What I’m Passionate About – Riding

All people enjoy different things. Movies, sports, music, etc., but I enjoy one of my favorite hobbies, riding horses. It is something that seems like pure pleasure, but it has helped me in many ways.

Horses are an animal of prey, that’s why their eyes are on the sides of their head. Horses cannot see directly in front of them or behind, but on the side. Horses are also herd animals, meaning they can get separation anxiety and develop nasty habits when kept alone.

Horses feed off the rider’s energy. Meaning when you feel scared or insecure, they feel that and get skittish. Riding is great therapy and has helped me overcome my habit of becoming quick to anger. They also help people with PTSD, including veterans.

Horses are wondrous creatures. They may seem scary because of their size, but they are sweet and nice when you get to know them. Always be safe around them and have a calm attitude and they will show the same to you.

Ways to stay safe and have a good time:

  Horses may seem scary, but it just depends on a few factors if they are dangerous. These are great things to check so you can have a fun and safe experience.

First, always check the girth. (That is the strap that holds the saddle on from underneath the horse’s belly) You should be able to stick two fingers underneath it with it still being pretty tight.

Second, you can tell how safe the horse is from the way it reacts around other people. You can see it by their body language, but mostly from their ears. Don’t be alarmed if you see a horse’s ears go back while you are riding, as long as they are not flat against their neck. That just means they are listening to you. Any good riding instructor should keep you very safe, but always be careful about those who may not care as much.

Third, watch how your horses reacts to other horses. This can be dangerous for both you and others around you. If a horse shows aggression to another horse, try and separate the two that are causing trouble. This shouldn’t happen often, and a good instructor should never let this happen unless you have some experience riding.

Lastly, never squeeze when you are scared. Some horses are what I call ‘side dead.’ Meaning no matter how hard you kick, they won’t go. But there are some horses that a gentle nudge would make them take off. If you start feeling scared and squeeze with your legs, you horse will just go faster. When you start to feel scared, take a deep breath in and sit down.

 

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