basic skills cowgirl magazine

Every rider starts off as a beginner. As you move through the levels, you develop riding skills that help you to communicate better with your horse and stay safe. It doesn’t matter what type of riding you do or how advanced you are, these skills are functional for every rider and horse!

Basic Skills to Know

1. Stop slouching and sit up straight. That means shoulders back, head stretched upwards and centered in the saddle.

2. Eyes ahead, not at the ground!

3. Don’t make a habit of holding onto the horn, instead correct your posture and slow down until you get your balance back.

4. Be soft with your hands.

5. Stay alert and know your surroundings at all times. You should see the deer or plastic bag before your horse does.

6. Walk before your gallop. There’s no need to be in a hurry. Take the time to learn each gait and progress at a comfortable rate.

7. Develop a feel for your horse’s movement. This will include recognizing when they are off or lame.

8. An emergency dismount can save your life!

9. Learn to stay relaxed no matter what the situation. You need to be able to control your body even if your horse takes off.

10. Get into the habit of checking over your tack each time you ride. You don’t want broken or worn parts.

Be the best rider you can be by mastering these top skills!