Riding rules

So you want to learn how to ride!  We all have to start somewhere so here we go!


To be an affective rider, you need to learn the riding rules.

So we’ll start with how to hold the reins.

Take hold of the reins in both hands with your thumbs facing upwards.

Imagine you are holding two pint glasses in each hand.

The reins should pass through your little finger and third finger, up through your hands, resting between your thumbs and first fingers.

Hold the reins softly just in front of the saddle with thumbs up and elbows close to your body but without touching.

Slide your left hand down the rein to the required length with the right hand holding both reins.

To adjust the other rein repeat again so the two reins are equal in length.

Now you might find you’ll need to lengthen or shorten the reins.

If you need to lengthen the reins, simply slide the reins through your hand to the length you require.

Stirrup length

Always check the length of your stirrups.


Place your right hand up in a straight line with your fingers touching the stirrup bar and holding the stirrup iron with your left hand.

The stirrup iron should fit nicely under your armpit.

Once you are mounted you can adjust the stirrups if need be.

In order to have a safe and secure position for riding, you need to keep your feet in the correct position at all times.


Foot position in stirrup

So turn the front edge of the stirrup iron outwards and place the ball of your foot on the stirrup iron with your heels down.

How to adjust the stirrup length when mounted.

You might find when you are in the saddle that the stirrup length may need to be lengthened or shortened.

Hold the reins in one and keep your foot in the iron, and with the other hand take hold of the leather strap and pull upwards towards you so the buckle will undo.


Slide the pin into the correct hole, pulling the underneath strap downwards to slide the buckle into place.

In time, you will be able to do this by feel alone.Repeat the same process the other side.


Riding Position Riding rules

Correct posture is important as a rider in order for you and your horse to work correctly.

You should sit up straight in the saddle but not stiff, with your shoulders back looking ahead through the horse’s ears.

Arms should be relaxed and elbows close to your body.

When you are sitting in the saddle there should be an invisible vertical line running from your ear down through your shoulder and hip and finally ending level with your heal.




Learn how to ride

How to check your girth when mounted

For safety the girth should be checked before you mount then checked again after a few minutes as horses have a tendency to blow out when girthed up.


The girth can be adjusted from either side.

Take hold of the reins in one hand and bend forwards towards the horse’s neck sliding the free hand down towards the girth.

If you can get two fingers between the girth and horse, then it is too loose and will need to be tightened.

To adjust the girth, place a leg forward away from the saddle flap.

Lift the saddle flap up and pull the leather girth straps one hole at a time to tighten the girth up.

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Learn how to ride

How to get off a horse

Learn how to walk and halt

How to turn left and right
How to trot

How to canter

Learn how to gallop a horse

Learn Western riding