Horse Riding 101: Everything You Need to Know

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

If you’ve always had a fascination with horse riding but you’ve not yet dipped your toes into the horse riding world, there’s no better time than now!

As easy as it might look to the untrained eye, horse riding is a sport of extreme skill. There are a lot of intricacies that most people won’t notice until they take up horse riding themselves.

If you’ve already started doing your own research, you might already have spotted some of these intricacies, and you may be feeling a little overwhelmed with everything. But don’t worry! This is totally normal when you first start riding.

To help calm your nerves, here is your horse riding 101 guide. This article will cover all of the basics that you need to know up to the point of taking your first ride.


As a horse rider, there are lots of essential pieces of equipment that you need to safely ride your horse.

Your equipment can make all the difference to your riding abilities, so it’s important to get high-quality pieces. Investing in high-quality equipment can add up to quite a lot of money and this can put you off all together.

But after this initial investment, you won’t need to spend much money on your equipment for a while until something gets broke or worn out. You might need additional equipment if you eventually compete in horse shows, such as a horse trailer.

Here is a list of the essentials that you’ll need prior to getting up on your horse:

  • Reins and bridles
  • Saddle and stirrup
  • Safety helmet
  • Riding boots and socks
  • Breeches
  • Riding jacket
  • Half chaps
  • Back protector

Regarding horse equipment, there is no doubt that saddle pads are one of the most crucial pieces. While saddles and reins may seem like the evident focus, the small details can make all the difference in a horse’s comfort and health. Saddle pads provide a layer of protection and cushioning between the horse’s back and the saddle, which reduces pressure and eliminates the risk of chafing or rubbing. You might need to do deep research to find a good quality saddle, or you can check the available options online, such as LeMieux high withered saddle pad if you want unique and colorful options. 

Find a Great Riding School

As a complete beginner, having expert guidance is key to learning the right riding technique. Learning from the professionals from day one ensures that you don’t pick up any bad habits that will hard to unlearn. It also keeps you as safe as possible.

Do some research and see which riding schools are in your local area. Check the online reviews and see what other learners have said about the instructors.

If the reviews look good and the horse riding school has a great reputation, get in touch and check their availability. Some schools will offer one-on-one sessions in bulk, while others might have group sessions.

Depending on your preferences, you might prefer a more personal setting or a group learning environment. Make sure to find a school that caters to your needs.

Choose a Style and Learn the Basics

When you go through the basics of horse riding, you will need to know which particular style of riding you want to learn. There are three styles (Western, English, and Group), each of which uses different styles and techniques.

You’ll need to ensure that you find a school that offers the particular style of riding that you want to learn. From here, your riding instructor will be able to take you through every step of the learning process.

They will begin with the basics of riding and the key techniques that you need to be aware of before you get up on your horse.  This is why having an instructor is important when you’re a beginner.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

Articles: 1248

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.