WHAT IS YOUR LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE?
priority is your safety. So, we have
provided the following information to help you have a “safe and happy” ride.
In order to
have a safe and happy trail ride, you
should ride a horse that suits your skill level. No two horses are alike. Horses are living, breathing animals with a
mind of their own. They are as diverse
in their skills, mindset and experience as people. Some are more “spirited” than others. Some
are easy going and others will try to take advantage of you.
A horse can
tell (the moment you sit in the saddle) whether or not you know how to ride,
but your guide needs to know beforehand. So, if you don’t already know ALL the information on this sheet,
please tell your guide that you are a “novice rider with little or no experience.”
So, he/she can pick an appropriate horse for your skill level to ensure
1. You mount and dismount the horse from
the horse’s left side.
2. To Mount: step onto the top of the
mounting block. Hold the reins in your left hand and grab the saddle horn with it
and then place your left foot in the stirrup.
Bring your right leg over the horse, sit down gently and place your
right foot in the stirrup.
3. Hold your reins low (no higher than
the horn) and tight enough so that there is contact with the horse’s mouth, but
not tight enough to pull his head back. Do not
let go of the reins the entire ride! The reins are your breaks and
4. If the horse is just standing there, do
not pull back on the reins. The horse
will start backing-up or may even rear-up.
5. Pull the reins right to go right,
left to go left, and back (to your hips) to slow down or stop. Use constant
pressure, but do not jerk the reins. Release
the pressure once the horse has slowed or stopped.
6. To go forward, loosen up on the reins
a little, giving a little kick with your heels and squeezing your tongue
against your cheek making a click, click noise.
7. Always try to anticipate the horse’s movement
and react before it happens.
8. If a horse is beginning to turn around or
starts to lower his head to the ground to eat or roll; stopping him from doing
so is always easier than stopping him after he is already doing it.
9. So, the instant you sense your horse
making a move to-turn-around or put his head down to the ground give him a signal
in the direction your trail guide is going by clicking, kicking and turning the
10. Do not stop your signals until the horse does
what you ask it to do!
heard animals. Therefore, their natural
instinct is to run away when they become frightened or alarmed. Just like people… when out on the trail, they
become more alert then when they are in the safety of their own home (barn). If one runs off or tries to get ahead of
another they all become “alarmed” and
it is very difficult and dangerous to try to stop a horse that has become
alarmed; even for an experienced rider.
So, please stay in a single-file-line to ensure the “calmness” of the herd.
IF YOUR HORSE RUNS
1. HOLD ON and try to stay calm and balanced.
2. Sit back in the seat of your saddle, push your feet
forward (in the stirrups) and say WHOA.
3. Hang on to your reins with steady and continuous
pressure and try to slowly turn the horse in a large circle (if you can do so
safely). If your turn is too abrupt, you
can cause your horse to become off balance and possibly fall.
4. As you circle, begin to spiral inwards and make the
circle smaller and smaller until your horse stops. This is called a “one-rein-stop” and it is
your emergency break!
The trail ride is mostly a gentle ride at a walk around the
foothills. If you would like the
opportunity to trot or canter, ask about our leasing and ranch membership
programs. They are great for beginners
wanting to learn more about horses and kids just love it!!!
Enjoy your ride…… feel free
to talk, sing and tell a joke or two we are happy to have you!