Horseback Riding: The Basics

Horseback Riding: The Basics

Horseback riding is great sport that almost anyone can take part in, but riding can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.  That being said, learning how to ride is not that difficult, after all before cars people got around on horseback for thousands of years.  If you are new to riding you should definitely invest in some lessons.  The riding instructor will teach you horseback riding: the basics and everything you need to know to stay safe while riding. In the meantime here are some tips that you should know.

Where to Walk

First and foremost you should follow the rules that your riding instructor gives you at all times they are there not just for your safety but that of the horse too.  The first rule is never ever walk right behind your horse.  When the horse hears you but can’t really see you behind them they have a tendency to kick.  Getting kicked by a horse may look funny in the movies, in the real world it can cause serious injuries and even kill you.

Hats and Helmets

Always wear a riding hat or helmet, getting thrown from a horse is almost a rite of passage and the last thing you want is a concussion from falling.  At the same time, you should also have a good pair of boots, they will help you keep your feet stable in the stirrups as you’re learning to ride.

Don’t go alone

You’re first couple of times it is not recommended that you head out on the trails solo.  If you get thrown or hurt yourself you can find yourself in a heap of trouble.  Even the most experienced rider can find themselves in trouble, at the very least tell someone where you will be going and what time you should be back.

Handling Your Horse

How you mount and dismount your horse is also something that you need to learn along with keeping your balance and handling the reins.  Always keep your hands low and in front of the saddle, this helps you to maintain your center of balance by keeping your center of gravity low.  Here is a video showing you how to mount and dismount your horse.

When first learning to ride having a well-adjusted horse that is neither skittish nor nervous will help too.  The most important skill is learning how to stop your horse when necessary, firmly pull back on the reins, it pulls the horses head back bringing him to a halt.  Horses will go where you want them to once you learn how to give them proper signals and that’s when riding is fun.

Horseback Riding with the Navajo

Horseback Riding with the Navajo

Utah has some of the most incredible terrain in the entire world with mountains in the backdrop and vast canyons to be found in the state.  It was once part of the wild west and today it is filled with National Parks like Zion, Bryce and of course the Grand Canyon.  Millions of tourists flock to Utah every year to go skiing, visit the parks and just get in touch with nature.  The scenery in Utah is so spectacular that Hollywood drops by to take advantage of the natural beauty of the state as a backdrop for dozens of movies.  If you really want to get into places rarely visited by tourists then horseback is the way to do it, try horseback riding with the Navajo.

The Trail Ride

Not only can you see the beauty of Utah, but you can witness the ancient Anasazi Civilization that has been drawing in archeologists for decades.  The Navajoland Ride will take you through the incredible Canyon de Chelly.  Deep in the heart of Navajo country you can witness towering walls that were carved out by ancient glaciers.  As you traverse the valley you can see ancient cave dwelling that are high up the cliffs where the kept intruders away.

If you take the Winter Pasture Horseback Ride you can go right into the Grand Canyon, tourists don’t often go into the canyon through the Utah side.  Coming in from Utah has a lot of advantages, the climate is milder and it protects the local wildlife from the fierce winter storms that blow through Utah.  There are benches and meadows that you can stop at along the route.  Visiting the canyon from the Utah side on horseback is an incredible ride.  During the fall you can witness the cattle drives that move the cattle from Utah to Arizona for the winter months.  It is like stepping back in time as you watch real life cowboys do their thing.  Here is a look at the canyon from the Utah side.

Always make sure that before you set out on the trail that you have a surefooted experienced horse that doesn’t mind the terrain.  There are plenty of guides that can take you on the trail, these are third and fourth generation cowboys who know the area and can give you a local’s perspective on the history of the area.  This is a Western experience that you can’t even imagine…think of “City Slickers” it’s much like that, only without Jack Palance.

4 Horse Riding Trails in Utah

4 Horse Riding Trails in Utah

With networks of horse riding trails to attraction throughout Utah’s National Forests, plus vast acres of public lands, true splendor mixed with different horseback riding alternatives await an equine enthusiast. The following are some of horse riding trails in Utah.

1. Grand Canyon Winter Pastures

This horse riding vacation is going to take you below remote North Rim of Grand Canyon that’s sheltered from winds and cold above. As you descend into the Canyon’s depths, there are some series of esplanades or benches varying with width. The exquisite scenery also makes for inviting place for exploring and winter camping. Once the trail takes to you to the north rim, you’re not likely to encounter anybody but the wary mule deer, odd desert bighorn sheep, or probably a glimpse of some condor soaring overhead. Those countable hardy souls who adventure here are rewarded through experiencing the amazing grandeur of this canyon, just like its first explorer did.

2. Two Inn Trail

Horse riding vacations in Arizona and Utah should not be rough camping experience. You are able to see much of the splendid back-country but still stay in comfortable inns. Riding these trails provide you the chance to adventure the wild locations around Escalante Grand Staircase of the National Monument having breathtaking scenery. A short drive every morning will let you pick your horses at trailheads whereby you may enter immediately remote and wild areas. This is some vast protected location is southern Utah close to Arizona border that sprawls between Zion and Bryce national parks.

3. Three Pack Spectacular

This is on the border between Arizona and Utah. It covers three of the world renowned national parks. The ride will let you see part of Utah around its national parks where few travellers ever visit. You ride will start in the Paria River Canyon. This trail follows Virgin River, then crosses southeastern corner of the Zion’s labyrinth of twisting gorges and sandstone domes. It heads south, across a large open sagebrush country. There are only few trails having dramatic end as this one. You are going to feel secure in the saddle riding these reliable horses that are familiar with the rugged terrain and you’re also going to have some solid bond with your mount before you even complete the trip.

4. Navajoland

This is an excellent choice for horse riding vacation in Utah and Arizona. The trail traverses the most interesting and spectacular parts of the large Navajo Indian Reservation. The riding tour crosses three unique parts of Navajo Indian Reservation, and it starts in Canyon de Chelly that has impossibly high cliffs dotted with Navajo and Anasazi ruins. You then ride for two days among renowned buttes, mesas and natural arches of the Monument Valley prior to moving on to spend your final days in the frequently visited foothills of the Navajo Mountain. You can see from this camp hundreds of miles of a maze of sandstone canyons that drains into Colorado River.

The above are some of the exciting horse riding trails in Utah. They are perfect for memorable horseback riding vacation, where you are going to have memorable adventure riding along these trails.