365 Days in Horse Country – Ride a New Horse
Horse owners have a habit of riding only their horse, and not surprisingly either. Most people barely have time to ride their own horses, never mind someone else’s. But it’s actually important to ride an unfamiliar horse now and then. Here’s why:
- Boost your confidence. When you ride the same horse all the time, year after year, you get comfortable with that horse and forget what it’s like to get on another one. Believe it or not, this can erode your confidence level. You need to feel like you can ride horses besides your own, and the only way to do that is to ride one once in a while.
The more horses you ride, the better rider you will be. Trainers are really good riders for a reason. They spend most of their time riding, and they also ride a lot of different horses. Horses are amazing teachers, and each horse has something to teach us.
Variety is the spice of life! Aside from the practical reasons for riding another horse now and then, you should also do it because it’s fun.
Finding another horse to ride besides your own might be a challenge, so here are some ideas for how to do it.
- Swap with your friends. If you have friends you ride with, suggest that you swap mounts one day. There are a couple of caveats to observe however: make sure the horse you agree to ride is safe and appropriately behaved for your skill level. Also, make sure your friend is a decent rider capable of properly handling your horse.
- Offer free exercise riding. If you know someone who doesn’t have much time to ride, offer to take his or her horse out for exercise every now and then. You’ll get experience riding a new horse, and you will be helping both the horse and its owner.
- Take lessons. Consider taking a few riding lessons on a school horse. This is your best bet if you have confidence issues riding a strange horse. School horses are usually very safe, and you’ll have an instructor there to guide you.