Horseback Riding for Novices – A Guide to Get You Saddled Up

Horseback riding has been in our societies for longer than we can imagine. What does it take to saddle up and go hopping about on a fine sunny day? Be it the English style or Western style, riding a horse is an art that takes time to master, but a worthy investment as you may discover your lifelong partner in crime, in a horse.

Image via Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort

Set Up Safety Measures

Saddle up! Choosing a well-reputed and reliable stable that offers utmost safety to new riders is essential. Your checklist should include a certified instructor and a clean and legitimate establishment of good repair conditions. If you browse through the activities in Abu Dhabi for tourists, The Stables, which shelters over 30 horses is located within the premises of Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort, designed for tailormade safe horse-riding facilities.

Dress to Ride

While you must dress the part when setting off on your maiden horseback ride, it is important to keep in mind that each element of the attire serves a purpose. Do ensure that your stable provides a helmet for safety. Dress up in long pants so that your legs will be protected from chafing against the saddle. A simple shoe tip: close-toed shoes with a heel will work wonders to keep your foot from slipping out of the stirrups.


If you are a novice at horse riding, be sure to arrive at the stable well in advance to get to know your riding companion. This riding companion is none other than the horse that you will be assigned to. As horses are believed to have small brains, riders are advised to stand in front of the horse, towards the left side, during their first encounter.


If you are a first-timer, the assistance of a mounting block will be required to climb onto the horse. Move with the horse as it walks, while relaxing in the saddle. The best way to begin is to get the horse walking, and not trotting or galloping. However, keep in mind that the horse is your friend, and therefore, be gentle with the reigns as you pull them to steer and stop it.

Mountain Biking in Abu Dhabi

Mountain Biking in Sir Bani Yas Island
Mountain Biking in Sir Bani Yas Island – Abu Dhabi

Sir Bani Yas Island, located on the Arabian Gulf is one of the largest natural islands of the United Arab Emirates. The Island, located off the shores of Abu Dhabi is home to around 36 archaeological sites, including a 4000-year-old circular tomb, a watch tower, a mosque amongst others. Sir Bani Yas Island forms one of eight other islands which form the Desert Islands. Owing to be an ideal retreat, the island provides adventurous activities catered to by Sir Bani Yas Island hotels, where visitors can choose from archery, land sailing and mountain biking. Most hotels, like Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort, would provide a designated riding route which will be categorized into a non- strenuous path or a path that is more suitable for advanced riders.

Mountain biking through the rugged Arabian wilderness has become a popular past time of visitors to the island, as they are treated to spectacular sceneries of towering mountains and wild animals. Sir Bani Yas Island has been developed as part of Sheikh Zayed’s ‘Greening of the Desert’ programme, which was designed to provide a safe habitat for the country’s endangered wildlife species, where thousands of trees were planted and animal species like Gazelles, Oryx, Llamas and Ostriches were introduced to the island’s wildlife preserve. Therefore, bike riders are sure to see some of these wonderful beasts in their habitat.

Mountain biking is, therefore, the best way to explore the island as riders can cycle through wadis or access some of the lesser travelled paths, while simultaneously working out. Most bikes are complete with a carriage which allows for children under five to partake in this activity as well, ensuring that the entire family has a great time.

Be sure to always wear the helmet provided, and carry sunscreen as the Arabian sun can be harsh and is no friend to unprotected skin.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+