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Common Horse-Riding Mistakes Beginners Make

Posted by Country & Stable on 19th Apr 2023

Common Horse-Riding Mistakes Beginners Make

Are you new to horse riding? Or are you preparing for an upcoming equestrian event?

Horse riding training can be both enjoyable and a valuable privilege, so be sure to make the most of your time. Beginner riders may make horse riding mistakes. But with practice, you can develop better habits and overcome challenges

Let's examine ten mistakes beginners make and how to fix them.

Top 10 Common Horse Riding Mistakes

#1: Leg Position

Riders should ensure that their legs are in the correct position when riding. This tutorial video provides an excellent overview of the correct leg position and how to achieve it.

Here are the main key points:

  • Legs play an essential part in stabilizing both the body and core
  • They are also offering communication to the horse
  • To enable correct leg aids are used, you need to ensure you are sitting in the center of the saddle with your legs hanging relaxed each side, toes pointing forwards with feet resting on the stirrups and heels relaxed, dropping down. 

#2: Bad posture

Bad posture is one of the most common horse riding mistakes that beginner horse riders make.

Poor posture not only makes the riding experience uncomfortable but it also affects communication with the horse. How you sit can enormously affect how the horse responds to your riding cues.

You put excessive pressure on your back and neck muscles when you slump forward or hunch your shoulders. This pressure leads to muscle tension, pain, and discomfort. Your horse may misinterpret your body language and become confused about what you are asking them to do.

Your position should be straight through the lower back with your weight evenly distributed on your seat bones. Symmetry is key for rider and horse comfort and to maintain stability in the saddle. 

#3: Safety stirrups

Beginners should consider investing in safety stirrups as one of the key pieces of equipment to reduce injury when falling, designed to release their foot from being caught in a stirrup and causing serious damage.

There are several styles of safety stirrup brands available at Country & Stable. Acavallo is a top safety choice. But Flex-on is better if you're into customization. And there's also LeMieux for a more stylish approach.

#4:  Lack of horsemanship

One of the keys to working with horses is patience. An important part of horsemanship is trying to understand what the horse is trying to communicate when they do act unfavorably.  

Horses are living creatures with their own emotions and can be unpredictable at times. Even the most experienced horses can act up occasionally.  However, it is important to understand that horses do not act out of malice. Instead, they could be experiencing health issues, poor training, and having unfavorable temperaments.

This video discusses the importance of building a genuine friendship with your horse, noting that solely spending time with them for personal gain may hinder the development of a true bond.

Instead of jumping into work, why not take the time to be with your horse without expecting anything in return?

Remember to reward your horse for good behavior and take breaks between activities when needed.

#5: Correct Footwear

Proper footwear selection is crucial to both rider and horse well-being and safety; here are a few points to keep in mind when selecting footwear:


The sole should be flat with a slight heel to prevent the rider's foot from slipping through the stirrup. A flat sole with traction ensures the rider's foot stays in place during the ride.

Level of support

An essential factor when selecting horse riding footwear is support. Horse riding places a lot of strain on the rider's feet, and proper support can help to prevent muscle soreness and fatigue.

Riding boots are specifically designed to offer the proper support to the foot and ankle area, which is essential for maintaining a correct and balanced riding position.


Leather is the most common material for horse riding boots, offering durability and flexibility. The leather pieces should be well-maintained, with regular cleaning and conditioning to prevent them from becoming stiff and uncomfortable. Wet leather can be quite painful for the rider, distracting them from properly controlling the horse.

One Mountain Horse collection includes luxurious leather riding boots and high-quality riding apparel. Investment in appropriate horse riding footwear is critical to rider safety and that of their horse. However, if you prefer to opt for vegan-friendly equestrian then there are suitable options available. 

#7: Core muscles neglect

Don't ever underestimate the importance of core muscles. Core muscles are essential for creating a balanced posture when riding and communicating with the horse.

Weak or inactive core muscles can lead to poor balance, increased fatigue, and difficulty controlling the horse. A strong core also significantly reduces the risk of injury, as it helps to support the back and abdomen while riding.

Riders should incorporate core strengthening exercises into their workout routine to strengthen these muscles, such as planks and squats.

Additionally, professional advice from a certified trainer or coach can help ensure that the rider uses the correct technique for maximum benefit.

#8: Poor equipment maintenance

Poor equipment maintenance can lead to dangerous riding conditions and risk the rider's safety. Regularly inspect and maintain your horse's tack, including the saddle, stirrups, bridle, and girth.

Check for any wear or tear on the material and ensure all buckles are secure. Additionally, make sure your saddle fits correctly by regularly refitting it to the horse.

In addition, regularly inspect your riding boots and helmets for any signs of wear and tear. Make sure all straps are secure and replace them when necessary. With proper maintenance of your equipment, you can be confident it is in safe working condition before every ride.

#9: Skipping equestrian home workouts

Equestrian home workouts are essential to horse riding, as they help build strength and flexibility.

These exercises can improve ridership techniques by strengthening the muscles most commonly used when riding and helping to create a more balanced and secure seat.

Many professional riders use a combination of core exercises, weight training, stretching, and yoga to gain maximum benefit from their workouts.

#10: Not wearing safety gear

Safety gear is essential to horse riding and should always be worn when riding. Helmets, boots, gloves, vests and leg wraps all protect against potential injuries. As with all protective gear, replace any items that show signs of wear and tear.

Have a Good Ride with Us

At Country & Stable, we understand the importance of having quality gear for a safe and enjoyable ride.

There are various products to suit your individual needs. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned rider participating in upcoming equestrian events, we have what you need.

Check our website regularly for the best deals on all our horse riding products.