, and the horse is a “Professor”. In practice, it is often the opposite: a young, poorly trained horse can be a leader in relation to an insecure or inept rider. Self-confidence, combined with a calm, not rude, but firm perseverance-this is the most important and necessary condition for handling a horse. If you are afraid of a horse, it is better not to sit on it. Understand yourself. Maybe You just want to pet, touch, feed the horse? If it makes You feel better, fine. This form of communication with a horse is also possible. Just do not think that this way You will be able to “appease” the horse. This reinforcement (encouragement) is more for You than for him. A horse is not a dog and does not wag its tail when it eats a lump of sugar or a carrot.
Horse. Why would he do that?
Many novice citizens try to make contact with a horse the way they would with a cat or dog. Gentle stroking, whispering endearments, treats. Old horses use these techniques to immediately recognize beginners and can even discourage them from showing “tenderness”. Don’t try to suck up to the horse, but don’t be rude. Be “first among equals”. And the horse will allow you everything. Carefully observe the horse’s facial expressions. Her “face” is very expressive. The elongated neck, bared teeth, and flattened ears Express a threat. Remember that the horse sees both forward and back. When approaching her, try to see her eyes and ears. Call out to her, no matter how. The very sound of the voice is important. The main thing is not to frighten. Despite their great height, horses, like all ungulates, are very prone to fright and panic. Hearing in a horse plays a greater role than vision. One of the most effective factors of communication with a horse is the voice. If the horse’s head is turned to you, and the ears are standing up-feel free to approach. Do not pull your hand with a bridle or a treat in advance. Just come up, Pat the horse on the neck, say a few words. Why clap and not stroke? Humans and horses have different sensitivity thresholds and different skin thickness. When horses scratch each other’s withers with their teeth, the effort exerted in doing so could skin a person.
Do not approach an unfamiliar horse either from the front or from behind. The front bites, and the backside kicks. The safest place is on the side. It is customary to communicate with riding horses standing on the left side of the horse. Left saddle, left lead, left down, left off. During cleaning, always look at the head of the saddle. As the ears as the eyes. Talk to the horse. Beginners often go to extremes. Either they start “babbling” or they treat the horse like a gymnastic device. Both can lead to conflicts.
Try to be calm and confident. Nervousness can be transmitted to the horse. Most horses that have been “training” novices for a long time do not get the slightest pleasure from this activity. And these horses are experts at recognizing your intentions. If You are holding a bag of breadcrumbs, carrots, or sugar, you can still count on leniency. But if you hold a bridle or a saddle, the relationship can change radically.
Perhaps the only breed of riding horses, in the breeding of which good morals were put on one of the first places – this is the oldest Arab breed of horses. No wonder they are most loved by children, representatives of the fairer sex around the world. By nature, this is the best horse for family, for friendship, for walking. However, for all their unique grace and kindness, “Arabs” are too gentle, expensive and excitable for mass riding.
Horses of other breeds may differ in obstinacy, malice-qualities that are not uncommon for don horses. There are strict horses among budennovtsy bred on the basis of donchaks. Horses of Western origin, very actively used now in big sports: Trakenen breed, Holstein, hanoverans are often characterized by excessive “conceit”. Unlike an Arab, who will never step on Your foot (an extreme rarity), a “German” can easily pass “through” a person (a valuable quality for the mounted police).
The horse should not be afraid, but remember that each of them is a person necessary.
br> First of all, you need to make sure that the horse is clean. You can’t saddle an untreated horse. Cleaning is performed using a brush and a scraper. Brush is taken to the right (for right-handers), the comb in their left. Brush did not hold much against the grain, then with the stress – coat (same place). The next movement is carried out with a brush on the teeth of the scraper (cleaning the brush). The comb after 10-15 cleanings knock. You can’t touch a horse with a metal scraper. Heavily polluted areas are washed with water, wiped with straw bundles. You can use rubber and plastic scrapers. Cleaning is performed from the cleaner parts-the neck, back – to the more polluted parts-the stomach, legs. Special attention is paid to the areas that come into contact with the saddle – the withers, back, stomach in the place where the girths are applied. The mane and tail are combed with special metal combs. Hooves are cleaned with a hook. It is especially important to do this after driving on small stones and gravel.
If the horse is in the stall and is not tied, then first you need to put a bridle on it. If a horse expresses dissatisfaction when cleaning or saddling, it can be controlled by a rein, putting it on your hand. When the horse is tethered, which is preferable for saddling, first put the saddle. So, what is a bridle and how to put it on. A simple racehorse bridle consists of a rein, a trenzel and connected straps, called by the location on the horse’s head: the cheek, the forehead and the occipital (sugolovny). In the collected bridle, the chin strap is passed through the middle of the rein and fastened with a buckle.
So, take the bridle, put it on the left hand with the forehead strap to the elbow, unbutton the chin strap, thereby freeing the rein. Now you are ready to be bridled. Open the stall. Call out to the horse and make sure that it does not flatten its ears, snap its teeth, or turn its back on you, enter boldly. If he does any of the above, then do not try to appease him with a treat. The horse may take this as an encouragement to its actions. If you have a strict voice, the command ” Accept!”if you can’t stop or turn the horse around, don’t take any chances. Contact your trainer.
However, everything is fine with You. The horse stands “face” to You, good-naturedly squints an eye, and the ears stick out forward and up. Without extending your hands, calmly approach the left front leg and, as a sign of greeting, Pat the horse on the neck. Without removing the entire bridle from the left hand, put the rein on the neck with both hands. Then take the horse by the nose with your right hand, placing the palm of the horse’s right hand on the snore, passing the hand under the muzzle, that is, as if embracing the horse. Fixing the horse’s head is necessary up to the moment of passing the ears between the frontal and occipital belts. Shake off the bridle in the palm of your left hand and, while continuing to hold your head with your right wrist and thumb, grasp the bridle with your other fingers (without twisting it) 10-15 cm above the trenzel. Now Your left hand is free. Flatten the bit on the palm of her hand and brought it to the lips of the horse (the right hand fixes the head). Insert the left thumb into the left corner of the horse’s mouth and press the toothless edge of the lower jaw. At this point, you need perfect coordination of both hands. The horse opens its teeth, you insert between the teeth spread out on the palm of your left hand trenzel and at the same time pull the bridle up with your right hand. There are horses that do not like to unclench their teeth, give ears and suffer other “bullying”. So try to do everything the first time. So, you put the bridle in your mouth, immediately pulled up the bridle, thereby moving the bridle to the corners of the mouth, and pull the bridle over the ears, passing them between the frontal and occipital (head) straps. now it remains to fasten the chin strap so that Your fist will fit between it and the neck. Releasing the horse’s fringe over the forehead strap, make sure that the rein and other straps are not twisted, and the trenzel lies in the corners of the mouth tightly, but not forming folds of skin. That is, the bridle is neither small nor large.
Go to the saddle. Saddles are different. We will consider the two most common types of horse rentals: sports and military. Without going into detail about the design of the saddle, let’s say that it is necessary to distinguish between the sweats , girths , putlischa with stirrups , front and rear bows. A combat saddle has both advantages and disadvantages in comparison with a sports one. For it is more convenient to keep it more functional for the horse, but the rider in a more fixed position, not all easy to ride trot drill (to relieve myself), but it is easier to develop a correct fit. After passing your hand over the horse’s back and making sure that there are no abrasions, bumps, abrasions and dirt, put the valtrap on the horse’s back so that it completely covers the withers. Valtrapom can serve as any light easily erasable fabric that does not have seams, the size of approximately 70 x 90 cm.the denser the material, the better it lies on the saddle and does not fall into folds. Children’s flannelette blankets that have served their time are ideal for this purpose. On top of the valtrap directly on the withers, gently put the sweats, then the saddle and, holding the valtrap in front, roll the saddle from the withers to the back as if from a hill. The Sweatband of a sports saddle should extend 2-3 cm from under the front pommel.
If Your valtrap is made of light fabric, then it must be filled in between the sweats and the saddle, having previously made a front margin of 15-20 centimeters, otherwise it will “go” under the saddle during the ride. If you move the saddle or valtrap too far back to the horse’s rump (rear), they can no longer be moved back. You need to pick it up and put it down again. All movements on the back are made only from front to back, on the coat.
Putting the saddle on the back of the horse, go to the right side, without letting go of the reins (if the horse is not tied, then all the time saddling the horse must be controlled by the rein), and lower the girths. First, the first girth is fastened, which is fastened closer to the horse’s head. At the sports saddle, the girths are superimposed on each other. You can, while on the right side, straighten the girths, put them together, press them to the horse’s stomach with your left hand, and return to the left side, where you will pick up their ends with your right hand. You can only get under the horse’s neck if you are completely sure of its good behavior. It is better not to do this with stallions. Straightened girths should lie at a distance of a palm from the front legs of the horse. Horses often do not tolerate tightening the girth and may even object. Be careful. If a horse tries to bite You, hold its head with the right end of the rein. Carefully insert the girth (the belt sewn to the saddle) into the buckle of the girth. If you insert it into the middle slot, the girth can not be tightened well, and it will be even more difficult to unbutton. When the girths are well tightened, You can hardly get two fingers between the horse’s side and the girth. All. The horse is saddled.