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The Seven Most Common Rider Mistakes

Let's face it. Horses need to be understood for a horse owner to enjoy his horse. The best thing novice horse owners can do is learn how to ride, learn how horses think, learn what works good to shape horses` behavior, and understand that constantly riding a horse is just about the best thing one can do to have a good horse.

Mistake #7 - Assuming The Rider Can Get On Any Horse And Simply Ride

Not all horses are the same. Some are easily ridden, some aren't. Some are so green the rider could be easily injured if he or she has little or no riding experience. The ones easy to ride are typically older horses. They have been ridden the most and will be the most forgiving of a beginning rider's mistakes. The younger horses will be the hardest to ride unless they have been thoroughly broke.

Mistake #6 - Assuming A Horse Trainer's Technique Is The Only Way To Train A Horse

When novice horse owners begin to experience problems with their horse, they go looking for answers. The first place they look is in books. When the author of the book explains a training technique, the reader assumes that's how it's done by everyone. But when they can't train their horse with that technique, they assume a dumb or unattainable horse. Novice horse owners need to know that if one technique didn't work then try something else.

Mistake #5 - Not Riding A Horse Enough

New horse owners experience problems with horses not because the horse suddenly went sour, but because they don't ride their horses enough. About the best thing one can do to have a good horse is to ride it and ride it and ride it. It does little good to ride once every couple weeks. Horses need to ridden a lot to make them a good riding horse.

Mistake #4 - Thinking That A Problem With The Horse Is The Horse's Fault

Although a horse may have some problems, they are typically a result of the horse's owner or previous owner. There are rarely horse problems - it's more likely there are problem riders. For instance, if you can't get your horse to ride away from home (known as being "Barn Sour") it's likely because you don't have control over him. You can establish control with various techniques. Using "doubling" is one such technique. Doubling involves pulling the horse's head back toward the rider in the direction the rider wants to turn. When the horse is committed to the turn, the horse should be booted forward with energy. This should be done three to four times each time the horse is ridden until the horse understands he can controlled.

Mistake #3 - Not Understanding How Horses Think

Horses do not think like dogs or cats. Horses are a prey animal which means they run from things they think are threatening them. They have thousands of years of the "flight instinct" built in their DNA. To successfully train them takes patience and understanding that they are naturally fearful and cynical.

Mistake #2 - Not Knowing That Every Interaction With A Horse Is A Training Exercise

Every time the horse owner interacts with the horse, the horse is being trained. For instance, even if the horse is well trained with the lead rope, the horse is getting training every time he's on a lead rope. That makes it clear how the person handling the horse needs to stay consistent with what he or she does. Even when one pets the horse it is a training experience. Novice horse owners should carefully think things through when working with their horse because they can easily and unknowingly affect a horse's behavior.

Mistake #1 - Riding A Horse With Little Or No Understanding Of Horsemanship

A typical novice horse owner will ride their new horse not knowing horse-riding skills. It is important to have an understanding of riding techniques because horses react to leg pressure, how a rider sits in the saddle, whether or not the rider is tense, and a whole host of other things.