➞ If you're jumpy or scared, your horse will tend to be jumpy and scared. Your voice and movements should be calm, yet deliberate. On most trips, you could sit in the saddle like an armless, legless trunk of a man and you would arrive safely at your destination. So chill.
➞ Always mount and dismount on the animal's left side. No one knows why or what happens if you don't. You don't want to be the guy to find out.
➞ You can rub your legs raw if your pants don't fit right, so consider wearing panty hose beneath your trousers. These are like WD-40 for your legs. Fight the temptation to cut off the feet.
➞ Horses don't like surprises. They will sometimes spook at butterflies. An airborne jacket is, to a horse, an entire horror movie compressed into four seconds. For this reason, never toss anything to another person. Hand it to him.
➞ Horses can sleep standing up. If the first thing it feels upon waking is your foot in the stirrup, it will mistake you for a predator and bolt. This can be fun to watch if it's not happening to you. Always approach from the side and speak as you go. If its ears aren't moving, the horse is not awake. Wait until its ears are moving.
➞ If a horse flattens back its ears, it's seriously pissed off, usually because you're doing something wrong. Stop doing that thing. —B.H.