Horseback riding lessons allow you to progress at your own pace at any age. There are courses for beginners and advanced riders, but also according to the equestrian disciplines practiced.
Riding lessons : from what age ?
There is no age limit for taking riding lessons, as they are intended for young and old alike. Of course, the horse is adapted to the age of the rider and in adequacy with his equestrian level.
Lessons for the little ones and children
Young children aged 18 months to 4 years are part of the baby pony section, which means that the riding session, often collective, is done on small ponies, Shetland type. This corresponds to a small introductory session of 30 minutes maximum, in a very restricted and secure space (a riding school), which has several advantages for the child :
- discovering the horse by preparing it before riding it
- to master his fear by developing a real complicity with the animal
- to gain confidence in himself
- learn to manage on their own while riding in a group
- develop balance on horseback
From the age of 5, the child can ride a pony.
Lessons for teenagers and adults
Teenagers and adults ride a horse instead of a pony :
- The mount is adapted to the rider's weight and height, but also to his or her riding level.
- Some horses are much more spirited than others. Therefore, a beginner will find it much more difficult to master this kind of horse.
Horseback Riding Lessons for beginners
Tips for starting out
Knowing how to ride a horse takes several years, so don't try to jump the gun. There are of course ups and downs, the key is to never give up :
- When you fall off the horse, and you will do several before you master your mount, it is important to get back on right away if you are not injured.
- Patience and perseverance are the keys to becoming a good rider while respecting your mount.
It is at the riding school that you will take your first riding lesson. In general, we have a small ball in the belly before starting because we do not know yet the mount which will be allotted to us. We hope to find a gentle and calm horse. Don't worry, it is often the case. In principle, peaceful horses are chosen for beginners, real professionals who are used to it. So, look forward to your first session with great serenity.
What happens during the first session ?
During the first session, you will first meet your instructor. He or she will tell you the name of the horse you are going to ride and where it is located as well as the equipment that is intended for it. For the first time, the instructor or an experienced rider comes to help you prepare your horse, which involves :
- approaching the horse
- putting the halter on him
- putting him in a stall to groom him, some horses can be prepared directly in their stall
- saddling him and bridling him correctly
Then, it is necessary to put you in the saddle to make your debut on horseback. You will be helped to mount and also to adjust your stirrups and to properly adjust your mount. Your first lesson will take place in a riding school or arena, the goal being to familiarize you with the horse and to discover the basics of horseback riding :
- You will learn how to walk your horse forward, stop him, make opening reins to the right and to the left.
- If everything goes well, you can start to move at the trot while trying to keep your balance on the saddle.
- For the canter, it is better to allow a delay, the objective being to know how to guide and control your horse at first.
Once the session is over, if your horse is not ridden a second time by another rider:
- You take care of him, then you bring him back to his stall.
- During this time, it allows you to get to know him better while pampering him.
- The next day you will certainly have some aches and pains which will disappear very quickly.
Finally, to progress more quickly on horseback, it is wise to :
- listen to your instructor's advice
- discuss with the other riders, once the session is over
- watch the lessons of experienced riders
- follow improvement courses
Horseback riding lessons for advanced riders
To be part of the advanced courses, you must :
- master the 3 paces on horseback and have a good position and balance
- know how to steer your horse well
As a general rule, advanced riders are at the level of gallop 3 and progress in the following manner :
- The riders begin to approach the jumping and a dressage of the horse a little more pointed.
- The confirmed riders have the choice to approach or to devote themselves to more specific equestrian disciplines, courses or training courses being planned for this purpose.
- They can also enter competitions between clubs, or even more depending on their level of riding.
Outdoor courses are often horseback rides or hikes. Here are their particularities :
- They are particularly aimed at experienced riders who have mastered the 3 gaits.
- However, a gallop 1 or 2 rider can begin to do small quiet rides.
- On the other hand, to do endurance or Trec, it is preferable to already have a good level.
Prices of horseback riding lessons
The prices of riding lessons vary from one structure to another, knowing that the cost is much more expensive in the state of Florida and the big cities. However, the price of a lesson (1 hour) is the same for a beginner as for an experienced rider.