However, horse riding can be dangerous too especially if you ride your horse out on the trail or in the wilderness. The whole exercise can be hectic and fun but there are several risks and things to be aware of which we will be having a look at below.
Kicking, biting and other weird behaviors.
Some horses turn a little wild when out on trails or riding with other horses and riders. Like people, horses have their own personalities – some are very sociable and others may not enjoy being around other horses and could turn nasty, biting or kicking.
If your horse is a bit of a loner it is advisable to warn other riders about your horse. You will need to tie a red ribbon at the base of your horse’s tail which warns other riders that your horse may kick if they approach from behind.
Always wear the correct safety equipment. When riding a horse, either in arenas or on the trails, it’s always necessary to wear protective clothing, helmets, stirrups and boots. In case of an accident the correct clothing and equipment may well help you escape unscathed or with minimal injuries.
Always ride a horse to the level of your personal ability, for example, if you are not an experienced horse rider, never attempt to gallop or navigate sharp turn at a high speed.
It is important that you maintain a reasonable pace especially in trails and other rugged areas until you possess sufficient experience to advance to higher speeds and skills.
You will need to be totally proficient in the basic skills such as safe mounting, dismounting, turning, stopping and accelerating before you go out to the trails riding.
Controlling the horse.
Lead ropes and reins are used to control the horse and ensure proper navigation and hence it is important to know the amount of pressure which needs to be used for efficient navigation and control of the horse.
You shouldn’t give the horse too much slack on the reins. If you are riding with others, always maintain your own pace. If you are lagging behind never apply too much pressure with your knees as the horse could break into a high speed gallop and a nasty accident ensue.
In general, the speed of the horse should always be monitored especially in more rugged terrains which are more dangerous and could prove fatal in case of a fall.
Riding a horse not suitable for your riding skills.
If you are a novice rider, it is essential to ride a horse which is compatible to your riding skills. This means that whether you are looking to buy a horse, to keep and ride as a pet or you are going to a riding school, you must always be honest about your abilities and experiences so far.
You might like the look of a fabulous shining black stallion, or be attracted to the spirit of the beautiful white, but standoffish, mare but choosing a horse based on emotions may prove a devastating and costly mistake.
If you go to a decent riding school or stables, you should get help and there should be no problem with matching you up to a suitable horse as long as you are honest.
If you are looking to buy a horse make sure that you do extensive research and maybe even select an advisor to find a horse that’s right for you. Don’t worry if the horse is not as skilled as you think it should be you will learn together.
It is recommended that you do not ride a horse at night on the roads. If you really have to make sure that you wear the correct safety equipment such as reflective strips on both you and your horse. You will be harder to see and therefore more prone to accidents.
A rider should wear lights on their right arm or leg, similar to a cyclist – white to the front and red to the rear.
Advice from a horse
Take life’s hurdles in stride.
Loosen the reins.
Be free spirited.
Keep the burrs from under your saddle.
Carry your friends when they need it.
Gallop to greatness.