Your first time going horseback riding is an exciting experience. When done correctly you should have fun while also being relaxed and staying safe. At Happy on Hooves we do everything we can to ensure that your first time on a horse is a great, memorable experience, but there are some things that you can do to prepare yourself to have the best ride possible. Here are some tips for your first horseback trail ride.
Find a Reputable Facility
You want your first horseback ride to go right, so you should find a facility that you can trust. Trail riding facilities aren’t all the same though – look for a farm which has quality horses in good health with a reputation for fun, safe rides.
At Happy on Hooves, our trail guides are trained to keep you and your group having a great time, safely. Our horses know and love their job and are qualified to teach you the basics of horseback trail riding.
Our horses at Happy on Hooves are ready to ride!
Dress for the Occassion
Dressing appropriately for your ride will help to keep you both comfortable and safe. Make sure that you wear long pants, even during the summer, since this will help to prevent rubs from the saddle or stirrups. Remember that you will be outdoors for about an hour, so wear clothes that are comfortable and appropriate for the weather.
During your ride, you will be wearing a safety helmet. Items like baseball hats will not fit under the helmet, so leave those at home. It is recommended that those with longer hair wear it down or in a low ponytail which can fit under the helmet. It’s best to avoid wearing large, dangly earrings, since these can be caught in the helmet’s harness. Additionally, make sure to leave valuable jewelry at home in case it falls off while you’re out on the trail.
Last but not least is the matter of what shoes to wear, so be mindful of the footwear you choose for your ride. If your shoes have heels, then make sure that they are no more than 2 inches – otherwise they could get stuck in the stirrup. Also, your shoes should be closed toe – if a horse steps on your foot while wearing open-toed shoes you can face serious damage to your foot!
Horseback rider wearing proper attire (excluding hat)
Horseback riding, even if you're just heading out for a walking trail ride, is physically demanding. You may be surprised by how thirsty you become after only an hour on horseback. Bring along some water in a cooler so that you can have a drink as soon as you get back to the farm. Some of our saddles even have attached coozies so you can take your drink with you!
Saddle equipped with coozy
Don't Forget the Pictures
You’ll want to be able to remember your trail ride, so make sure that someone in your group brings along a small camera or a smartphone. There will be time for posed photos once you get back from your ride, and our guides are happy to take some shots of you and your group on horseback. If you want to bring the camera out on the trail with you, then wear a jacket or vest with zippered pockets to keep the item safe. Most cell phones will not fit comfortably in your pants pocket once you’re in the saddle.
You never know when you'll miss a kodak moment!
Remember to Have Fun
Some riders tend to feel a little nervous when they get on a horse for the first time, this is a completely natural response to trying something new. But you must remember to remain calm and not let anxiety take control. It is not until you have mounted up and experienced your first few steps that you should begin to feel comfortable and confident in your ability.
We at Happy on Hooves want your first horseback trail ride to be a fun and memorable experience. After your first ride you could find out that horses are a passion you never knew you had!