For many years as a child, my parents use to take the entire family to my dad’s friend Billy Clark horse ranch. The moment we all arrived Mr. Billy would have all of his beautiful horses lined up for each one of us to select from. Now keep in mind that we all were beginners and even though it looked like a lot of fun, the entire family was scared.
The great thing about Mr. Billy’s Horse Ranch is he took time with each child individually to make sure we learned the importance of riding a horse. The first thing we all learned was how to make sure our body was always aligned properly to ride.
He would tell us to always follow these instructions:
First: When you ride a horse, you should be able to draw a straight line through the ear, shoulder, hip, and heel.
Second: He shared that our shoulders should be even and straight.
Third: At all times your back should be held upright and straight.
Forth: You should also sit straight so your body wouldn’t be overarching the lower back.
Mr. Billy shared that as you begin to mount upon your horse, remember to mount from the left putting your left foot in the stirrup and lifting your right leg over. Don’t forget to fasten the girth (a “belt) so the saddle can stay in place. Be gentle so you won’t startle the horse.
Always adjust your stirrups, he informed us that our stirrups should be the length of your arm and he showed us how to measure this!
Next, it was time to get your horse walking. He said softly make a clucking sound and squeeze his sides slightly with both of your legs. If he still won’t walk, just give a soft but stern kick. Off you’ll go, we also learned how to stop our horse when needed. This was a really important part he mentioned, he said to lean back slightly, saying “Woah” while pulling gently on the reins. Make sure not to send the horse the wrong signal if you are saying woah and squeezing with your legs up against horse. It was so much fun, and we achieved so much during our visit with Mr. Billy! We also learned how important it is to have the proper saddle, you can learn other things about a horse here Grand National 2018 Runners.
I can truly say after learning about the proper way to ride a horse, I felt more like a skilled, confident rider every time we visited the Mr. Billy’s Horse Ranch! I look forward to riding again and taking my kids to one of the horse ranches in up North!