Horsemanship 101 – How to Ride Your Horse

Ever wanted to learn riding your horse? Here are some guidelines to make equine riding safe and easy.

Climbing the back of the horse and riding the animal for the first time is truly breathtaking. For many people, the ultimate objective is to ride on top of the majestic animal and for some reason, a domesticated horse is happy to be ridden. Demonstrating why the horse-human bond is one of the best partnerships ever.

Before riding the horse, you need to mount correctly but before actually doing it, be certain that your communication and rapport with your equine is already set and established. These things are vital because the equine is a prey animal and you should always keep this in mind.

The positioning of your body is very important when you are about to mount your horse. Have a positive disposition and mind your posture. Don’t mount on the downhill if you’re a beginner or short in stature and although it is great to mount the equine anywhere, it is always beneficial to use a mounting block. The mounting block makes it easier for you, is better for your saddle and easier on your equine’s back.

Mounting the horse is customarily done on the left side but you should be able to mount the animal on both sides. It is important that you have trained your equine to stand still while you are mounting-one of the main reasons why you should always desensitize your equine. When in doubt, have someone with experience hold the horse still as you attempt to mount it.

Position your body beside the horse’s shoulder and as you are climbing, be aware of where you put your hands. Avoid making the bad habit of grabbing the saddle horn to pull body up on the horse. Keep your balance as well as not disturbing the equilibrium and comfort of the animal.

Riding your horse like a champion

Make certain that everything is in order before to prompt your horse to be in motion. Do your riding slowly yet surely. Be sensitive of your horse responsiveness and adjust your speed accordingly. Be in control at all times. Remember that you are the pilot of the vessel.

Equine riding is a chance to train your equine how to move and respond as well as improving your bond. If the horse is not doing things correctly, investigate and correct them patiently.

As much as possible, there should be no distractions for your equine-such as other equines within the area-when it’s new to the sensation of you riding its back. It can get caught up in the energy that it will not pay attention to you.

As a rider, it is your job to be proactive with your riding. You should never be a dead weight. Rather, your weight is like a balance weight that will work for or against the equine’s own balance. Practice will make that perfect. As you are dealing with the balance, keep in mind that you are also improving your communication with your equine.



Getting a Head-Shy Horse to Accept Clippers

One of the most common complaints horse owners have about the common ground manners of their horses, involves clipping their ears. Most horses will show at least some hesitation to having their ears clipped, especially the first few times. If you know the secrets to keeping your horse calm they will eventually get used to having their ears clipped.

There are basically two types of clippers manufactured for trimming your horse’s ears – electric cord models and battery operated cordless models. I recommend the cordless models because you don’t have to worry about the cord getting wrapped around your horse’s legs or spooking them as it is dragged across their face. With the clipper in the OFF position, begin gently rubbing the clippers on your horse’s ears, face and neck.

Once you can do this with no problem, turn the clippers on. Again, rub them over your horse’s neck, moving towards their ears. Do this slowly so they can get used to the sound and vibration. Once your horse is used to this, try clipping the ears. Take your time and don’t be forceful. Your horse will probably never love it, but they should tolerate it for short periods. I can only imagine how annoying it is and how much it must tickle. You should be understanding of that.

This process of slowly introducing new things works in many areas of training. If your horse has a problem with you brushing their face, be persistent, but slowly move from neck to face. It may not work the first time, for clipping or anything else, but with consistency and patience, your horse will learn not to be frightened or bothered.

Katie Olson is an accomplished equestrian in the Hunter/Jumper discipline, and she is an experienced horse trainer. She has ridden and/or trained several horses over her eleven-year career as a passionate rider. For more information about training a horse and to become part of our new online community of horse lovers visit:


How to connect or tie Mecate Reins to Bosal

I have a lot of request on how to tie bosal reins and how to properly attach Mecate (me-ka-tee) (also improperly called McCarty) reins to a bosal. A quick refresher a bosal in the rawhide braided piece, the leather strap that holds the bosal on the horse is called a Hanger and the rope reins are called Mecate reins, all three combined are called a Hackamore. So knowing how to tie and un-tie this will enable you to wash your reins, clean and moisturize your bosal and still have confidence that you can re-tie your reins. I know so many people that never take their reins off since they don’t know how to put them back on. Hopefully this will make it pretty simple. The link up top will take you to my bosal page on my site where I have pictures and better explanations of the bosal and hackamore. I have also added a care and cleaning section to this page with links on where to buy rawhide cream used to clean and care for you bosal or other rawhide gear.

Martin Black – The Hackamore

Great Basin horseman Martin Black delivers an insightful DVD series for the aspiring bridle horse maker and admirer alike. In these DVDs, Martin will share with you what he has learned from his experiences buckarooing on some big outfits and working around top-horseman using traditional gear and methods. Learn the function and use of this traditional gear, proper fitting and selection in the process of making of bridle horse. This is not the latest and greatest he is sharing, but rather an old tradition he wants to preserve and honor.