How to Gallop on a Horse
Your horse is saddled, you’ve got your riding boots on, and you’re ready to brave the open fields with your trusted horse. Before you hop onto his back, do you really know how to canter or gallop? Galloping is not just about pulling the reins and hanging on, there are some safety precautions and tips you have to remember.
What You’ll Need:
Safety riding helmet
Riding instructor (for beginners)
Saddle your horse properly. Make sure you use the right type of saddle before you start riding. Different horseback riding activities and horse breeds require different saddles, so find out which one suits you and your horse best. Do a final check before you start riding.
Wear a safe riding helmet. Even the best riders fall off their horse. A helmet will protect your head if ever you accidentally slip or fall. Find one that fits well on your head, and which does not slip or fall off.
If it’s your first time to ride, ask a riding instructor for help. He’ll teach you how to sit properly in your saddle and how to position yourself as you gallop. You can also watch other riders as they gallop around. Take note of their posture, position on the horse and how they move their legs to signal to the horse.
Slacken the reins, as you prepare yourself. Remember to put both your legs on the girth of the horse at all times. Put pressure on the horse’s girth with your lower leg, to assure him that everything is okay, so he’ll always stay calm.
When you’re ready, give the horse the signal to gallop. It can be a vocal command, a clicking of the tongue, pressure using the foot, or a squeeze of your thighs. Shift your weight forward in your saddle. Lightly kick your horse using both feet, bringing her into a trot.
Watch your posture. Manage your body movements, keeping your legs and elbows in. Sit straight, and make sure you’re not too far back or far forward. Otherwise you might fall off.
Go with the horse’s motion. Keeping up with the rhythm of the rocking motion of the gait is the secret of galloping. When the horse pulls his head backwards and forward during the gallop, move your arms forward and backwards, too. Move your hips with the horse, too, keeping your weight on the seat. Don’t bounce up and down, because it’s painful for the horse and uncomfortable for you.
Never let go of the reins.
Keep practicing. The more often you practice, the more you get used to the galloping position. It’s also a good idea to gallop on the same horse, so the both of you will get used to each other.
Nothing is better than the feel of the wind on your hair while horseback riding. With these easy tips, galloping on a horse will be easier, safer and more manageable for you.