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SUMMER / FALL 2019      © 2021 812 Magazine

Saddle up. It's time for a horse riding adventure!

Explore the 812 area on horseback, with a few tips for beginners.

Whether you are looking to go horseback riding by yourself or with the whole family, Southern Indiana provides a great location for a day of riding or even a weekend riding getaway in the country.

Never been horseback riding before? Not to worry, there are places that offer trail rides all over the 812 area. The campgrounds and state parks here have trails set up specifically for horse riding; Brown County, Fort Harrison, McCormick's Creek, Pokagon, Shakamak, Turkey Run, and Whitewater Memorial State Parks also have saddle barns. Saddle barns are great for the beginning horse rider as they are places that provide the horses and the expert to guide you down the trails.

Here are a few tips for the first time you saddle up.

  • Never wear shorts. This common mistake of first time riders will cost you since riding in a saddle for hours will rub on the insides of the legs, so make sure to wear long pants, preferably jeans.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, preferably boots. Horses are large and they may not mean to step on your toes, but it can happen. Thick shoes will help prevent any injury.
  • Wear a helmet. It may seem silly but it will protect your head from any accidental falls or stray branches on the paths.
  • Squeeze to go. Most horses respond to the squeezing of their rider's legs as the signal to start moving. Another way of getting the horse to move is to tap it in the sides with the heel of your boots. But keep in mind, the more you squeeze the faster the horse will go.
  • Left or right? The reins are what you will use to guide the horse to the left and right.
  • To get the horse to stop pull back on the reins, but be careful not to pull back too hard or the horse will think you want it to turn around.
  • Relax! Horses can tell when you are nervous and will start to act jumpy themselves, so just loosen up and have fun!