Everything You Need to Know About Horses and Riding

Horses are beautiful animals and make excellent pets. Whether you’re thinking about buying your first horse or you’ve owned them before, it’s important to know the ins and outs of keeping a horse happy and healthy in your care. In this guide, we’ll cover everything from how much food a horse eats every day to making sure they have clean water at all times. Make sure you read through this guide if you want to give your horse the best life possible!


What is a horse?

A horse is a four-legged creature with a mane (and sometimes a tail) that lives on land. They are around 58–66 inches at their shoulders, stand up to 6 feet tall and can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. Also known as Equus ferus caballus (see above picture), horses can live from 25-30 years in captivity but only about 10 years in nature due to their natural predators.

How can I learn how to ride?

There are a lot of ways you can learn how to ride. The first thing you need is a safe place that offers lessons for beginners. It's also a good idea to go with someone who already knows how to ride. In other words, find an instructor or mentor before you mount up for your first time.

Can everyone ride horses?

Yes, but it depends on your age. There are organizations that set standards for riding at different ages—for example, in Canada kids need a certificate of competency before they can ride independently. That said, there are lots of things you can do with horses even if you don’t have official training. For instance, volunteering at a barn or stable is a great way to get involved with horses at an early age.

Where do you find horses in your area?

Finding a horse can be a tricky endeavor, especially if you’re in an urban area. A good place to start is with your veterinarian or local riding stables; many stables offer boarding as well as lessons, so they might also be able to refer you. Once you’ve identified some potential horse owners or managers, it can be helpful to arrange an informational interview (more on those later).

What should I know before purchasing my first horse?

There’s a lot to consider when purchasing your first horse, from how much it costs, what type of horse is best for you and how much work you want to put into training. While every situation is different, there are some questions that can help you determine whether buying your first horse is right for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself before purchasing your first horse

Do I need special equipment?

If you want to ride, but don’t have a horse, or if you simply want to learn more about horses, then western riding lessons can be a great option. With these lessons, you won’t need any special equipment: just some boots and an English saddle. These are easy to find at local tack shops or through lesson programs in your area.

What should I feed my horse?

As you begin caring for your horse, one of your first questions might be: What should I feed my horse? This can be a difficult question to answer because it depends on many factors. The easiest way to determine what kind of food your horse needs is by considering its life stage (puberty, adulthood, or senior). Age is important in determining what nutrients you need to offer.

How old should my horse be before starting lessons?

If you are looking into taking lessons with your horse, a good rule of thumb is that your horse should be at least 3 years old. This allows them to grow out of some of their bad habits. Just because they are mature physically doesn’t mean they are mature emotionally, so make sure they have time to learn their manners before heading off to more formal schooling.

Where do I find an instructor or trainer in my area?

A great first step is to visit your local riding stables. Any decent stable should have instructors or trainers on hand who can help you get started. If there are no stables nearby, Google horseback riding lessons [your area] and see what comes up.

What are the best places to learn to ride near me?

The best place to learn how to ride a horse is on a ranch or stable where you can get one-on-one lessons. These ranches and stables usually offer equestrian lessons for all different types of riding, including jumping, dressage, cutting, Western riding, etc.

What kind of gear do I need for horseback riding?

No matter what kind of riding you’re interested in, a good pair of boots is your most important piece of equipment. Boots should be comfortable, durable, waterproof and easy to ride in. It’s best to shop for horseback riding boots at a store that specializes in horseback riding equipment so you can get professional help with sizing.

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