How To Make More Horseback Riding Friends
Horseback riding is a lot of fun on your own, but it’s even more fun (and safe) when you have friends to go riding with. If you’re not an extrovert and you’re just getting into riding, making the right connections can feel difficult. That said, here are a few tips that have helped me surround myself with like-minded horse lovers!
Tip 1: Choose The Right Boarding Stable
One of the most important things you can do to make more riding friends is to choose your boarding stable carefully! I can’t stress this enough. Every boarding stable has it’s own unique culture.
Some boarding stables are highly social with lots of fun activities for the boarders to help them connect with one another, while others are quiet and offer as many opportunities for socialization.
If you want to make tons of friends to go riding with, do your research to find the more active boarding stables in your area to help set you up for social success. Another thing to consider is the median age of the boarders. If you’re looking for a primarily younger or older crowd, it doesn’t hurt to ask around to find out what to expect from the stable you’re considering.
I realize that some people reading this might be keeping their horses on their own land! If that’s you, you’ll want to do some research online to find any local riding clubs or Facebook groups that hold regular events. Attending these is a great way to form connections with other riders in your area.
Tip 2: Know Your Stuff
My next tip for making more riding friends is to know your stuff! And by stuff, I mean horse stuff. People are drawn to people that are knowledgeable about what they’re interested in.
If you compose yourself like a pro and demonstrate your knowledge by how you work with your horse, less experienced horse owners will be interested in learning from you. While you should be wary of giving unsolicited horse advice, sharing a few tips here and there when people come to you is an easy way to make more friends.
If you’re new to horses, not to worry! Even people that have worked with horses for years still have tons to learn. To get started, you can read my ultimate list of tips for new horse owners here. It covers all the essential information you’ll need.
Tip 3: Be Kind, Helpful, And Non-judgemental
Common courtesy goes a long way when it comes to making horse friends!
If you’re always in a crabby mood when people talk to you at the stable, no one will want to hang around long enough to become friends with. Turn that frown upside down when you’re talking to other boarders!
There’s a lot of work that needs to be done at any boarding stable. Be willing to go above and beyond and fill up water buckets, feed horses, muck out stables, and anything else that might need to be done. Giving back when it’s not required or expected will always be appreciated by someone.
Judging leads to gossip, gossip leads to hurt feelings, and hurt feelings leads to you not having anyone to go riding with. While it’s okay to learn from the mistakes you see others making, it’s not okay to gossip or be unkind about them!
No rider is perfect, (myself included.) Be kind to and about others and you’ll usually receive the same in return.
Tip 4: Put Yourself Out There
Last but not least, put yourself out there! You can be at the most social barn in the world, but if you’re not willing to strike up a conversation with someone then you’ll never start forming the types of connections you want.
Just think about it. You have something in common with every other boarder at your stable. You love horses! When in doubt, ask about their horse and you’ll have an endless supply of things to talk about.
Thank you for reading these tips, and best of luck making tons of connections with other horseback riders. For starters, you’ve got one new friend in me! 😊
If you want to stay connected, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here for new horse videos every Monday. Happy trails!