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Horseback Riding

as a hobby

Horses lend us the wings we lack.

Pam Brown

Horseback riding is a wonderful hobby that can enrich your life in many ways. It can improve your physical and mental health, enhance your cognitive and social skills, and teach you valuable life lessons. It can also provide you with fun, adventure, challenge, and friendship. To get started, you need to find a good riding school or instructor, choose a suitable horse and equipment, and learn the basics of riding and horse care.

Helpful content to start horseback riding as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.


Short visual inspiration.

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YouTube | Health Benefits of Horseback Riding | THE LIST
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Play an episode while exploring the page.

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Spotify | What horses teach me
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Spotify | Developing More Patience as a Rider
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Spotify | [EP 39] How to Overcome Fear of Riding with Bethany Lee

Horseback riding can burn up to 200 calories per hour, depending on the intensity and speed of the ride. It can also improve your posture, balance, coordination, flexibility, and muscle strength.


Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Gait. This is the term for the speed and rhythm of a horse’s movement. There are four natural gaits: walk, trot, canter, and gallop. There are also some artificial gaits, such as the pace, rack, and amble, that are taught to some breeds of horses.
  • Tack. This is the term for the equipment and accessories that are used for riding and handling a horse. It includes the saddle, bridle, reins, stirrups, girth, bit, martingale, breastplate, and more.
  • Aids. These are the term for the signals and cues that a rider uses to communicate with their horse and direct their movement. They include the voice, hands, legs, seat, and weight.
  • Lead. This is the term for the leg that a horse uses to start a canter or a gallop. It can be either the right or the left leg. A horse can also change leads during a canter or a gallop by switching the leading leg.
  • Rein. This is the term for the strap or rope that connects the bit in a horse’s mouth to the rider’s hand. It is used to control the direction and speed of a horse. There are different types of reins, such as split reins, loop reins, and draw reins.

How to start horseback riding as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

To start horseback riding as a hobby, you can do three things: visit a stable, watch some videos or podcasts, and take an online course. Visiting a stable will let you see the horses and riders in action and ask questions. Watching videos or podcasts will inspire you and teach you about riding. Taking an online course will give you a good mental picture of what to expect from your first horse encounter at the barn and boost your confidence. These steps will help you enter the world of horses.


Get read(y).


Step-by-step tutorials.


Further reading.


Go-tos for information.

Horseback riding can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones. It can also boost your mood, confidence, and self-esteem by providing you with a sense of achievement and accomplishment.


Nothing like a film for inspiration.

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YouTube | Secretariat Trailer
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YouTube | The Horse Whisperer 1998 Trailer | Robert Redford | Kristin Scott Thomas


Get a clue.


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Horseback riding can teach you valuable life lessons, such as responsibility, patience, discipline, respect, and compassion. It can also help you develop a strong bond and trust with your horse and other animals.


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Additional advice for beginners.