The first lesson you'll need to learn if you want to ride a horse is how to get on it.
: If you're not an experienced rider, have a helper nearby who can assist you if the horse moves quickly or reacts as you're mounting it.
Step 1: Secure equipment Make sure the horse is saddled correctly so that the saddle won't slip off when you mount.
TIP: If you have a mounting block – a step stool that will give you extra height – place it on the left side of the horse, as close to it as possible.
Step 2: Adjust the stirrups Adjust the stirrups, which are the footholds on each side of the horse, so they hang low enough that your feet will fit through them comfortably once you've mounted. Approach the horse from its left side.
Step 3: Grab the reins If you are using a mounting block, climb onto it. Face the horse's left side, and take hold of the end of the reins with your left hand. With the reins in your hand, hold the saddle’s horn with your left hand for more support. Place your right hand on the back of the saddle.
Step 4: Push off Stand as near to the horse as you can, so you don't pull the saddle or the horse toward you, and out of position, as you mount. With your hands in position, put your left foot, facing forward, into the left stirrup. Push off your right leg as you transfer your weight to your left foot, as though you’re stepping up a very high step.
Step 5: Straighten your leg Straighten your left leg in the stirrup, swinging your right foot over the horse's rear end in one smooth motion. Sit down on the saddle.
Step 6: Place your foot Place your right foot into the right stirrup. Adjust your position in the saddle. Take the reins in both hands, and you're ready to ride!
FACT: Archeologists have found pieces of horse bridle that date back to 3000 BCE.