Tag: horse riding

Eliminate confusing horse jargons (Part 1)

In this article, we will discover a variety of confusing horse-riding-related terms and jargons. 

Collection

When learning the physical ability of a horse, you quickly find that for a horse to do anything athletic, they must learn how to engage their hindquarters (hind end) and lift their forequarters (front end), also called as “being/ having collected”. As riders, we should focus on helping a horse improve its athletic ability by teaching them how to maintain collection at all times. One sign of a collected horse is a rounded topline (similar to a slight downward arch from poll to tail, with the back is the high point of the arc). Riders can assist a horse’s collection by directing them to give to pressures from the bit (bend at their poll and neck gradually) while pushing and riding forward with their hind end (also described as engaging their loin, hind legs, hindquarters, hocks, etc.).

A horse that is uncollected may travel downhill, with their withers (head and neck) put lower than their hind end. These horses may also get a nosed-out appearance or appear resistance to the bit. A horse that is uncollected, appear to be “heavy on their forehand” will be more potentially to stumble, trip or likely fall. These horses will also have a much more hard time performing athletic maneuvers such as transitions, stops, lead changes, jumps, etc.

Half halt

Half halt is probably one of the most-often mentioned yet still most confused terms in all of horseback riding jargons. While experts across many disciplines will distinct their explanation of this commonly used riding jargon, in short, a half halt is a coordinated effort to combine leg, seat and hand together in order to gain a horse’s attention, develop their collection, increase their balance and get them ready for an upcoming maneuver. The methods in which a half halt can be taught or mastered may vary, but the results are often similar: a horse who is more in tune with its rider is more ready to perform an athletic task.

Riding breeches and chaps

Riding breeches fit well, decrease the risk of blisters and, increase independent from the material, can also help riders to sit better and increase stability in the saddle. Riding breeches are a little tighter in order to avoid unnecessary creases that could result in blisters. The seams on riding breeches are also put where they do not cause discomfort. Riding breeches can been made from various types of materials – cotton, micro polyamide, polyester, and elastane are widely used.

Riding breeches can be full seat, knee-patch, partly paddle or completely unpadded. Full seat breeches generally enables a better grip on the saddle, while many people find that they get deeper into the saddle with unpadded or knee-patch breeches.

Riding breeches are created to be worn with riding boots, but they are now also worn together with riding shoes and short chaps/gaiters. On the other hand, if you have jodhpurs which are somewhat straighter and a little wider at the bottom, these can be worn with riding shoes. Jodhpurs many have a foot strap that is put under the foot to prevent the trouser leg riding up when sitting on the horse.

There are also various types of covers to provide protection and keep riders clean, dry and warm. Chaps are a practical, commonly used and simple to wear over riding breeches, riders can also take them off and put them on when being on the horse. The majority of chaps are made of suede, nappa leather, or waterproof nylon which work brilliantly in rain and foul weather.

Thermal riding breeches are also available for riders to use in winter. These can either be worn over riding breeches or simply over thermal leggings, for instance. The advantages of thermal riding breeches over normal salopettes is that they are usually made with zips that go the full length of the legs, making it easier to get them on and take off, and that they normally have a full seat, giving riders a better grip on the saddle.

Riding equipment and riding clothes (Part 1)

When you are going for a horse ride, it’s important to pick up the right basic and safety equipment that will protect you from any accident that might occur. Equestrian sports sometimes involve risks, but there is a lot of thing that can limit the risk of accidents and injuries. Learning to be around the horse is one and selecting the right protective equipment is another. You don’t need to have the latest, most expensive equipment or specially adapted clothing and shoes in order to start riding – but it is often easier if you use special clothes and shoes that are developed specifically for the purpose, including Riding boots, riding shoes, Helmets, Body protectors and so on.

Let’s start from the closest to the body. Picking up the right underwear can actually help to improve the riding performance. It is critical for women to have a good sports bra which will take the strain off both the bust and the spine. Briefs and underpants without seams that can rub against the body when sitting in the saddle.

Upper body

It is easy to get hot very quickly when riding or working in the stables. This is the reason why rider should choose to wear functional clothing closest to the body so that all moisture is transported away and they do not become cold. The jumper or jacket should also have the ability to quickly dry out moisture so that riders feel warm and dry. It is best to have clothes that are soft and close-fitting as large and loose clothes are not suggested because it makes riders become clumsy in these and it is difficult for the instructor to see how riders are actually sitting. For jackets equipped with hoods, it is best if these can been easily removed as hoods can easily cause accidents if they become entangled in tree branches, for example, when you are riding.

Why are girls so dominant in horse riding?

It is often said that sport is for men. However nowadays, girls are initiated in the field of horse riding and are increasing in number each day. To tell the truth, according to a research, girls are dominant in this sector, but does not displeased the masculine gender. What is certain is that girls are increasing show passionate and even wish to master and become real professionals in the field of horse riding later.

Boosting gender equality
If you want to understand why girls are so dominant in horse riding, it is mainly due to compete with men. Indeed, with globalization and the advocacy of gender equality, many women want to prove that they can be as good as men on the back of a horse. They also want to show that they can take care of animals and have the ability to undertake risky activities despite their traditional reputation as a gentle, innocent and delicate force. Moreover, with their caring nature, the feminine gender also likes to meet new friends, no matter human or animal. For this reason, the horse is a channel for them to reconnect with nature, to explore the world and to know what they are really capable of.

They love the challenge
Like boys, girls also love challenges and the feeling of freedom, independence when traveling on the horse’s back. They also cherish every second they taste the thrills, adrenaline and intense sport. Because riding is a chance to be in shape while discovering a world of passion and instant exploration m. And with equitack¸ they can also strengthen their passion. Because girls are as enduring and rutile as men that many of them have mastered skills in the field of horse riding. Because they have the right to be stand out in a field, it is therefore normal if they are so dominant in riding right now.

Where to Go on a Horse Riding Weekend Getaway in Europe

When you don’t have much time left for long vacation, it doesn’t mean the fun should stop. In fact, an extended weekend, or even a regular weekend, is enough for a great adventure.

There are many benefits that horse riding weekend brings. Beginner riders can experience what a horse riding holiday is like without spending to many days in the saddle. For experienced riders, it can be a wonderful getaway to refresh your riding skills before joining a longer trip.

Europe has a long history of horsemanship and an abundance of destinations for horse riding including natural parks and stables. There are a countless number of riding trails that take approximately a couple of hours to several days to finish. And most of the long trails can be divided into smaller sections.

In this article, we take a look at the best destination for a horse riding weekend in Europe, which is Andalusia, Spain.

For a short yet intensive adventure in Southern part of Spain, try a horse riding weekend getaway in Andalusia – the place in which horsemanship are not only tradition but still part of everyday life.

Home of the Andalusian horse breed and an incredible landscape of many types, this is the premier destination in Spain, featuring coastal and mountain trails for all riding levels, as well as ancient Roman and Moorish tracks that are suitable for many types of transportation as well as walkers.

Jerez de la Frontera, the birthplace of the Spanish thoroughbred, is one of the best places on earth to study how to ride and improve your skills. You can start with short rides in the countryside or take lessons first. Jerez is also a great base camp for the advanced rider to enjoy beach riding in Cadiz.

If you have two or three days to spend, you must try to ride the strong Andalusian horses around the region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the highest in mainland Spain. Seeing some of the most impressive scenery in the country, featuring lush valleys, pine forests, clear water rivers, and alpine meadows. Riding through unspoiled wilderness, visiting remote areas that can only be reached on horseback.

On the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the culturally rich Alpujarra region has many spectacular horse riding trails of all difficulty levels and old paths that lead through traditional villages, beautiful farmlands, gorges and green olive groves.

The best Horse Riding Weekend Getaway in Europe

Bundoran, Ireland
The wild Atlantic Way is the most popular horse riding trail in Ireland, stretching the entire length of the country’s west coast. Luckily, it is consists of many short and picturesque trails that you can take on if you’re short on time.

Donegal is the wildest and the most remote county in Ireland with hundreds of kilometers of beach and woodland tracks for both beginners and pros. There are heather-covered moorland, bogs, mountains, hills as well as rugged coastal cliffs.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Birth place of the sturdy and reliable Icelandic horse, featuring fjords and glaciers, lagoons and volcanoes, the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun, Iceland is a must-visit of any horse lover’s bucket list.

Bundoran is an excellent base camp to discover the many Atlantic Way beach trails along Donegal’s coast. On a horse riding weekend in Bundoran, you’ll get the opportunity to canter along Trawalud Strand, Tullan Strand, and Rossnowlagh Strand, as well as combine beach riding with gentle trots in the surrounding countryside.

If you don’t have enough time to visit a larger chunk of the country on horseback, there are numerous short tours that last from a couple of hours to a couple of days. For weekend horse riding in Iceland, the most popular trips begin at the outskirts of Reykjavik going across the lava fields, and are suitable for both beginners and pros. Some tours even stop at the famous Blue Lagoon for travellers to relax and rejuvenate in the mineral-rich water.

If you’re expecting to spend two or three days in the saddle, then you can reach certain sections of the Golden Circle and visit the most famous attractions such as the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall.

Rila National Park, Bulgaria
If you’re searching for an affordable horse riding destination with pristine nature and colorful landscapes, Bulgaria is the one.

Get on the saddle and explore the unique terrain of the Rila Mountains, the highest in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula. Riding trails will take you across serene pastoral scenery, pristine nature, virtually untouched forests, beautiful shores of glacial lakes getting the freshest air and the best views.

What parents should know about horse riding for kids

Your child might love the ideas of owning and riding ponies just like imagine on the bedroom wall’s photo, but before committing to riding lessons, teach them that horse riding is more than just a fun recreational activity but also can be a dangerous (and expensive) hobby.

Even if your child begins by riding on the smallest, slowest pony in the stable, it’s worth to remember that horses are temperamental beings. You must be aware of that and sign an indemnity form. You must make peace with being falls and injuries, and prepare to invest into protective gear. 


Talk to a certified instructor

Before registering to a riding school or a lesson package, talk to a couple of instructors to ensure your child is physically and emotionally ready for lessons. While riding lessons can benefit a child in many ways, make sure that they are physically strong enough and emotionally mature enough not to lash out in anger at a horse when things don’t go their way.

Teach your child to be responsibility

If your children start begging for her own pony, make sure yo teach them the tremendous responsibility of caring for such demanding animal. Let her observe the entire process at the stables, including cleaning the stables and grooming the horse, etc. So that they understand everything that riding entails, including safety and caring for a pony. Your child must know that a real horse is a different story from those on the bedroom walls.


On your own visit each riding school before making your decision. Carefully observe and research the riding schools in your area, asking plenty of questions about the safety standards and possible hazards before settling. 

Let the children stay around horses before riding to see how your child reacts around them first before making a decision. Teach them that horses can be gentle but they won’t respond well to loud noises and sudden movements

Horse Riding Weekend Getaway in Europe

Wales, UK

The home of pony trekking, Wales is a luxury trail riding destination in the UK. There are three national parks – Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast, and Brecon Beacons – there’s no other way to discover its raw beauty, intricate sandstone tops, and Celtic ruins than by horse riding.

In the northeast of Wales, you can join a trail riding weekend to the remote areas of Berwyn Mountains, parts of which are close to the Snowdonia National Park. These trails are suggested for intermediate and advanced riders.

Brecon Beacons National Park provides some of the most amazing horse riding trails in the world. Hay-on-Wye is an excellent camp for discovering the 600 miles (960km) of tracks and bridleways for all levels of riders. By far the most spectacular trails are those that cross the remote Black Mountains.

Remember the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which runs for 186 miles (300km) along Britain’s coastline, covering many type of maritime landscape. The entire trail makes up 35,000 (10,670m) feet of ascent and descent. But you can choose to take on certain sections of the route, some easier than others.

Alentejo and Ribatejo, Portugal

Birthplace of the famous Lusitano horse, a challenging terrain, and sunny climate, Portugal is an amazing destination for horse lovers. And what better way to discover the charming countryside in the Centro Region than on a horseback?

If you’re expecting a city break beyond the ordinary, there are many equestrian facilities available near Lisbon. Just north of the capital, there are trails that are suitable for both beginners and intermediate riders such as enjoy fantastic beach rides on the Setúbal Peninsula.

In Ribatejo, one of Portugal six historical provinces, there are numerous coastal trails, passing by sand dunes and lagoons, to explore the power of the Atlantic right beneath your feet or visit the traditional Portuguese villages and taste the fantastic cuisine and wines of the region.

Have a truly authentic experience in Alentejo as you ride through the charming forests of Grândola Mountain, with their famous cork, and pine trees. This is one of the last untouched areas in Portugal, with trails suitable for all levels.

Where to Go on a Horse Riding Weekend Getaway in Europe (Part 4)

Lombardy & Tuscany, Italy

It isn’t hard to see why Italy, the nation of romance, history, and culture is such a famous horse riding destination. The country features every kind of riding terrain one could possibly wish for, from beaches and rustic path through countryside to lakeshores as well as alpine trekking.

If you’re looking forward to spending a holiday or a horse riding weekend in Italy, you can’t miss Lombardy which is home to the Stelvio National Park, the biggest protected territory in the Alps, as well as another 25 regional parks. All of which makes the area a paradise for nature lovers.

Most popular horse riding tours in Lombardy are designed around the gorgeous lakes, hills and valleys at the foothills of the beautiful Alps.

Parco dell’Alto Garda Bresciano also known as Upper Garda Park has plenty of short tracks of all difficulty levels, featuring stunning views of the lake and the mighty peaks of the Bergamasque Alps. Ride the horse through beautiful valleys, vineyards, and picturesque villages to witness a breathtaking alpine backdrop will make a lifetime memory.
The province of Como offers numerous trekking itineraries. In which, riders can ride along the lakes shores for a few hours or an entire day. The picturesque Valle d’Intelvi bridges Lakes Como and Lugano offers trails on both sides of the valley, appropriate for all levels.

However, please be aware that according to Italian law, children under 14 are not allowed to ride horse on their own on public roads.

Hilly Tuscany has trails for all levels and tastes. The many stables in the region has everything one wishes to explore in the region of unspoiled natural beauty on horseback, either for a few hours or a couple of days.

Hop in the horse and take a visit to castles, vineyards, valleys and a countryside while exploring the region’s rich history, delicious food, and finest wines. You can mix these with visits to the great art towns of Florence and Siena, or the popular vineyards in the Chianti region.

The hobby of horse riding is skyrocketing in China

The Chinese super-rich not only spend billions to collect cars, luxury brands, travel around the world, but also play polo – a type of sport belonging to the luxury goods in the world.

Polo or custard (as the Chinese call it) is considered a noble sport originating from Persia. In this subject, the player has to ride the horse while cleverly hitting the ball into the opponent’s goal to win. Each modern polo match lasts about 2 hours.

The Indians modernized the sport and opened the first polo club in 1833 in Assam. Meanwhile, the British are believed to have spread popular polo to many countries around the world. Britain’s first Calcutta Polo Club was founded in 1862 by Lieutenant Joseph Sherer and Captain Robert Stewart. In the US, the first polo match was held at Dickle Riding Academy on Fifth Avenue.

This discipline is not too strange in China. In Chinese history, the Tang emperor (617 – 908AD) had chosen the best mares to organize an entertaining match with the aristocracy in the royal capital of Chang’an.

Since then, it has rarely been a player until a recent decade, polo has gradually changed and evolved into a sport that is particularly interested in the very rich and the rich. In China, polo is an elite sport that shows elegance, class and status that is only suitable for the luxurious lifestyle of the super rich.

Tianjin Goldin Polo Club, owned by Goldin Properties Holdings, is the most valuable polo club in the country and the favorite entertainment destination for the wealthy in China. since its inception. Membership of this club has a minimum price of 380,000 yuan (over 1.2 billion).

In addition to the large racecourse area, the venue also has 4,000 stables, an international academy of horse riding training, a domed stadium and a luxurious hotel system including 12 restaurants, a wine cellar serving only The most expensive wine in the world. It is also the venue for many global Polo tournaments.

The polo events organized in the form of tickets for guests are an opportunity to expand social relations but in reality, participants have everything in hand, money and position.

Despite the high costs, Polo is gaining a foothold, as China is getting richer, more and more Chinese are willing to spend large sums of money to play sports, especially for their children.

There are clubs around the country and to sponsor a team, you have to be extremely rich. Because players need to be equipped with good horses, large polo field, all kinds of high-end equipment and professional coaches. Therefore, the target market of this sport is mostly billionaires, wealthy businessmen and their children.

The appeal of the sport lies in the social aspect for those who like to ride horses and speed enthusiasts. It is really not just about the art of sports but also the style of the upper lifestyle.