Riding: Horseback riding

Link to riding tips: http://ilovehorsies.wordpress.com/riding/riding-tips/

Horses and the Western Expansion

A map of the US’s western expansion

Riding is an important transportation.  You are probably thinking, horseback riding?  Who in the world horseback rides in the public now?   But it isn’t horseback riding in the 21st century that is important, but way back during the Western expansion.

Without horses, we wouldn’t have gone that far that fast, it would’ve taken many more days for people to travel that far.   It was important because people needed horses to travel fast, and to rack up speed.  People used horses to farm too.  Without horses, many people wouldn’t have had such great farms and such great food.  They needed vegetables to eat and they needed to plow the land.

Also, horses then were used during wars for carrying large drums.  They also pulled wagon loads.  They were useful in carrying people too.  Before trains, horses transported items to the west from the east.  They were used to transport things from people to things.  Horses back then were one of the most useful animals on earth.  they were very important to every settler’s life.

Every settler usually had a horse.  They usually also had a covered wagon to store everything in.  Covered wagon lines became a very popular symbol of the western expansion.  Without horses, our country probably wouldn’t have gone this far and this well.  We should thank our horsey friends by saving wild horses.

Seeing to Ride

These days, horseback riding is just a really cool hobby to have.  But it is kind of hard to find a place to horseback ride yet not that expensive.  Many kids bug their parents to take them to the pony ride where they sit on a pony and the pony walks in circles.  That is a good start, but to have to ride for real today, you’re probably going to have to go to the country.  But for those who live in the city, it is kind of hard, especially if you live in downtown.

Today people use horses as entertainment because hardly anyone’s seen a horse these days.  They’ll go: “Mom, Dad, look, it’s a horse!” It makes them extremely happy.  Yet still the people who ride a horse every week will still go, “Hey look! It’s a horse!”  Horses can make anyone happy.  Even if it is just seeing one.  Everyone can love a horse.

Maybe some people go on a horse vacation every week and get to ride along the beach, but they probably haven’t picked up the speed and went faster.  That is when learning to ride comes in and takes over.

First Lessons

Having your first lesson may seem very scary.  Was for me, yet I was really happy.  The horse may seem really tall, but when you get used to it, the horse will be the

Parts of a western saddle

perfect spot for you.  Maybe at first, the saddle feels weird or uncomfortable, but you will get used to it.   Or sometimes when you first mount it is really messy, or when you first dismount, you get stuck on the saddle.    But relaxing is the most important thing.

If you don’t relax, your horse will get agitated and feel uncomfortable because it feels you scared and it will affect it and it doesn’t know what is scaring you so it will be scared too.  So relaxing is really important.

You’ve probably read about horses with ears laid back, means that it is angry, but really, there are two things.  One is the ears turned back at you and the other, ears laid back.  Ears laid back, you can’t see the opening and it seems really angry.  Ears turned back means the horse is listening to you.  You can see the opening and the ears are pricked and still turning sometimes but always turning back to you.

At first you probably can’t tell if your stirrups are too short or too long.  For western,  when you take your foot out of the stirrup and stretch it out, it should hit between your heel and your ankle. For English, in pleasure riding, you should take your foot out of the stirrup, and stretch it out, it should hit your ankle.  Your knees should be even and you should be able to easily rise out of your seat (posting).

Your seat….you should sit forward and roll back onto your seat bone, but still sit straight.  Your ear, shoulder, hip, and heel should be in one straight line.

If you want all the tips in a short time, go up to riding and click ‘Riding Tips’


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