People have been riding horses for millennia, but it is only in the past few centuries that it has become a sport with competitions. Some people start horseback riding for exercise or to form a connection to an animal. Other riders also choose to compete, whether it be in cross-country racing or in show jumping. If you are new to horseback riding and want to move to the next level, maybe start competing, read on. We have a few things you should take a look at that will take your skills up a notch.

1. Jumping Equipment

One of the most popular sports you can do on horseback is show jumping. This is when horses move across a course set with different types of fences and obstacles they need to jump over. Practice makes perfect and as your progress in your training, you will want the right equipment to make the jumps more difficult. Most jumps are fences with poles. Invest in mobile pole caddies to easily move poles around the course as needed.

2. The Right Horse

Most new horseback riders don’t own their own horse, choosing instead to learn with a barn that provides a variety of horses. However, even if you don’t own a horse, it’s still important to choose one that you have a good connection with and that you feel in control of. Some tips for bonding with a horse include:

  • Making sure to save time for hanging out with the horse, not just showing up for a lesson.
  • Always remember to bring treats. The horse will love you for it.
  • Learn the horse’s body language. Understanding this will help you anticipate what the horse needs.
  • Give the horse good grooming. Cleaning down a horse after riding is required, but the horse will remember who took care of them and who did a quick clean and got out of there.

3. Proper Riding Apparel

While you can ride a horse in pretty much anything, to get the best experience, you should make sure to wear proper riding apparel. This includes boots, riding pants, gloves, a helmet and a safety vest. The helmet and vest are especially important to keep you safe when you fall off a horse.

Forming a connection with another living creature and fine-tuning it so you are at the top of your game is a once-in-a-lifetime feeling. Make sure to follow our suggestions and you should see your competition rankings improve.