While living in the hustle and bustle of a crowded city can sometimes be exciting, there may be nothing better than escaping the crowds and noise for a bit to enjoy the wide-open spaces of nature. What might be even better is spending a few days exploring that nature on horseback. Whether you are looking forward to riding on trails through densely packed or pristine forests or flat prairies with expansive vistas, there are a few things you should do to prepare for spending that much time sitting astride a horse, particularly if you are not a seasoned rider. Here are the tips for preparing for an extended trip on horseback.
Get your body ready
Although it may seem like the horse does all the work, just riding a horse requires a certain level of physical fitness and may work muscles or muscle groups you are not accustomed to using. Strengthening your core through exercises like planks or sit-ups can help prepare you for the additional strain to your abs that horseback riding entails. Getting your inner thighs in shape with leg lifts or other thigh strengthening exercises will also go a long way to ensuring you can still walk properly after a day in the saddle.
Get in some practice
If you’ve never been on a horse before, you may not want to wait until you are on your trip to learn the basics. If you are an experienced rider, your body will certainly retain some muscle memory, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to refresh your memory a bit in advance. Much like riding a bike, how you adjust your saddle will also have a significant impact on your comfort over time. Taking the time to get familiar with all the associated equipment will also help you better make adjustments to make a long time in the saddle more comfortable.
Learn the basics of grooming, horse and equipment care
Although almost any horseback riding trip you take will invariably include a staff of seasoned professionals that will help saddle and groom your horse, you may still be required to do a great deal yourself. Horses require a great deal of grooming and care, so the more you know, the better prepared you will be to help administer that care.