Whether you’re brand new to horseback riding or just getting back in the saddle, at C Lazy U our experienced wranglers will provide you with a gentle, highly trained horse that is just right for your size and abilities. This beginner’s guide to horseback riding will help novice riders have a fun and enjoyable trail riding experience.
Preparing For Your First Horseback Riding Trip
Horseback riding is a rigorous sport that gives your legs, arms, lower back and core a real workout—especially at C Lazy U, where we offer two trail rides per day. Before your family vacation at our luxury dude ranch, we recommend that you take a few riding lessons at a local equestrian center, and do exercises and stretches at home that will help you improve your strength and balance.
Be sure to wear sturdy riding boots, ideally with a heel that will help your foot remain secure in the stirrups, and comfortable pants (jeans or riding pants in the summer, snow pants in the winter). Avoid dangly scarves or necklaces that could get caught in the reins, and be sure to bring layers!
Read More: Year Round Packing List For Your Dude Ranch Vacation
Forgot something? We got you covered: you can stock up on essentials at Luis’ Old Place.
How We Match You With Your Horse
At C Lazy U, our horses have years of training and are hand-picked for their friendly and gentle nature. Rest assured your wrangler will match you with a horse that fits your riding abilities and take you on trails with easy terrain, allowing you to hone your basic horsemanship skills.
And remember the most important thing—relax! Horses are intuitive creatures, which means if you’re feeling anxiety as a novice horseback rider, your horse is sure to pick up on that. Try mindfulness exercises and deep breathing before your lesson—and remember to enjoy the majestic mountain views during your trail ride, knowing that you’re in safe hands with our experienced wranglers.
Horseback Riding for Beginners: The Basics
- Greet your horse by speaking gently, extend the back of your hand and call your horse by name (If he touches you with his nose, he’s ready to be petted)
- Settle yourself gently into the saddle
- Rest the ball of your foot in the stirrup, and keep your toes pointing up with your heels down
- Sit up straight as you ride and remain centered in the saddle
- Keep your arms and back relaxed, and allow your hips to move with your horse
- Hold both reins in one hand. When you want to turn, simply move your hand slightly forward and in the direction you wish your horse to go
- To stop, pull gently on the reins
- Know that it’s OK to hold on to the horn or front of the saddle to steady yourself!
Want a little extra practice before you hit the trail for the first time? C Lazy U offers daily horsemanship clinics to help beginner horseback riders get more comfortable with their horses and strengthen their riding skills.
Learn more about our horseback riding program, or contact us today to book your all-inclusive dude ranch family vacation!