Riding tips for dudes

Learning to ride a horse can be a transformative event for a both kids and adults. When you’re finally astride, comfortable in the saddle and at one with your horse, your confidence soars. But it is smart to remember that horseback riding is a real sport with a real animal, and when your instructor/wrangler speaks, its important to listen up. Before you climb onto Old Paint, or before you even arrive at the ranch, you can prepare yourself or the kids by brushing up on some riding dos and don’ts.

Do wait for your wrangler to bring your horse to you—don’t approach a group of tied-up horses (you haven’t felt real pain until you’ve had a horse step on your foot). And after the ride, stay in the saddle until the wrangler helps you dismount; let him tie up Old Paint with a lead rope (the reins are never used to tie up the horses).

When riding, remember your trail manners: don’t pass another horse at high speed (it can be dangerous), don’t make any loud noises (ditto), don’t throw things that might spook your horse or another’s mount. And don’t let your horse graze–the wranglers make sure he gets plenty of the right food back at the barn.
In short, don’t act like a tenderfoot. Act like a real cowboy/cowgirl. After all, isn’t that the point?


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