How to Be a Good and Confident Horse Rider

If you are a green rider, or have had an incident that lowered your confidence, or maybe you've been away from the sport for a while, this article can help boost your confidence and develop yourself as a good rider.


  1. 1
    Develop a good position. Most rider anxiety comes from being afraid of falling off if the horse spooks or misbehaves, and the better your position is, the less likely you are to fall off in case of an accident.
  2. 2
    Ride regularly and on many different horses. Practice makes perfect, and riding relies heavily on muscle memory, so it's key that you ride regularly and correctly each time so it will become second nature to you. Riding many different horses allows you to be able to adapt to many different sizes of horses and types of movement, exposing you to different situations. Once you realize you can handle something - it will boost your confidence next time.
  3. 3
    Feel comfortable with your instructor. If you feel intimidated by your instructor, you will get nervous and tense up - and that will translate to your horse tensing up and acting nervous. If you feel like your instructor doesn't care about your progress, that will start to catch on to you. If your instructor isn't a good match for you- switch.
  4. 4
    Encourage yourself. Even if you are feeling scared, or upset, remember why you are doing this: you love the sport and you want to get better at it. Every rider has strengths and weaknesses, find yours and understand them. Once you realize what you are good and bad at, you will be able to gauge what is outside your comfort zone, and slowly expand it.
  5. 5
    Take your time! No one becomes a championship rider overnight. Master one thing before moving on to the next. If you are not confident at beginner-novice level, then don't move up to training level! Confidence builds slowly, and it's always better to rock the arena at a lower level than push yourself too hard.
  6. 6
    Always try again. If you fall, get back on. If you cannot execute a movement well, practice it. Just like any other sport or activity, you have to practice and push through the rough patches in order to get better. Instead of giving up, you have you tell yourself that you CAN jump that oxer, you CAN remember your dressage test, and you CAN be a confident rider.


  • Always look forward. Looking down or off the the sides will cause the rest of your body to follow the motion - and so will your horse.
  • Make sure you are comfortable. If your helmet is too small or your boots are crushing your toes, you won't be able to focus properly.
  • Make sure your horse is comfortable. An ill fitting saddle or improperly sized bit can cause a lot of discomfort for your horse, and he will begin to resent riding time and not get excited and willing to work for you.
  • Keep your hands quiet. You legs and seat should be your main aids, train your horse to listen to them rather than resorting to acting on his mouth more than necessary.
  • Understand the risks involved. It is better to know that riding is dangerous, and to be forced to think before you act than ignoring the risks and acting on a whim, recklessly.
  • Learn horse etiquette. The more you know about working with horses on the ground, the more confident you will be in the saddle


  • Horses are large animals, with minds of their own. They will respect you if you respect them, but remember that you can ask a horse to do something, and you can coax him into listening, but you cannot force him to do anything without disrespecting him.
  • Always wear a helmet, no matter what. Anything can happen at any time and protection is key in this sport.

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Categories: Merge | Riding