Here are some of the most common horse riding myths that you might come across from people or non-riders who are ill-informed about what horse riding really involves.

There are many myths that have cropped up over the years about horse riding. Some are harmless and may even be humorous to experienced riders, but other beliefs could be dangerous, especially the ones around how to actually ride a horse. Here are some of the most common untruths that you might come across from people or non-riders who are ill-informed about what horse riding really involves.

Horse riding myths

1. Horses are just dumb animals

The complete opposite is in fact true. Horses are actually highly intelligent creatures who can recognise their owners, sense mood shifts, and communicate with one another. They are far from the idea of being just dumb animals and many riders build a special bond with their horse that leads to an even better understanding of each other’s wants and needs.

2. Horse riding is only for wealthy people

Somewhere along the line, it was thought that equestrian pursuits were only for rich people. However, there are many riders who pursue the sport from all kinds of different backgrounds. While admittedly horse riding isn’t the cheapest hobby, it is still attainable for most people. Some riders do come from wealthy families, while others come from average means. Riding is affordable enough to be open to all people no matter what their economic status.

3. If you can sit on a horse, you can ride

As with many things in life, there is a wrong way and a right way to do it. Riding a horse correctly involves much more than simply sitting in a saddle and letting the horse wander around. The reins should be held and used properly, feet need to be positioned safely, and there are techniques and methods used by the rider to steer and guide the horse. Some riders take lessons for years before becoming fully experienced and just sitting on a horse does not equate to riding properly.

4. Horses are easy to look after

While a horse is perfectly capable of feeding itself in a field or pasture, they do require a bit more care and attention if they are to be fully prepared to ride. Grooming and brushing will keep the horse’s coat in good condition, and f the horse is kept in a stable this will need mucking out regularly. Equipment and tack will need to be cleaned and checked routinely, and horses’ feet and hooves will also need attention and shoeing. Regular vets visits may be required, and horses will need medication and treatment for parasites and injuries or infections from time to time.

5. Riding a horse isn’t really exercise

There are some people that believe horse riding doesn’t take any effort as the horse is doing all the work. Clearly, these people have never actually ridden a horse! Riding requires strength and the use of muscles, especially in the legs and thighs. Riding a horse can help to build resilience in the core, tone up lower body areas, and improve balance. Many beginner riders are surprised at just how much energy it takes to ride, especially in the early stages of learning, and sore muscles are commonplace.

6. Trust your horse and it will keep you safe

If this were true then there would be no need for riding lessons. Riders need to show and communicate effectively with their horse to make the animal understand what they want. The horse will not automatically do the right thing, and some horses will stubbornly refuse to follow instructions. Horses, just like humans, have their own individual personalities. Some animals are compliant and eager to please, and some are more resistant. A good rider will be able to guide their horse and lead it effectively.

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