Best equestrian tips for beginners by William Fox-Pitt
When William Fox-Pitt emerged on the eventing scene at the tender age of 15, his impact upon it could not have been anticipated. Having gone on to become the first rider to win a record-breaking six Burghley titles and the first British rider to become eventing’s World No 1, William Fox-Pitt’s name has achieved a considerable level of prominence in the equestrian world.
So when he agreed to clear up some misconceptions and give us some tips for beginners, we knew they’d be noteworthy, to say the least.
Myth 1 – You have to start young
Getting a head start when you’re young is an advantage, but there’s no hard and fast rule.
Myth 2 -You have to be fit to be good at horse riding/equestrian sports.
Being fit is a huge help, the fitter you are the better your balance. But core stability and suppleness are also very important for the rider to work on.
Myth 3 – You have to be rich to horse riding
This is a popular misconception. There are lots of ways of riding but you need to be keen and take every opportunity you have. Lots of good riders were not brought up around horses and were certainly not rich!
Myth 4 -You get cold and wet horse riding in England
Cold and wet is part of any outdoor sport in England, but when riding you are very oblivious to what the weather’s like. It is important to ignore your conditions and let the enjoyment take over – focus on what you’re doing and everything else will be background noise.
Myth 5 -Horse riding is frightening and comes with a real risk of falling off
It is true falling off is part of horse riding – we all do fall off from time to time. However it is not anything to be worried about as when you fall, you normally naturally roll and get up fine. It is very important when you are riding not to be thinking about what will happen if you hit the dirt.
Myth 6 – You have to own a horse to be a rider
It is a great advantage to own your own horse just so it’s readily available, but it is not at all essential. There are plenty of places to buy horse, as well as people who would want to lend you theirs.
Myth 7 – Horse riding is a dangerous sport
Lots of things we do are dangerous, and of course if you fall off, there’s always the chance that you can get hurt. However the pleasure you get from riding far outweighs any of the concerns you may have about the dangers.
Myth 8 – Trainers or more experienced riders will be impatient with inexperienced riders
Lots of us don’t always know what we are doing the first time we ride a horse. You may well encounter a teacher who shouts in order to help. Of course we all need to know what we are doing wrong, but there is a good way to be told.
Myth 9 – You have to live in the countryside
Riding happens everywhere, it happens on the road, on the beach, in an arena, or in a field. You do need to go somewhere suitable to have a good riding experience but, this certainly doesn’t have to be in the countryside.