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riding tips

1. Keep your horse under control and maintain a secure seat at all times. Horses are easily frightened by unusual objects and noises.

 2. Until you know your horse, confine your riding to an arena or other enclosed area. Ride in open spaces or unconfined areas only after you are familiar with your horse.

3. If your horse becomes frightened, remain calm, speak to it quietly, steady it, and give it time to overcome its fear. Then ride or lead the horse past the obstacle.

 4. Hold your mount to a walk when going up or down a hill.

 5. Allow a horse to pick his way at a walk when riding on rough ground, or in sand, mud, ice, or snow where there is danger of slipping or falling.

 6. Don't fool around. Horseplay is dangerous to you and to your friends, as well as to others who may be nearby.

 7. Riding on roads: - Be cautious if you ride bareback. - Always bridle the horse-riding with just a halter doesn't give control. - Use judgment when riding in pairs or in groups. Be certain there is sufficient space. - Try to avoid paved or other hard-surfaced roads. Walk the horse when crossing such roads. - In areas of heavy traffic, it is safest to dismount and lead across. - Ride on the shoulders or in ditches, but watch for junk. - If necessary to ride on roads or highways, ride on the side required by law. State laws vary as to which side of the road you should ride on. Wear light-colored clothing and carry a flashlight and reflectors when riding at night. Check your State regulations of details.

 8. Never rush past riders who are proceeding at a slower gait, as it startles both horses and riders, and often causes accidents. Instead, approach slowly, indicate a desire to pass, and proceed cautiously on the left side.

 9. Never ride off until all riders in your group are mounted.

 10. Ride abreast or stay a full horse's length from the horse in front to avoid the possibility of your being kicked, or the horse's being kicked.

11. Walk your horse when approaching and going through under passes and over bridges.

 12. When your horse is full of energy, exercise it on a lounge line or ride it in an enclosed area until it is settled.

 13. Don't let a horse run to and from the stables. Walk the horse the last mile home.

 14. Know proper use and the purpose of spurs before wearing them.

 15. Dogs and horses are not always good companions. Keep your dog under control at all times around horses.

 16. Wear protective headgear appropriate to the activity in which you are engaged, especially in any form of jumping

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