Horse riding is one of the most difficult and dangerous sports even though many non-equestrians think it is just sitting in the saddle and letting the horse do everything. In fact, starting from the moment you sit in the saddle, you have a lot to do and think to ride safely and correctly.

These are some of the most common mistakes equestrians do:



  • Holding your breath

  • Another common mistake is holding your breath when you concentrate too hard and feel tense. Even many professional riders make this mistake when they face something new or when they are stressed a lot. If you have the same problem, try to smile and relax. You can also try to inhale and exhale in rhythm with the horse’s strides.





    • Wearing baggy clothes


    You must have seen horse riders wearing firm-fitting and trim clothes while riding. Both English and Western riders avoid wearing baggy clothes because, in case a fall, baggy pants, loose waists, bulky sweaters may get caught on the saddle or the other pieces of horse’s tack. This can cause a much more dangerous fall or even getting dragged. Try to define the best riding wear for riding safety.

    • Looking down or looking at the horse

    We all agree that horses are gorgeous creatures and you may get distracted by their beauty or just feel insecure and feel like looking at it. But when you gaze on the horse you ride, your spine will be in the wrong position and, the worse, you can’t see where you are going. Try to look forward and think about where you are going. You may enjoy looking at the horse later.


    • Hands in the air

    It is an instinct to use hands and arms to balance when you feel insecure. When you raise your hands instinctually, you lose the reins and then the control of the horse. If you are feeling insecure in the saddle, try to work on the movement of the horse with your seat instead of moving your hands and arms. To make sure you won’t lose the control, keep a slight tension on the reins and keep your hands at hip level.


  • Letting the reins slide

  • As everyone knows, reins help the rider to control the horse, but if you don’t accommodate the head movement of the horse when it walks, trots or canters, reins can slip through your hands. This will make you lose contact on the bit and you may have problems with recollecting the reins. Even at a walk, the horse moves its head up and down. You should get used to using your hands and arms to let the horse move its head while keeping the contact on the bit.  


    • Leaning forward/backward


    With a horse constantly moving and making your move, you can find yourself in a different position leaned forward. You can even feel more comfortable in this position but it is completely wrong to ride a horse in that position. If the horse stops suddenly while you are leaned forward, you may tip further forward or come off over the horse’s shoulder.


    • Ramming your feet into the stirrups

    It generally is difficult to learn the correct feet position in the stirrups. Therefore, new riders tend to ram their feet into the stirrups but it can be quite dangerous if you are not using safety stirrups. Before you start riding, make sure the length of both stirrups are correct and only put the widest part of your feet on the stirrups. Also, don’t forget to choose the correct footwear.



    • Carrying your ego with you in the saddle

    Horse riding is a really cool and marvelous sport but every rider has to learn how to be humble. When going to ride a horse, try not to be an egoist and demanding person. Be positive and thankful, enjoy the time you spend with your horse. Everyone can make a mistake, never get angry or grumpy. Learn to appreciate feeling the progress you make every day with your horse and avoid making other riders jealous of you and being jealous of them.



    Always remember that today’s professionals were once beginners and they all made mistakes at some points before they became perfect riders. 

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    • Laurel

      I always enjoy reading instructive articles.I have ridden on and off for years, (I’m 76), friends horses. I enjoy just being around them and helping with the care and routine. Guess I’m just a frustrated cow girl! There is always something new to learn that I can take with me when I visit my buddies. Yee Haa!

    • Richard Carlton

      Great article!! It will help me a lot.
      Keep them coming.👍👍

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