Updated: Jul 17, 2021
There is no sugar coating this one. Animals are animals. There is always a certain amount of risk.
The risk is A LOT less with an experienced horse and trainer. An experienced riding lesson horse will be easy-going, confident, and calm. An experienced trainer will be the same.
A horse is sensitive to a persons energy (their movement and emotional state). Even the most well trained horse will sense if you are tense, nervous and stressed. A calm trainer in the arena with you will ensure the horse stays calm and focused, even if you are scared of every time the horse sneezes! Plus, an experienced lesson horse is comfortable helping nervous riders (some horses are better suited to teaching than others, just like people).
Riding in an environment that the horse is familiar with also lowers the risks even further.
Our trainers are skilled at reading the horses and knowing what they can handle, and what you can handle. We challenge people but we would never try to push you beyond your abilities.
Sometimes it's best to face your fears straight out. So let's talk about what might happen if something went wrong. There are so many variables when it comes to riding it would be impossible to predict the actual circumstances but the main risk is that you could fall off the horse and hurt yourself. Most people fall off if a horse bucks, rears, falls or spooks (jumps sideways). It could happen but it’s rare. Our horses are older, confident, strong horses with absolutely no reason or desire to buck or rear. Horses rarely do this unless frightened, and it is VERY TOUGH to frighten one of our sturdy steed’s. They've been through just about everything, from trekking out into the bush, walking through the cows, climbing bridges, to zig zagging through pool noodles.
When you ride we usually start everyone in a western saddle and a helmet. Western saddles have a horn to hold onto in the front and very sturdy stirrups to put your feet into. At first it can feel a bit odd sitting on top of the horse but with a nice western saddle keeping you in position, you can get settled quite quickly. Especially kids! They adapt to new experiences so fast, it’s remarkable. For myself, as an experienced rider, it almost feels like second nature. Sometimes my horse and I even anticipate each others moves.
Once you start riding on a confident horse it doesn't take long to become confident yourself.