Hippology: Studying the Horse

Don't Panic!

New to horses? First step: Don't panic.

There are plenty of helpful people who are likely to give you advice. Quite probably conflicting advice, but at least you aren't in this alone. No article can't possibly take the place of a reasonably qualified riding instructor, but there are a few tips that will make this life change a bit smoother.

First of all, never buy a saddle made in India. Your helpful local tack shop staff will be happy to demonstrate why, but the short version is this: they hurt, then they break, and then they really hurt. There are some exceptions to this, but they are few and far between. Very small children using the saddle for very brief periods of time can sometimes get some use out of one of these saddles, but if you're old enough to read this, then you should use a borrowed saddle until you can afford something better.

When in doubt, treat your horse like you would a dog: Firmly but kindly. Horses are large animals, and they can be dangerous if you let them push you around.

Finally, never be afraid to ask for help. Fellow horse people would rather lend a hand and show you how to do something than stand back and grit their teeth while you struggle. Everyone started out a newbie after all.