7 Tips For First-Time Horse Riders

So you’re ready for a vacation on the ranch? You’ve got your boots and hat, you’re ready to hit the trails, but there’s just one thing—you’ve never ridden a horse. Don’t fret! We have everything you need to know to feel comfortable and confident so you can have your best vacation yet. Here are our seven tips for first-time horse riders.

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Our 7 Tips For First-Time Horse Riders

Horseback riding is, jointly, one of the most thrilling and most enjoyable vacations you can take. There is something special about connecting with your animal and riding off into the horizon through some of the most spectacular scenery. We have the basics you need to know for safely climbing onto the back of a horse and enjoying your ride with comfort and ease. Here are our tips for first-time horse riders:

  • Wear the Proper Gear

Cowboy attire isn’t just for looks. Dressing in the correct attire is crucial to having a comfortable ride. You’ll want to be sure to wear comfortable jeans, closed-toed shoes (preferably boots) with a smooth sole and heel, a long-sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed hat for sun protection. Helmets are available for use to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests. Check out our complete Dude Ranch Vacation Packing List for more info to help you plan and prepare!

  • Be Calm and Confident

Horses, and animals in general, can sense when you’re uncomfortable, which can in turn, make them uncomfortable. Remember, they want to have a fun, safe ride just as you do. Climb aboard with grace and confidence. When you first get on your horse, it is important to establish that you are the leader of the partnership. Meris and Seth will be there to help you learn how to do this. 

  • Get to Know Your Horse

Get to know your horse’s quirks and personality, and they will get to know yours. It takes a little time to understand each other and get on the same page, so be patient during your first couple of rides. Your wranglers will be there to give you pointers along the way. All of our horses here at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch are very well-trained and good for any level of rider to learn on. We will match you with a horse that you will have for the duration of your stay (as long as you form a good partnership). This will allow you to get to know your horse, bond with them and feel more comfortable and confident during your rides. Meet some of our four-legged friends here!

  • Ask For Help From a Trained Professional

There’s no shame in asking for help. That’s what we are here for and it is the best way to learn! Meris and Seth will always be available during rides and are happy to give you pointers or answer any questions you may have.

  • Groom Your Horse  

Your wranglers will get your horse ready for the day to ensure the safety and comfort of both horse and rider. Brushing your own horse at the end of the day is also a great way to reward them for the nice ride as well an opportunity to spend some time bonding with them. A happy horse means a happy rider. Check out our article on the “Horse Channel” about maintaining happy working horses. 

  • Set Realistic Goals

You want to have an enjoyable time on your first ride, so don’t over-do it. Here at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, we offer different lengths of rides to accommodate all abilities. Horseback riding takes a certain amount of physical fitness, so be conscious of your own limits and abilities. 

  • Discover Your Surroundings

Our main focus at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is for you to explore the beauty of New Mexico by horseback. Ride through stunning canyons, across crystal clear creeks and to mountain overlooks to take in the 3.3 million-acre Gila National Forest. Let our trained horses get you off the beaten path this season. Read articles and learn more about a stay at our ranch here!

Ride Back to Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

Mimbres ExteriorWhen you’re ready to hang your hat from a day of horseback riding, come back to Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch. Our ranch is located in the heart of the Gila National Forest and offers an all-inclusive dude ranch experience. Stay in one of our comfortable, well-appointed cabins, enjoy authentic home cooking, unlimited horseback riding while you explore New Mexico’s natural wonders, and friendly service to boot!

Here at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, safety is our priority. We cater to all skill levels, and all trail rides are guided. Learn more about horseback riding at our ranch here. We can’t wait to welcome you to our piece of New Mexico paradise!