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mazingerz88's avatar

Is riding a horse easy?

Asked by mazingerz88 (22477points) May 15th, 2011

Riding a horse seems easy enough especially when watching cowboys and knights do it in the movies. Yet years ago, during a vacation in a California ranch, I rode a horse for the first time only to discover horridly that it was hard as hell! A horse’s back is so unstable and the hardness of the saddle compounded my utter discomfort. If not for the risk of embarrassing myself in front of some kids who seemed to be having no problems whatsoever with their horse riding, I would not have held on and just allowed myself to fall off my horse.

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25 Answers

ucme's avatar

Sure, it’s as easy as falling off a log. Which is precisely what I do…...fall off, a lot!!
I only ever rode a horse one time, a few years back & well, the beast hated me! Every time it even thought about breaking into a trot my arse would slap against the saddle in a fit of bad timing & pain. Wow, those saddles make your balls chafe! Never again…..never :¬(

marinelife's avatar

It is like anything else: it requires practice. Your muscles that you use for riding are different than from anything else so they have to adjust (your inner thigh muscles especially). A saddle should not be uncomfortable.

Perhaps the horse you were riding was trotting? That is a very jarring gait.

creative1's avatar

I never had a problem until on time and it was my last when we were riding through the woods on a trail and it got startled by hornets or wasps or something flying and stinging and began to gallop and run, I couldn’t get the horse to slow down, we hit a bump and I went flying off and walked back to the ranch where we rented the horse from, I think he came back on his own. I was never so scared, wouldn’t recommend falling off either its a long way down and hurts when you hit the ground.

mazingerz88's avatar

@marinelife Is trotting the same as walking? It seemed my horse was just simply walking as it was a simple tourist trail in the desert. But oh boy, @ucme was right, it was painful during and even after 3 days I was hurting. How do people get used to it? Ride everyday?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Several of my friends took riding lessons when we were all young, so they developed the skill and the muscles to do so gracefully.

I don’t know if it is true or not, but it is often said that horses can sense the nervousness of the rider. Our grandfather owned horses, and I wasn’t allowed to ride until I became comfortable around them.

As for the gaits, they are in speed order: walking/ambling, trotting, cantering, and galloping.

Stinley's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer My daughter made it look easy when she was 5

I have tried it on several occasions but always was terrified and sore. You’ve tried it once, so don’t bother again. Broken skulls take a while to heal

jca's avatar

It’s like anything – when you have been doing it a long time and are familiar with it, it’s easy. When you first start learning how to drive, there are so many things to remember and then it becomes second nature. Riding a horse requires knowing where to hold your hands with the reins, where to keep your feet, how to hold your spine, where to shift your weight, how to pull the reins to steer the horse, how to show the horse what you want him to do. Then if you’re not used to riding, you are sore because your legs are in a position utilizing muscles you usually don’t utilize.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I own a lot of horses, and for each person, it’s different. If you have good balance and control, it comes easy. But if you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, you’re going to fall off and bust your ass. I love riding horses and it’s my favorite thing to do!

Coloma's avatar

Not if you want to ride well, and, most importantly NOT ‘ruin’ a good horse.

Riding is not just about hanging on and yanking a horse around. It is about a balance and sensitivity between horse and rider. It is about knowledge and skill to make the expereince as comfortable as possible for the HORSE. There are terms in riding such as ’ he needs a light hand’, ’ he has a soft mouth’..meaning a sensitive horse that needs little que and a light hand on the bit. There is learning leg cues, and balance and safety and each horse is different.

Forget cowboy movies, that is NOT true riding and horsemanship!

In real life you would NEVER gallop a horse down a rocky mountain or through a river. Unless you want an injured horse or a bad fall for you both.

Take lessons, learn true horsemanship skills for your sake and the horse.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I rode frequently when I was younger, and it always felt very natural to me. I suppose it is different for everyone.

ragingloli's avatar

That depends on what you mean by “riding” a horse. if you are into that sort of thing.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I took to it easily and have always enjoyed it.
It’s like anything else,practice makes perfect :)

Cruiser's avatar

Bareback was actually easier for me as you learn the nuance of the horses movements very quickly or you walk.

Coloma's avatar

I had an ex roping, foundation quarter horse, and he was waay too much horse for most novice riders. He was extremely sensitive to subtle cues and being an ex roper, super fast out of the gate.
A novice that barely shifted their weight forward in the saddle cued him to blast off like a rocket. I once let a friends husband take him down my driveway which was about 800 feet long, dirt and gravel. When my friends husband turned him around at the bottom of my driveway ‘Budge’ launched like a missle back up to the house.
OMG! My friends husband was white as a ghost as they charged up the hill in a cloud of dust and stopped on a dime nearly launching him across the yard. lol

He exclaimed ” Now THAT’S a horse!” haha

I was very cautious about who I put on him, outside of an arena after that.

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Sunny2's avatar

I don’t think so. When I was a teenager I rode every other week. The intervening week gave the saddle sores (on my knees) time to heal. The horse and I always knew who was in control and it wasn’t me.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Sunny2 Bad horse! Lol

Brian1946's avatar

I found it easy to ride a horse when it was walking, but trotting was just too bouncy and jarring for me.

I’ve never been on a galloping or jumping horse.

I’d love to go on a hike with a horse, not as rider, but as a trail companion.

Coloma's avatar


Get a mule or a Llama, or even a large goat. I went goat packing a few years ago..very fun!

Sunny2's avatar

@mazingerz88 It wasn’t the horse. I just had no sense of having any control of the horse and I didn’t. In later years, when I took my kids on a group trail ride, the horse stumbled in a gully. He threw his head back and hit my nose. I pulled him to a stop. The group leader said, “He won’t stop. He’ll just follow the other horses.” But I made that horse stop until we both got our bearings and went on. It was a really triumphant feeling that I was controlling the horse, not the other way around.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I’ve never found it difficult, but I love horses. I think they can tell if you don’t like them, or if you are afraid, and they will act accordingly.
Its like anything. If you go in there knowing it will go well, it probably will.
If you are planning on going on some sort of horse riding thing, ask the person in charge of the horses for the most calm one they have. Most places that are open to the public have a few horses than are exceptionally easy to handle.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Riding a horse well requires training on the part of you and your horse as well as good physical conditioning on the part of both horse and rider. One the conditioning and training is complete, it is much more fun and easier. It involves so much more than sitting on the animal’s back and holding on for dear life!

DanniRose's avatar

I have been riding since I was two, so I would say that it isn’t very hard. I think with proper instruction anyone can ride a horse, but you will be sore. You use completely different muscles when riding a horse then when doing anything else. If I don’t ride for along time, even I get sore and I own a horse. It all depends on how much practice you are willing to put in and how much time you have to spend. I believe that every second spent with a horse is time well used.

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