Hints & Tips
The variety of riding activities that are possible will leave you spoilt for choice! Whether you fancy a relaxed hack with your horse, or the fast-paced world of cross-country and Jump Cross, there will be more than one activity that will appeal to you and your horse.
Regular exercise for your horse will help maintain a good physical condition and promote a healthy heart and lungs. Both you and your horse can benefit from ongoing fitness and training, and by taking part in the activities your horse is trained and suited for. You should consider what your horse is good at and enjoys, as well as taking into account your own riding ambitions.
Some of the popular riding activities available are listed below. So have a read and jump in the saddle!
- Jump Cross
- Freestyle Dressage
You could even turn an everyday hack into an adventure by finding out about the different bridleways in your area and trying out a different route just don't forget to take a map!
Make sure you always wear high visibility fluorescent clothes when hacking out on the roads. You can also get reflective leg guards for your horse to make sure you are both as visible as possible. Certain types of knee boots and brushing boots are also worthwhile having for your horse to protect their legs from injury, in case they brush their legs together whilst hacking.
As well as the above activities, don't forget that ongoing exercise and training is important, such as lunging, long-reining and lessons. Lunging can be beneficial in teaching your horse balance, suppleness and responsiveness. Make sure you don't have your horse doing too much lunging as excessive amounts can create both physical and mental problems. Long-reining develops your horse's balance, confidence and also obedience.
Both you and your horse will benefit from having regular lessons from an instructor. This will help to improve riding skills and confidence, as well as boosting the partnership between you and your horse. Make sure that you are both ready for lessons, as they can be strenuous exercise so you and your horse will both need to be of a good fitness level.