How to Approach a Horse for the First Time

Horseback riding is a fun and exhilarating pastime. Children, teenagers and adults can all benefit from learning how to ride a horse safely. Yet, taking that first step can be scary without help. Approaching a horse may feel overwhelming or intimidating for new riders. In addition, horses can also feel intimidated and nervous if they are not approached correctly. As a result, they could react negatively and kick, bite or run away.

At Bear Creek Stables, we help riders learn how to approach a horse and gain the confidence needed to ride. When approaching a horse for the first time, it is important to take these three steps.

Step 1: Let the Horse Know You Are Approaching

Horses can scare easily if you approach them from behind. Never sneak up on a horse. Instead, let the horse see and hear you coming. Walk towards the horse so that the horse knows you are approaching. If you must approach the horse from behind, make sure the horse can hear you coming.

Step 2: Be Calm

When approaching a horse for the first time, use calm and soft noises. Talk to the horse gently and avoid yelling or making loud noises. Loud noises or sudden movements can spook or frighten a horse. Horses can sense when you are tense. The calmer you appear, the more the horse will relax and remain calm as well.

Step 3: Let the Horse Smell You

When making contact for the first time, let the horse smell your hand. Reach your hand out slowly and let the horse smell your fingers or the palm of your hand. Offer the horse some food in your hand and keep your fingers flat to avoid accidental biting.

Gently pet the horse on its muzzle and neck after the horse has smelled you. The horse should react positively to your touch. If the horse does not react positively to your touch, back away from the horse to avoid frightening it further.

Are You Interested in Horseback Riding in Santa Clara County?

New riders can learn how to approach a horse for the first time by taking horseback riding lessons. Our certified instructors can teach you everything you need to know about approaching a horse safely and correctly. Once you learn the basics, your instructor will help you learn how to ride a horse. Students here progress quickly, learning new skills every time they step foot into the arena.

Contact Us Today About Riding Lessons in Santa Clara County

At Bear Creek Stables, we offer a wide variety of lessons and programs to help beginners and even seasoned riders. Even if you have never been on a horse before, our instructors are here to help.

If you are interested in a family-friendly stable to board your horse or learn to ride, contact us today. Call us today at (408) 872-8238 or fill out our confidential contact form.

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Our Stable

We cater to all ages with kids camps to solo horse leasing

Bear Creek Stables is a historic ranch with over 100 years of use

We are in a prime location to offer riding to bay area residents

Welcome to
Bear Creek Stables

Located in the Los Gatos hills, Bear Creek Stables provides a family-friendly environment for boarding your horse. A working stable since the 1930s, Bear Creek offers paddocks and pasture facilities. We have one large arena, a smaller arena, a round pen, and extensive trails.

Situated in the Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, Bear Creek Stables gives riders access to miles of scenic trails through oak and redwood forests.