6. Do not hold the saddle horn to stay still
When practice horse riding in the USA or Mexico, you are likely to find a saddle horn in your saddle which you can hold on to while riding – but really you should not depend on the saddle horn to keep your balance. In case you feel unstable, keep balance by adjusting your posture, extending your legs further or holding the reins more gently. Anything but the saddle horn should be used for that.
Because if you let yourself depend on the saddle horn to keep balance, when there is an unexpected situation happening, this is a much ineffective position to keep your balance and you are more likely to fall hard to the ground. That’s the reason why you should never get used to holding the saddle horn even if you are just walking. It’s better to learn properly how to stay balance from the start than developing bad habits that could harm you in the long run.
Remember also that in the UK or other countries in Europe, saddles are usually not attached with saddle horns but you should also avoid holding onto the front of the saddle for keeping balance.
7. Keep your eyes where you are riding the horse
Don’t fix your eye on your horse while you ride. No matter how beautiful he is, riders must always keep eyes on the trail. Fixing your gaze at your horse would be similar to pay attention to the hood of your car while ignoring the road ahead which surely no one would want to be in a car with such uncertain driver.
Instead you should look ahead through the horse’s ears, keeping sight on the path while holding a straight posture, which should be enough to have a safe trail riding trip.