Monday, October 5, 2009

Essential Horse Riding Equipment

Horse riding is a popular sport, which all kinds of people enjoy. It is a great combination of exercise and pleasure for all ages. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider it is essential that you know about the horse riding equipments.
Horse riding apparels not only gives safety but also comfort to the rider, certain products can also protect you from extreme weather conditions, guarding your legs, arms, head and also areas of the horse. The essential riding clothes include breeches, jodhpurs, riding boots, hat, body protectors, gloves and riding shirt. These horse riding apparels are called as Equestrian clothing.
Riding hat is one of the most important pieces or safety equestrian clothing. Riding hats give protection for the rider's head, it is advisable to start wearing a hat or helmet from the moment we start handling horses from the ground. It is always best to buy new hats and make sure they are correctly fitted.
Riding jackets are typically worn during formal equestrian events such as horse shows. Your riding jacket should fit in such a way that it doesn't restrict movement. There are different types of jackets for dressage, show jumping, showing etc. Jackets are compulsory for competitions. You can buy casual jackets for every day riding and formal jackets for competitions and horse shows
Jodhpurs and breeches are very closely fitted, they should be comfortable and not restrictive. They are available in a variety of colours and fabrics ranging from the classic competition beige to coloured cord, denim jodhpurs and breeches. Riding jodhpurs and breeches are best suited for equestrian activities.
Make sure you have the essential horse riding accessories and make your riding more enjoyable.
Stoneybrook provides an extensive range of Horse riding equipments including horse riding hats, jackets, jodhpurs and boots.

How to Ride a Horse Properly - Crucial Steps For Beginners

Here you will discover how to ride a horse properly. Riding a horse without knowing the basics and proper technique will definitely risk you. Learn how to ride a hose properly is a wise step to take especially for beginners.
The crucial step to take is getting your own instructor. Choose an experienced and qualified instructor. Qualified instructor means he or she has professional certificate from your local authority. The reason to get an instructor is to give you a proper guidance when you ride a horse. Besides, by having someone that expert in horseback riding will help to guarantee your safety. Choose an instructor that you are comfortable with so you can ask any question with no hesitate.
However having a good instructor alone is not enough. Horseback riding is a challenging activity and need some skills. Improve your knowledge about horseback riding such as what is the basics command you need to ride a horse. Learn how to care for your horse also gives advantage to you as it will build good relationship between you and your horse. As a result, you will feel confident and comfortable whenever you ride your horse.
It is recommended you get the basics knowledge about horseback ride before you spend some money or any dimes to get an instructor. Knowledge improves your skills and good skills are all you need to ride a horse properly. You will save tremendous amount of your time and money to learn how to horseback ride with some knowledge in mind before you start your lesson.
Why not get the basics on how to ride a horse properly before you spend any dime to get an instructor? Visit Horse Riding For Beginner for more detail on how to ride a horse properly. Also grab a copy of 13 Important Tips Every Beginning Horse Rider Needs To Know for FREE here at

Horseback Riding Tips - Techniques & Tips Especially For the Beginner

Here you will find some horseback riding tips that are geared towards the beginner or aspiring horseback rider. Learning to ride a horse can be one of the most thrilling experiences of your life, as long as you do it safely. The payoff lies not only in the freedom of galloping across a field on the back of an animal, but also in enjoying the wondrous bond between human and horse. Did you know that knowing the basic horseback riding tips before taking professional lessons, cuts your learning curve in half? Find out some essential horseback riding tips from the pros here.
First of all, it's good if you can get to know everything you can about horses - their breeds, colors, heights, etc. You also need to know the differences between English and Western riding styles. It's good if you can get to know the horse you'll be riding on. Likewise, the horse should trust you too.
One of the best horseback riding tips is: Always keep your cool. If you lose control of yourself, have no doubt you will lose control of your horse. A horse can sense if the rider is scared. Even if you are scared (and that's normal) and you have no idea how you'll ever stay on the horse, you cannot think that around your horse. You need to stay calm & relaxed (Hint: Fake it till you make it!) If you get a little scared, take a few deep breaths so that you can slow your heartbeat and relax yourself. Odds are, if you think you're in control, so will the horse. Also, when you are finished riding make sure you dismount on the left side.
You will greatly benefit if you know some basic horseback riding tips & techniques before taking horse riding lessons. There are some good books out there that give you many essential horseback riding tips. Read them, follow the many horseback riding tips and tricks and you will quickly & easily learn the basic skills needed to ride a horse. Some of them are written in plain, easy to understand language with no complicated instructions. These books show you horseback riding tips and everything that you need to know to easily learn how to ride a horse for the first time. You'll learn all the horseback riding to approach a horse, what never to do, how to mount & dismount and much, much more. And, they have some of the most beautiful horse pictures I've ever seen! These books lay it all out for you, so that you will know exactly what you are doing...before you approach a horse.
Sara D. likes to write about her interests. Horses are one of the loves of her life! Her Squidoo lens offers lots of interesting horse facts for the beginner horseback rider. No jargon there! Very easy to understand! Find out lots of free information here!.

Types of Horseback Riding - A Beginners Guide to Choosing a Horse Riding Style

One of the things that so many people would find surprising to learn about horse riding is that there are a number of different styles of riding. These styles of riding are known as disciplines in horse lingo.
Before you buy or lease a horse, or even take lessons, you need to determine which discipline you are interested in. Each of these disciplines includes different types of tack (riding equipment like saddles and bridles) and the rider also assumes different riding positions in the saddle. For example, in saddle seat, the rider sits further back on the horse's back.
Your choice of riding style is a personal one. You should choose a discipline that appeals to you. Some of the most common disciplines include Hunt Seat, Dressage, Western and Saddle Seat.
Hunt Seat
The English discipline of hunt seat originated from the British sport of fox hunting. Hunt Seat is probably one of the most popular disciplines in the world. If you are interested in jumping, then this could be the discipline for you. It is not uncommon for those who do hunt seat to go on to do show jumping, which is a timed sport involving higher jumps. Many people who participate in hunt seat also participate in horse shows where horse and rider are judged over fences (jumping) and on the flat (at the walk, trot and canter). Although many people who ride hunt seat ride Thoroughbred horses, this is changing and we are seeing more Warmbloods.
Dressage is another English disciplines. This style is one of the oldest in the world. It was originally used in ancient Europe for military maneuvers. The word dressage is French for "training". Dressage is the guiding of a horse through a series of complex maneuvers by very slight movements of the rider's hands, legs, and weight (aids). In dressage, riders compete in tests of increasing levels of difficulty. The levels include Introductory Level, Training Level, First Level, Second Level, Third Level, Fourth Level and Olympic Level. At each level, the horse is evaluated for rhythm, relaxation, impulsion and contact. Although any breed of horse can be used in dressage, warmbloods are often the breed of choice.
If you have watched a cowboy movie on television, then you are already familiar with the Western style of riding. Western riding and the western saddle can be credited to the American West. People who herd cattle in the West still enjoy Western riding, but it has also become a form of pleasure and show riding. Classes often include western pleasure, trail, gymkhana, reining, roping and cutting. A popular western horse is the American Quarter Horse.
Saddle Seat
Saddle Seat is considered an English discipline although is unique to America. The history of saddle seat originates from the American South, where this discipline is still popular. Gaited horses like American Saddlebreds, Tennessee Walking Horses and Racking Horses that have more "knee action" are typical of this discipline. The primary purpose of this style of riding is to show, but some saddle seat riders also enjoy trail riding. In saddle seat competitions either the horse's movement, or the rider's position can be judged. Successful horses in this discipline must be very flashy.
For more helpful horse related information, including horseback riding lesson, visit

Horseback Riding Lesson Guide - the Top 7 Rules All Riders Must Follow on the Trail

As always, safety is the biggest factor to keep in mind as you enjoy this wonderful sport of horseback riding. Safe practices and good common sense that will help you enjoy your free time without the instructor after your horseback riding lesson is over!
1. Anything can happen on a trail ride. Your horse could become ill or lame. You could become ill or injured. You could get lost or get stuck. My point is this: Other people need to know where you plan to go, and when you plan to return. That way, if something unexpected happens, at least others will come looking for you! If you are an inexperienced rider, you should ride with someone else when you leave the familiar territory around the barn. If you are an experienced rider and want to go it alone, at least take a charged up cell phone with you!
2. There are two things you should always take with you on a trail ride: a hoof pick and a pocketknife. It should be clear enough, but let me elaborate. If your horse gets a stone lodged into his frog, continued walking on it will make him very sore. A hoof pick can quickly fix that potential problem. Sometimes vines or thick brush can get wrapped around a leg or hoof (especially if your horse has on shoes). Without that pocketknife to cut your way out, you could wind up in a bad situation. Now, I am assuming that the rider here is old enough and mature enough to use a pocketknife. I would not recommend that a small child carry one, but then again, a small child should not be on a trail ride without an adult anyway. So, adults should carry a pocket knife.
3. People often forget their horsemanship after their horseback riding lesson. They think a trail ride is a relaxing time for them so they allow their horse to relax as well. Do not do this! Horses are not smart enough to discern playtime from work time. When you are riding, you are ALWAYS teaching your horse something, whether good or bad. One thing many people become lax about on the trail is allowing their horse to grab bites of grass as they are walking along the trail. That is a big no-no. If you allow it on the trail, next time it will be on the way to the show ring gate. Some horses will get aggressive about it, plunging their head down at every blade of grass so hard and fast that you lose your grip on the reins and are left, momentarily, without any control. The trail is the last place you want to be without control!
4. When you are riding with others, remember that horses are always communicating with each other. For this reason, it is important that you ride a respectful distance from the other riders. If you are single file, say, on a narrow path through the woods, be sure to keep at least one horse length between you and the next rider in front of you. If you do not, and you crowd the horse in front of you, that horse may decide to teach your horse a lesson and kick at him. If you are horseback riding side by side in an open area, keep their herd instincts in mind. Although you want to keep a safe distance away, you also do not want to create unnecessary anxiety among the horses if they think the herd is getting split up! For the same reason, do not ever take off running away from the group without warning the others. If told, the riders can be prepared for their horses' natural reaction to take off as well. If not, they could take a spill as their horse bolts unexpectedly.
5. Running through an open field appears very inviting. With few exceptions, this is a bad idea. If you are galloping through a field you are not familiar with, you never know when an overgrown ditch or a covered up hole becomes the bane of your existence. Not only could your horse stumble, he could break a leg! Be careful with terrain you have never covered before, whether it is an open field or a windy dirt road.
6. Your horse will see scary stuff while on a trail ride. When this happens, do not be in a hurry. Let him look, walk slowly, let him sniff whatever it is. At the same time, however, do not go out of your way to show it to him. In other words, the bigger deal YOU make out of a foreign object, the bigger deal it is to him. If you ignore it, he will come closer to doing the same. When riders go back and forth, back and forth in front of the spooky object, "showing" it to their horse, thinking they were getting him used to it, they are usually making the situation worse. Instead, calmly encourage him forward and talk in a smooth tone of voice. In fact, talking to another rider and ignoring the object and his reaction to it often works best.
7. If you come across others on the trail, like hikers, bikers or other riders, speak to them. Your horse is listening to you and following your lead. If you casually say hello and walk along with comfort, he will likely do the same. If you, however, grab the reins, tighten your seat, close your legs and generally convey nervousness, he will sense that and react accordingly.
That covers the 7 rules that I find most important when trail riding. There are plenty of other good ideas I could share, but these are the ones that will help keep you out of trouble so that you get the most out of your horseback riding experience. Happy Trails!
For more information on horse riding go to or
Lisa B. Blackstone has been involved in the Arabian horse business all of her life. She is a practicing attorney in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Recently, Lisa launched two websites designed to teach the novice rider about horses and horsemanship. You can visit them at and She is the host of The Horse and Rider Radio Show at Radio Sandy Springs.

Horseback Riding Lesson Apparel and Safety Equipment For Kids

If your child is going to take horseback riding lessons, then they are going to need certain clothing and safety equipment. Whether your child is participating in an English private horseback riding lesson, or a Western group horse riding lesson, safety equipment is of the utmost importance. In this article, you will learn what your child needs to be safe around horses and ponies.
The basic safety equipment needed includes boots, a helmet and riding pants. These can be purchased at a local tack store or online.
Horse Riding Boot Needs
You should always wear a good protective horseback riding boot whenever you are around horses. It doesn't matter if you are planning to ride or simply plan on a grooming session. Boots are important while you are on the ground to protect you in case a horse accidently steps on your foot. They are also important while riding, because they have a heel that keeps your foot from slipping too far into the stirrup causing you to get stuck. It's obvious that you don't want your foot to be stuck, if you were to experience a fall from a horse. So don't cut corners where an equestrian boot is concerned.
Paddock boots are typically the type of boot used for English horseback riding lessons. A paddock boot is a leather ankle boot that can either lace up or zip closed. These can also be used for Western riding, or a cowboys boots can be used. In English riding, tall boots that go up to your knees are not required for lessons and usually children do not start wearing them until they are over the age of 12 or so.
Horse Riding Helmet Needs
A helmet is probably the most important part of your child's equestrian wardrobe, because it protects the skull and brain. While a helmet should always be worn while riding, it can also be worn while on the ground as an extra safety precaution while being around horses. A schooling helmet is typically used for riding lessons. As the name implies, schooling helmets are only used for practice, not for horse shows. I personally like the adjustable kind. They have a little dial in the back that you can adjust to fit your head perfectly, so it doesn't fall down onto your forehead while you are riding.
Horse Riding Pant Needs
Long pants should be worn when riding horses. This is to protect the legs from rubbing against the saddle and horse. It can also protect the legs should your child fall from her horse or pony. If your child is taking English riding lessons, schooling tights or schooling breeches are usually worn. For Western riding, regular blue jeans are typically worn.
Once your child has been around horses for a while, their comfort grows, and there might be a tendency to cut corners. Don't allow your child to get too comfortable. You must always remind them to follow the safety rules, however much at ease they become around horses.
For more helpful horse related information, including horses for beginners, visit

Horseback Riding Essentials For The Beginner

Horse back riding, like any other hobby or sport, has its own rules of etiquette which should be followed in order to fit in well and have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most seem like common sense they none the less should be followed at all times. Most of the time you will probably horseback ride in an outdoor arena or field, but in the case of inclement weather you will probably ride in an indoor arena. No matter where you ride there are certain rules you should follow:
Horseback Riding Etiquette:
• Horseback riders should always ride in the same direction; however, if this is not possible then they should ride left shoulder to left shoulder
• Slower riders should ride on the inside closer to the arena walls while the faster riders working on the outside (closer to the center of the arena)
• Always mount the horse before entering the arena, or in the center of the arena
• All horseback riders should be working on the same things; ie jumping, flat work et al
• Announce your intentions to the other horseback riders in the arena
• You should no lunge your horse when other riders are in the arena
• Commands should be given quietly and not interfere with the other riders
• Always follow posted rules for horseback riding in the arena
• Clean up any items you have used in the arena, as well as any manure which your horse may have deposited
Horseback Riding Safety:
• Keep one horse length between yourself and the next closest rider so as not to crowd other riders
• Do not smoke while horseback riding
• Keep your horse under control at all times
• Stay aware of your surroundings and everything going on around you
• If you are going to do something which creates loud noises be sure everyone is aware of it so you don’t startle another horse
• Do not ride alone; always have someone else present in case of an accident
• If a rider falls off their horse all other horseback riders should dismount until everything returns to normal
• In the case of emergency be sure you know where the nearest phone is, the emergency numbers and where the first aid kit is
Following these simple rules should allow you to participate in your chosen hobby without causing harm or injury to others. Remember, you have taken up this hobby for fun and companionship; don’t spoil it by being careless or rude. Most of all enjoy your horseback riding experience.
John helped his daughter with her desire to participate in the sport of horseback riding, and owns a horseback riding web site which helps people learn about horse back riding.

Horseback Riding Apparel For Everyone

Okay you have a horse or you want to get one. Now you need to figure out what kind of horseback riding apparel you will need. Some things you need to think about before buying apparel for this type of activity are important. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you spend your money. What type of riding will you be doing? Are you going to participate in any events such as jumping, barrel racing and so on? Are you going to be doing any fox hunting or other hunting on horseback? Do you want to ride English or Western style? What is the climate around you? If you are participating in some events, what are the standards of apparel and are there any restrictions that need to be known? Make sure you check about the ages of events for children and see what they will need for apparel. Some standards are different depending on ages. If showing, what do you need for your horse?
Horseback riding apparel can be frustrating if you have no idea what you need or do not know much about the sport. One thing that you will need is boots. Horseback riding boots are made to keep you feet from slipping from the stirrups. You do need this to keep control of your horse and for safety. There are a few different types of riding boots to choose from such as field, dress or paddock boots. They are cut differently and some sports such as formal foxhunts have an appropriate style that is accepted. There are different types of horseback riding apparel for sports such as polo. There are breeches, gloves, helmets, belts, chaps, hats, boots coats and much more.
You will also have to choose which style saddle you want to use. This does make a difference in what type of riding you will be doing. If you are planning to round up cattle then you want a western style saddle and some good leather gloves and western style apparel. If you will be jumping with your horse in competition then you will need an English style saddle and the apparel required with that sport. Typically, you do not wear open-toed sandals when riding a horse. You want sturdy close-toed boots.
If riding for strictly pleasure you do not have to have riding gear, but there are precautions that you would typically pay attention too such as close-toed shoes. A riding helmet for safety is always a good idea. If you have ever fallen from a horse then you know if seems like you are falling from high up and you can get seriously hurt when you land.
Protecting your head can save your life. The horse can always take a fall or stumble and you will fall with him or her. If your horse gets spooked, they may throw you and if you have a helmet on your risk, a much lower chance of getting seriously injured or even critically hurt. When choosing horseback riding apparel have fun but also make sure, you purchase some protection for your body also. There is something for everyone so have fun shopping.
Horseback Riding Can Be A Fun And Safe Hobby, When Done Correctly. Learn The Horseback Riding Essentials From the Comfort Of Home, Before You Go Riding.
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Horseback Riding Apparel

Having a horse or getting one calls for the buying of proper horseback riding apparel. This is because apparel of this kind is important for a safe and more comfortable ride. However, there are many things that need to be considered before buying apparel for horse riding.
One of the considerations that anyone should look into before spending money to buy horseback riding apparel is the type of riding they would be getting into. Will you want to ride English or Western style? Will you be be doing any hunting on horseback? Are you planning to join in some horse events like barrel racing or horse jumping? There are standards and restrictions when it comes to apparel in these kinds of competitions. The climate of the place where your horses are boarded should also be a consideration.
Buying horseback riding apparel can be frustrating if you have no inkling as to what you need. Above all else, there is one thing that these that a horseman needs: a proper pair of riding boots. This footwear is very important because it prevents feet from losing their footing on the stirrups. Boots are also very critical in controlling the horse. There are different types of horse riding boots; among these are the paddock, field and dress boots. Their cuts are different from each other and they are worn for different occasions. There are even some types of sports involving horses (like a foxhunt) that call for particular types of boots to be worn.
Other important horseback riding apparel includes coats, breeches, belts, hats, gloves, helmets and chaps, among others. If you're horse riding just for fun, then there is really no need to buy fancy riding apparel. However, there is one precaution that should still be adhered to and this is the wearing of close-toed shoes or boots. Wearing a riding helmet is also very idea because this lessens the risk of head injuries, in the event that a horse gets spooked or throws his rider.
Although anyone can definitely have fun in buying horse riding apparel, it should not be forgotten that the main goal in buying this is for protection and not just enjoyment. This is quite crucial as it involves your personal safety, as well as the safety of your horse.
Candis Reade is an accomplished niche website developer and author.
To learn more about horseback riding apparel, please visit Safe Horseback for current articles and discussions.

Horseback Riding - How to Canter Or Lope

The canter is widely regarded as being the most difficult pace for a horse to perform correctly. Before attempting to canter it is strongly advised that one has already mastered walking and trotting, and for the slower paces a smooth control needs to be maintained.
When one learns how to canter well whilst practicing a relaxed posture in the saddle and moving in sync with the slightly rocking motion, the exercise of cantering is a comfortable one. The main challenge is for one to learn how to adjust to the fast three-time beat bounding pace where each stride is followed by a period of suspension when all four feet are in the air at once.
The following steps are a useful guide when learning to canter:
(1) It is important that your horse maintains a smooth trotting action to begin with in preparation to begin cantering; the better trotting technique maintained, the smoother the transition to cantering will be.
(2) It is also important to teach the horse being ridden to strike off on the correct leg. When riding in a straight-line either leg may lead yet when turning or circling the inside pair (both fore and hind legs) must lead in order for the horse to maintain its balance. Care must be taken depending on whether one is cantering to the left or right when determining the best leg to lead off on.
(3) When cantering, first tighten your seat muscles and hold the horse together with legs and hands. Control the horse's direction through flexing with legs. ease your rein to provide freedom of movement.
(4) Maintain a straight, relaxed sitting posture and let your hips go with the horse's movement to allow your seat to remain in the saddle. Ensure that one hand holds a neck-strap or pommel to maximize a safe riding technique.
(5) Continue the cantering by keeping your legs firmly in place. The horse's balance is promoted by keeping his strides short and bouncy.
Effective cantering is best achieved when a smooth, fluid motion is mastered. Reins must never be too long otherwise control of the mount and one's balance may be compromised.
Don't lean too far forward or too far back and ensure that your back remains relaxed and that the seating position is comfortable.
Pace needs to be maintained; going too fast will cause the horse to gallop, too slow and a trotting action will ensue.
A good communication and attaining of the 'entente cordiale' between horse and rider will lead to the smoothest gait.
Happy riding!
For more articles by the same author, on a variety of topics, please visit: ( ~ My Daily Bread ~ 'Telling, not 'selling'!)

Horses - Horse Riding Tips

Horse riding is one of those activities that move quickly from being a hobby to becoming a real passion. Horse activities have been shown to benefit children, people with disabilities and those who need to gain confidence in their athletic abilities. It provides a social venue as well as an intensely satisfying human-equine relationship, that affects personal discipline as well as relatedness and tends to make people happier and more functional in other areas of their lives.
In this article I will give you a few basic tips to bear in mind when enjoying your horse riding:
First of all you really need to get to know everything about your horse - your horse personality, likes/dislikes, etc.. One of the most important things is to make a bond with them. You need to be able to trust your horse, and your horse needs to be able to trust you. Therefore spend lots of time with your horse, just to be around her - groom her, go into her stall and just pet her for a while, or whatever you feel comfortable doing. This basic connection is important because the horse then will be able to trust you later on, when you are riding her, and the horse will be more willing to work with you. It also allows you to bond with her, and get to know what she's actually like. Just spend every day with her for a while like this.
After you and your horse know each other better, you should start some ground training. You need to be able to get respect from your horse on the ground before you even hop onto her back. Try some simple exercises such as making your horse back up, move forward, and to the side with just a push of your hand. Lunge your horse, making sure she obeys your commands the minute you give them to her. Do some kind of ground work every time before you ride, so she will trust you when you get on her back.
When you have the trust from your horse you are now able to begin your riding training, and here are some basic Tips about your horse riding:
  1. Rule number one in horseback riding is keep your heels down, because this make you much more secure.
  2. Rule number two is.... keep your head and shoulders up and sit straight up and down or lean slightly back, because this puts you in a secure position for riding.
  3. If your horse is going strong on the forehand or is lazy, you might want to try leaning back a little with your shoulders behind the perpendicular. This will make your seat stronger and push your horse forward into better movement.
  4. My last tip is properly the most important advice about horse riding…..I definitely suggest that you right from the beginning start to take riding lessons with an instructor. Riding instructors will teach you proper riding techniques, ground handling, etc... that will benefit you very much, so you don’t from the start build in bad habits with your horse riding.

------------------------------------------------------------------Have Fun with your Horse and Horse Riding.
About the Author
Morten Hansen has been focused on the Horse area for several years and is mainly writing about subjects, that make it easier for people to work with and enjoy Horses. For more details about different kind of subjects relating to Horses visit our website

Horseback Riding Helmet Do's & Don'ts

Riding Helmet Do's & Don'ts!
A riding safety helmet only works if it fits and you wear it correctly. Here's the info on safety helmets, from choosing a helmet to avoiding common helmet mistakes.
It's a beautiful day for a ride. You tack up, pull on your boots, and head out of the barn. The thought of a head injury doesn't even cross your mind - but it should. If you are riding without a safety helmet, you're taking a chance that may cost you your life.
Why wear a safety helmet?
It's simple. If you fall from your horse, the helmet takes the force of the blow - instead of your head. When you're riding, wearing a safety helmet is the most effective way to prevent a life-threatening head injury.
Selecting a safety helmet
Horseback Riding helmets are cooler, lighter, and more comfortable than ever before. There are plenty of choices for riders of all ages and abilities. Just remember some ground rules:
  • Make sure the helmet is safe and "approved". Look for a seal of approval from the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) or combination approval from ASTM/SEI.
  • Make sure it fits properly. It is important to be correctly measured and fitted for a riding helmet. Not every helmet fits every rider, and there are sizing differences between brands. The helmet should feel comfortably snug. Sizing pads are included with most helmets and can help make the fit more secure. If you have long hair, consider a helmet with a ponytail port. You don't want to try to fit all of your hair up inside the helmet. That would make the helmet too big to properly protect you in case of a fall.
Wearing a Riding helmet
"A helmet can't protect what it doesn't cover!" The rules for wearing a safety helmet are the same for everyone. Wear the helmet flat on the top of your head. The helmet should sit right above your eyebrows, covering your forehead. There should be no tiliting forward or backward, or side to side.
The chin strap needs to be fastened, just below your chin. Just like your horse's noseband, you should be able to fit a finger or two between the strap and below your chin. More than that, and it is too loose. Less than that, and it is too tight and will be uncomfortable.
Avoid common helmet mistakes
If the helmet is tilted forward, the back of your head is vulnerable to the force of a fall or kick from a hoof. A helmet that tips backward is just as problematic. When this happens, the front and side of your head are vulnerable to the force of a fall.
Other factors to consider:
Teach yourself and your kids to carefully store a helmet when done riding. Helmets should not be dropped or kicked. Also, do not keep your helmet in a hot trunk on a summer day! If you're in a riding accident, do not continue to use that helmet. Replace it with a new one. Even if the helmet looks undamaged, it may not be able to withstand the force of another blow.
Most helmet manufacturers have a replacement policy. This replacement information usually can be found on the tags of your new helmet, or on the box it came in. Return the damaged helmet to the manufacturer, and get a new one! Manufacturers can then collect data about riding accidents and how the helmets are reacting to falls. This information can help make future helmets even safer!
We do not recommend wearing a used helmet. You may not know if the helmet has been in a fall, and it may not be safe. Many times, you cannot see damage just by looking at a helmet. Visible damage usually only happens with a serious trauma, like a direct kick or a hard fall on a rock, etc. Many times, only x-ray technology will be able to determine where damage is on a safety riding helmet.
Don't skimp on safety!
There are many inexpensive helmets that would be a safer alternative, and can be fitted to you!
Play it safe
Let's say that you haven't fallen off in about 6 years. Your helmet is perfectly fine, right? No. Even with proper care, the average lifespan of a safety helmet is about 4 years before the lining materials begin to deteriorate. Also, in that time, manufacturers may have improved fit and comfort of their helmets!
Now that you know the helmet basics, put them to good use. Wear your helmet every time you ride!
The Paddock Saddlery was established in 1986, to serve the needs of the English Equestrian in Northern Ohio's Chagrin Valley. Our customers tell us it is easy to shop in a store where they can depend on friendly, courteous service from a knowledgeable sales staff. We are dedicated to providing our customers with the finest selection of saddlery, apparel, and accessories available to fit their discipline, experience, and budget. Selection, competitive pricing, plus the availability of an ever-changing collection of gently used apparel, riding boots, and saddles have made The Paddock Saddlery the tack shop of choice for riders across the Midwest and beyond!

Horse Riding Clothing For Kids - Costly Mistakes Beginners Make

Whether you're a new rider or the parent of a new rider, you've no doubt already discovered one of the most enduring truths about riding horses: horse riding clothing is expensive. And confusing. There's so much of it, in so many different styles, for so many different types of riding, it's hard to know what to buy. And once you finally do pick out a few items, the prices are so shockingly huge you begin to think it might be better to forget about the ponies altogether and get into scrapbooking instead.
But don't give up yet! By avoiding the most common mistakes that beginners make, you can save yourself lots of time, money, and frustration. 
Horse Riding Clothing Mistake #1: Buying Everything
When first starting out, many new riders think they need to own every piece of horse riding gear under the sun. They load down their shopping carts and wipe out their budgets only to eventually discover they didn't need half of it, or they bought the wrong kind. Or, worse yet, their interest in riding was only a phase and all that expensive equipment is now sitting on a shelf collecting dust.
To make sure you avoid this mistake, just keep in mind one simple phrase: You don't need all that stuff. All you really need when starting out are three simple things:
  1. a horse riding helmet
  2. a comfortable pair of pants
  3. some horse riding boots.
And that's it. With just those three items, you can take your first riding lessons, learn the basics, and figure out whether or not riding horses is something you really want to do before you throw piles of money at it. This, of course, brings us to...
Horse Riding Clothing Mistake #2: Buying the Wrong Helmet
There are many different kinds of horse riding helmets, all designed for very specific disciplines or skill levels. Unfortunately, many of them look the same and it would be very easy for a beginner to spend way too much money on the wrong one. To avoid this common mistake, all you really need to know about are two different types: show helmets and schooling helmets.
Show helmets are exactly what they sound like: helmets you wear to a show. They're very formal and very expensive, often reaching several hundred dollars apiece.  Now here's the good news: Until you reach a level where you're ready to compete in front of judges, you don't need a show helmet.
Schooling helmets are also exactly what they sound like: helmets you wear while schooling, or lesson riding. Schooling helmets are way less formal and way less expensive; a decent one can be gotten for around $30-$40. They're also much more durable and easier to clean, meaning the wear-and-tear of weekly lessons won't be such a strain on your time or pocketbook.
Horse Riding Clothing Mistake #3: Buying the Wrong Breeches
Breeches are those stretchy pants you see professional equestrians wear. They're made of a special material that allows for freedom of movement and wicks moisture (aka sweat) away from the skin. They also have very soft seams specially stitched to keep from chafing the rider's legs at the points where they make contact with the sides of the horse's body. These are all good things.
When you shop for breeches, you'll find many different kinds with many different names: knee patch breeches, full-seat breeches, low-rise breeches, etc. The kind you ultimately need will depend on which style of riding you get into, but, in the beginning, you can easily get away with a nice, cheap pair of schooling tights.
Note: Some people will tell you that you can just wear a tight pair of jeans, but that really isn't a very good idea. First of all, most trainers will only let you get away with that for a couple of lessons (until you decide if you want to keep riding or not), and, secondly, the seams on a pair of jeans will quickly begin to chafe -- and eventually scar -- your legs. Do yourself a favor, and find a nice pair of riding tights.
Horse Riding Clothing Mistake #4: Buying the Wrong Boots
As with all the other pieces of horse riding clothing, there are many different kinds of boots, all made for specific types of riding. Many beginners immediately go for the tall, glossy boots that they see so many other riders wearing, but this is a huge mistake. Not only are those tall boots extremely expensive, they're also very tough to break in. If your new rider is still growing, by the time the boots are fully broken in, they will likely have outgrown them; meaning all that money you just spent has gone straight down the drain. And finally, as with show helmets, the wear-and-tear of lesson riding will quickly cause the value of your investment to dwindle.
When starting out, the only horse riding boots a beginner needs are paddock boots. Paddock boots are short, ankle-length boots that look a bit like "granny boots."  They have the same safety features as tall boots, but are far less expensive, far less difficult and time-consuming to break in, and not so heartbreaking to get dirty. Also, for kids under 12, paddock boots are perfectly fine to wear for shows, meaning you can definitely get your money's worth from them for quite some time.
And That's It!
Sure, it's easy to spend a lot of money on horse riding clothing. And it's really easy to buy the wrong kind. But by avoiding these common mistakes that beginning riders make, you can minimize your cost and maximize your time enjoying the reason you got into riding in the first place: spending time with the horse! 
Now, if you're ready to learn a little more about horse riding clothing and equipment -- such as what kinds of horse riding helmets are out there or where to find all the cutest schooling shirts -- make sure to check out the Horse Riding Clothing blog, where we love to talk about anything and everything to do with riding, riding clothes, and the joys of barn life!
About the Author:Much to his parents' continuing surprise, "Hollywood" John Harris has been a professional artist, designer, and freelance writer for 20 years. From the very first time he sat on a horse and really felt that connection between horse and rider -- that feeling that they truly understood each other -- he was hooked on riding. Soon after, he discovered the awesomeness of barn life, the beauty of horse riding clothing, and the reason otherwise perfectly normal people smile while mucking a stall.

Horse Riding Training - Top 5 Tips Before Starting Horse Riding Lessons

My family has been involved in horse riding training for over 25 years and we thought it would be a great idea to share some of the knowledge we have built up. Also, as our 4 year old daughter is about to start her training we thought it would be great to share some of her experiences as she progresses.
I've put together my Top 5 Tips for you to follow before getting started in your horse riding training.
1. An important factor when you start your horse riding training is making sure that you take your time to find a good reputable training school using good training methods. The reason why this is important is because it's easy to pick up bad habits. If you don't take your time in finding the right training, then you run the risk of developing bad habits which are difficult to correct later. So do your homework, speak to friends who already ride, visit a few in your area and if possible watch some of the lessons to get a feel for the school or center as the feel can be just as important as the content of the lesson.
2. Another important consideration is what equipment you buy. It's critical that you buy good quality equipment because you want it to last and be safe, horse riding can be harsh on equipment and riders especially when riding cross country.  Also, if you like the idea of entering horse showing events you will want to look your be stand buying the right horse riding clothing can help. If you make sure that you buy good quality equipment, then you'll be fine.
3. You don't have to spend vast amounts of money in order to start  training. All you need to do is read up as much as you can, knowledge can go a long way to building confidence when getting on to a horse for the first time.
4. Instead of complicating training efforts by buying a horse and equipment straight away, try it this way: contacting your preferred training school and part renting a horse, then as you improve your horse riding ability and you are sure it is the right hobby for you, then buy your own. In fact, if you contact your local stables, then you may find that there are horses available to rent and look after as if they were your own.
5. Have you considered sharing a horse with a friend. It's not as difficult as you might think, and can help to spread the costs of looking after your own horse.
So if you really want to start horse riding training, following these tips can help make your experience a fun, safe and enjoyable one and one that you will want to continue for life.
Andy Day and his family have over 25 years experience in keeping horses and horse riding training. Together they share their experiences and knowledge to help you get started and have fun in your horse riding.
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Horse Riding - A Beginners Guide

What you Should Learn About Horse Riding
If you enjoy watching people ride horses, you are probably the type of person who wants to try it for themself.  If that's case, you'll be pleasantly surprised that is an enjoyable and fulfilling way to spend some time.  Horseback riding, will teach you to appreciate what beautiful animals horses are, as well as help you learn a skill which very few people have been able to accomplish.  Spending time around a variety of horses, and having the opportunity to ride them, is an experience that really can't compare to many others available.  When you are ready to begin your riding experience, you must begin by taking a few simple steps.
Step One - Riding Basics
As with most endeavors, you must first learn the basics when taking up horseback riding.  You should do any research and perform any due diligence to find out what will be required, before you sign up for any type of lesson program.  Your first consideration is whether you are really interested in riding, or just like looking at these wonderful animals.  For example, horse riding is not an activity for the timid and there is some risk involved.
Riding Camp or Private Lessons
As a beginner, your best two options are to start with group lessons at a riding camp, or taking private lessons.  Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.  Group lessons are generally less costly, but you will not get as much attention as in a private lesson.  Private lessons almost always cost more, but you will be able to learn much more, especially with a qualified  instructor.  You may even be better off trying both group and private lessons to see which works best for you. Whichever path you choose, remember that your are taking up this activity for enjoyment, not as a chore.
To learn more horse riding information, please visit our horse riding site.

Horseback Riding Lessons For the Beginner

There are many things that can make horse riding more fun and relaxing for you. Following are some pointers that will help you learn safe riding skills and be prepared for your first time in the saddle.
- Taking riding lessons from an experienced coach on a quiet horse is the safest way to learn horseback riding.
- Be sure the horse is suitable in demeanor and size for you-your size and horseback riding skills.
- Never stand behind any horse, or straight in front of them, or run up to them - they spook easily.
- Wear appropriate safety gear: boots, heavy denim jeans, and an approved riding helmet.
- Volunteer at a nearby stable if possible. (Most would be thrilled to have a volunteer.) You can get familiar with horses and their body language. They also might let you ride one!
- Make sure you learn about taking care of the horse, grooming them, and also handling their blankets and saddles properly. If you get a chance to feed the horse, it is even better for bonding.
- Be careful to always use calm, reassuring movements around horses so that you don't spook them.
- When riding with a group, ride at the same speed of the least experienced horseback rider.
- Always mount the horse from a block or step that is high enough to keep from straining you and the horse.
- Remember that the reins are the horse's "steering wheel" which means that you are guiding him in the direction you want to go by gently applying pressure on one side or the other.
- While you are new to horseback riding, you will do best to ride in an open area that doesn't have lots of trees and fences. The goal in the beginning is to learn about balance, not avoiding branches.
- Keep your horse under control, and always watch out for anything that might spook him.
- Don't go too fast until you are very comfortable horse riding. Just like anything else, the faster you go, the bigger the crash if there is an accident.
- Always ride with a friend and a cell phone or radio.
- Leave a map of your route and when you'll be back so family will know how to find you if something goes wrong.
Most importantly, enjoy yourself! You will soon fall in love with horses and want to be around one all the time.
After three decades, Jaison Greene has recently mustered up the courage to get back on a horse. This was made possible because he did his homework and rediscovered dos and don'ts while getting the tips to ride ethically and safely, long before he ever got back in the saddle. All from the comfort of his own home! This 9 minute video presentation will show you exactly how to do the same. Trot on over to

Horse Riding Techniques and Tips

The thought of riding horses is often bewildering to people. The thought of climbing high in the saddle can be scary because horses are rather large and can seem frightening. Lots of people are nervous about horseback riding, but some are actually afraid of horses. You are not to be blamed for this. You are just acting upon information that you have gathered throughout your life.
The cornerstone to learning horse riding techniques begins while your feet are still planted on the ground, long before you contemplate sitting upon a horse. The cornerstone to horse riding is a a good base knowledge of the animals and their unique psychology.
Everyone lends human characteristics to the animals we love, and so it is with horses. We imagine that horses feel, think, and react the way that we humans do. This is the most debilitating thing a horse rider can do, and it is usually the initial big blunder made by those new to riding.
People and horses are not the same thing. Horses do not sense things in the same way as humans, nor do they reason or perceive things as humans do. You must truly understand this idea to protect yourself and the horses whether you are on the ground or in the saddle.
A horse's community is his herd. Therefore, they are inherently programmed to exist, reason, and respond like a pack animal. They will naturally react as opposed to acting because that is simply the way they are made. Have you ever watched a herd of zebras on television that were startled by a tiger or something? Horses react to things this same way.
However, this thought shouldn't keep you from learning to ride horses. Instead, it should teach you that horses aren't human and that you are going to have to come around to their way of thinking in order to really grasp horse riding techniques. Once you get this down, everything else will fall into place.
Anybody can have fun learning to ride, but if you start off with a bad basis, you will being starting off with incorrect methods and routines. It is for this reason that the majority of novice riders quit early on in their horse riding education. They experienced unpleasantries with the strong animals in which they got scared, took a fall, or even retained injuries. Don't let their bad experiences keep you from learning.
Learning not to fall off or get hurt is all part of the learning experience, and once you have some great horse riding techniques in your bag of tricks, you will find horseback riding can be one of the greatest things you've ever done.
With the correct horse riding technique you can enjoy the peace and joy of horseback riding for many years to come.

Horseback Riding Lessons and Directions

Horseback riding has been a method of transportation for hundreds of years, and over time as technology advanced it became more of a pastime. People love horseback riding as a way of feeling free and having a special connection with parts of nature. If you have been thinking about owning a horse, or maybe you just want to take lessons, you should know a few things before you get into serious riding.
When you first consider dealing with a horse on a regular basis by owning one or 'leasing' one for riding, you might not have any previous experience or seen one up close and in person. If you are going to be in close contact with a horse for the first time, be prepared because they are very large creatures. While they are beautiful and generally well mannered, most people are slightly intimated by the size for the first few times they are around it. This is why it is very important for you to get to know your horse before riding it.
If you are buying your own horse, then you will probably be doing a fair amount of grooming. Even if you keep it at a stable and hire someone to do some of the grooming, you should spend time grooming it too if you plan on riding. Most people who lease out their horses to let people ride them will require you to groom the horse before each riding session. By grooming the horse, you'll not only be developing a connection but you'll also help yourself to feel comfortable around it. Every horse has a different personality and it's important that you have a sense of your horse's personality before riding, because it may be a factor in how you need to handle it.
Whether you are getting ready to groom your horse or get on its back for a ride, you need to be sure you approach it in a safe manner. Horses aren't naturally dangerous creatures, but they can dangerous be because of their sheer size. They don't know any better so it is up to their handlers to take the extra precautions. Never approach your horse from directly in front or behind. The way their heads are shaped prevents them from being able to see behind them and it is hard for them to see in front of them as well. Coming in from either side, especially where you can see their eyes directly in front of you means they can see you coming and won't accidentally hurt you.
As far as the actual riding goes, that is the easy part. A well trained horse - and as a beginner you should be riding a well trained horse - will follow commands very well. You'll need to keep a comfortable grip on the reins and be sure not to pull tight because you'll need room to pull back when you want to horse to slow down. The commands are simple; you'll be using the reins to direct the horse by nudging its head to face the direction you want it to go. That's it for the basics. If you want to learn more advanced riding, you will definitely want to take lessons.
Riding Stable offering Riding Lessons Ontario and Trail Rides Oakville Our qualified and friendly staff will ensure that you are properly equipped to make your ride as safe and comfortable.