Horseback Riding Information

ArticleHow to - General Equine AdviceThursday 07 January 2010

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For as long as man and horses have existed, horseback riding has been part of life and part of history. Some people have taken up riding horseback for recreational reasons because they find it relaxing. Others however have taken up horseback riding so they can compete in various sports such as barrel racing and horse jumping. However you intend to ride your horse, it is vital to choose the right horse for you. Horses can be dangerous, it is recommended that you take up horseback riding lessons and use appropriate safety gear.

The History of Horseback Riding


Up until the 14th century, horses were wild and rarely ridden. This is where the history of horseback riding begins. Up to this point, horses were used primarily for work and warfare. They were categorised according to their purpose, not their breed. Palfreys were used for riding. Horses used for warfare were called chargers, whilst horses intended for working were known as cart horses. The emergence of horseback riding made traveling from location to the other much quicker.

The Significance of Riding Horseback


Horses have been used for a multitude of purposes, in medieval times, horses were used for fighting and in the sport of jousting. Later on they were used as a means of travel and hunting. Horseback riding has been prevalent in the military, not only to take soldiers into battle but also to relay messages from the front and back to the camps. Early settlers, used their horses for work such as farming and transportation.

The Function of Horseback Riding


Horseback riding has a much different function in today's society than it did even two hundred years ago. One of the main roles of horseback riding in the modern times is in competitions and sports such as rodeo's and polo. Riding horseback is still a skill that is used for work in some places. Cattle ranchers in America for instance still use horses to round up their cattle. By far the most popular reason for horseback riding nowadays though is for leisure. Many holiday locations offer horseback rides to their customers.

Types of Horseback Riding


Horseback riding can be divided into three basic types.

The first is know as Western. This is good for long distance horseback riding or for those that will be riding rough trails. The Western saddle offers more comfort and security than other saddles which lends itself to this sort of horseback ride.

The next style of riding horseback is English. This uses an English saddle which is lighter than the western saddle and has thinner stirrups. This type of horseback riding is generally better suited to competition riding and sporting events like jumping or polo.

Bareback is last of the three main styles of riding horseback. As the name suggests, this style of riding doesn't use a saddle. The rider either holds on to the horse's mane, or with the use of reins. This style of horseback riding is good for all types of rider, from experienced to relative beginner because it is a good way of learning stability and the art of balancing on horse. It also enables the rider to experience the horse in a natural way.

It is recommended to take part in horseback riding lessons to learn the basics.

Tips and Advice


It is important to always wear the appropriate safety gear when horseback riding this includes a helmet and a safety vest to prevent head and spine injuries.

If the horse begins to get anxious, or attempts to throw you off, it is better to jump off to one side than get thrown off.

It is important to get to know your horse and it's behaviour;the better the bond you have with your horse, both of you will be safer and happier.

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