Buying a First Horse as a Nervous Rider

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Horseback riding can be a dangerous sport, and many riders face confidence and fear issues. If you are a nervous rider or have recently been shaken by a fall, buying a horse – especially if it’s your first horse – can be a challenge. With a bit of thought and preparation, though, you can ensure that you find the right horse from the many horses for sale.

Decide What You Need

Before you start looking at horses for sale, think about the qualities that will be important to you in a horse. When do you feel safest riding? What characteristics about the horse that you’re currently riding make you trust him and make you comfortable in the saddle?

If you are a nervous rider, purchasing an older, more trustworthy horse can help to build your confidence. Look for a horse with a “colder” temperament who tends to deal well with new situations and distractions. This will leave you to focus on your own riding, rather than worrying about calming a nervous or spooky horse.

You should also think about the horse’s breed. While there are always exceptions, some breeds of horses are known for being notoriously high-strung, like the Thoroughbred or the Arabian. You may be lucky and find a Thoroughbred or Arabian who is calm and the perfect match for you, but you may want to turn your focus to looking at horses of other breeds.

Take Your Instructor

When looking at horses for sale, take your instructor or trainer along. Your instructor will be aware of your riding level, your confidence level, and how much horse you can handle. An instructor will usually be able to tell if a horse is going to be a poor match for you before you mount up.

Additionally, your instructor can test ride the horse before you, helping you to avoid a ride which could potentially be unsettling. By prescreening the horses for you, your instructor will only ask you to mount up if he or she is confident that the horse could be a good match for you, and that you will be safe during the test riding process.

Give Yourself a Confidence Boost

Test riding new horses can be frightening, and when it comes time to bring home a new horse, you may find yourself more nervous than you normally are. Now is the time to use the power of positive thinking: Remind yourself that you are a good rider, and that the horse you are riding has been carefully tested and is a good match for you. You and your new equine partner will enjoy great times together, so take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy your ride.

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