Horse back riding is an awesome hobby that I enjoy every evening after school. Many people think that riding a horse is quite hard, when in fact it isn't. People can easily learn how to ride a horse when they follow basic steps.
First you'll put your tack on the horse. The tack is the saddle, bridle, girth, pad, etc... You put the pad on the horses back right behind his withers, or shoulders, and set the saddle in place on top of the pad. Then you tighten the girth around its belly so that the saddle doesn't fall off. Before mounting, or getting on the horse, you need to check the girth again so you are sure that it is tight enough. You also need to check the stirrups, which are what you put your feet into, to make sure that they are long enough to fit your legs properly.
To do this you need to put your arm on the saddle and pull the stirrup under your arm. The stirrup should be the entire length of your arm, so that when your foot is in it, your leg will set in the right place against the saddle.
As a beginner rider, it is necessary to wear a riding helmet for safety. You also need to be wearing proper riding boots, and jeans or jodhpurs. Jodhpurs are tight riding pants that have a flap of leather sewn onto the inside of the knees; they help to grip the horse.
The next step is to mount the horse. To do this you need to stand on the left side of the horse, hold the reins in your left hand, and hold the saddle with your right hand. Sometimes if someone is too short to reach the stirrups, it's easier for them to stand on a riding block. Now, set your left foot in the stirrup and pull your body up into the saddle. Now place your right foot into the stirrup on the other side.
Next, use the reins, which are attached to the bridle, to move the horse in the direction that you want to go. To stop the horse you need to pull back on the reins and say "Whoa". To make the horse walk, simply squeeze your legs and say "Walk". While you ride you must always be careful of tree branches and other objects that might knock you off the horse, as well as objects on the ground and loud noises that might make spook it. It is also a smart idea to ride in an enclosed area; it helps to keep the horse under control.
As a beginner, it's smart to just walk the horse around so that you get used to riding. It takes time to learn how to keep your balance on a horse and to get your body used to being on one. Once you are comfortable with riding, then you can explore how to make the horse trot, canter, and gallop.
After you finish riding, you'll need to dismount from the horse by holding the saddle and reins with your left hand, and remove your feet from the stirrups. Then you lift your body upward and gently swing yourself off of the saddle on the left side. Once you are on the ground you swing your reins over the horses head to lead him back to the barn, or wherever you wish to un-tack.
After following these steps, you can now call yourself a rider. Horse back riding is like learning how to ride a bicycle, each time you get on you become more experienced and more adapted.