Horse Riding 101 | July 17, 2023


1. Stay alert: Riding is super fun, and when you’re first learning, it’s easy to get distracted. You are dealing with a living, breathing animal who might behave unpredictably. You’ll learn to understand “horse talk” better as you progress, but keep your eyes open and be aware of your horse, other horses around you, and the surroundings. Your toes (and pride) will be happier for it.


2. Protect your feet: Speaking of toes, proper boots are a must. You don’t need to purchase new ones for your first riding experience make sure to wear close toed shoes for sure.


3. Greet your horse: Keep in mind that your horse is a living creature, not a vehicle that you can control at your will. The horse could also be nervous, tired or even scared to have someone new riding him. Therefore, to establish a good relationship since the beginning, greet your horse when you’re introduced to him at the ranch.


To greet your horse, extend your arm and offer the back of your hand to him to smell and wait until he touches it with his nose. This simple action is called the “horseman’s handshake” and you could interpret it as a way to ask him for permission to mount him.


4. Mount with confidence: If you’re nervous, the horse can feel it and he might become uneasy too. If you choose to go on a ranch vacation, you’ll find that the horses are typically trained to be mounted on the left side. Most possibly, your guide will be holding your horse’s head while you’re mounting, but if that’s not the case, ask someone to do it so he doesn’t move.

Lift your left foot into the stirrup, hold both reins with your left hand and propel yourself up with your right leg, moving as smoothly as possible. Don’t push the horse down with your arms, this could hurt him; you can put your hands on his back, but just for balance.


Our amazing instructors will be sure to guide you as you ride our amazing horses at the Bar W Guest Ranch. When you’re visiting our ranch, please make sure to ask as many questions as you have. We are here to help.




Published on 7/17/2023 (275 days ago) Blog

The Bar W Guest Ranch

2875 Highway 93 West
Whitefish MT 59937

Phone: (406) 863-9099

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The Bar W Guest Ranch - Whitefish Montana - Dude Vacation Ranch