For many tourists and travelers, interaction with elephants is one of the activities that must be checked off their bucket list. Despite many animal organizations are suggesting that riding on elephants should be stopped, it is still one of the most popular activities in many countries such as Africa and Thailand. This is due to a number of animal trainers who are practicing inhumane training methods which hurt the elephants when carrying passengers. If you wish to ride on an elephant, choose to ride in a way which is safe for both of you. How do you really mount and ride on an elephant? Well, this article is for you.
How to Ride an Elephant
1. Use light-weight clothing
You can decide on wearing pants or shorts. Pants will help you protect your legs from possible bugs and vegetation. Wearing shorts might keep you cooler, but you have to remember that you should wear longer shorts as they will ride up. If you choose to wear pants, you can always roll it if it is too hot for you.
It's better for you to wear light-weight clothing when riding an elephant
Try also to bring hat, sunblock and bug spray.
If you wish, you can take a change of clothes with you. There are some elephant trails cross in rivers so there’s a real possibility of getting wet.
If you have things which may break, consider leaving them behind.
2. Try to learn foot commands
For your information, elephants communicate through touch. Thus, when you ride an elephant, you can use your feet to control the movements of the elephant you are riding. Your instructor should teach you these commands before you start to ride. Understand and practice these commands so that you will not panic on the spot.
When you ride an elephant, you can use your feet to control the movements of the elephant you are riding
Below are some basic controls for riding an elephant:
Press behind the elephant ears using your toes when moving forward.
Press the elephant ears backward using your heels when moving back.
To have the elephant lift the trunk, you can use your toes to push upward.
To make the elephant sit down, you can use one of your heels to push downward.
To make the elephant turn to the left, you can hold your left heel backward and press your right toe forward.
To make the elephant turn to the right, you can hold your right heel backward and press your left toe forward.
3. Always approach the elephant coming from the right side
When approaching an elephant, make sure that you come from the side where it can see you. The possibility when you come from the back or the front is the elephant may not be able to see you. With this, there are many elephants which are trained to attack anyone who is coming from the left.
When approaching an elephant, make sure that you come from the side where it can see you
Additional reminders include the following:
You should always pay attention to the demeanor of the elephant as you approach it. Some signs of happy elephant include swaying of trunk and tail and flapping of ears.
Do not worry if the elephant will get its trunk near you. This is his way of examining you to smell you or see if you have food.
Do not approach the elephant if it is intently staring at you and holding a trunk in its mouth. This is a sign that the elephant feels threatened and anxious.
4. Go and mount the elephant
There are many ways for you to mount an elephant. You can use the front or hind legs, trunk, ears or by stepping on its tusks. Your instructor will assist you. He can let the elephant kneel so you can mount. When mounting, grab the elephant’s right ear and then, place your foot on its bent knee. Then, bend your knee and swing afterward your other leg over the elephant’s back. When mounting an elephant, try to do it as quickly as possible. The elephant may begin to stand up even before you finish mounting.
When mounting an elephant, try to do it as quickly as possible
5. Always sit up straight
As much as possible, try to sit as forward on the neck as you can, and you should tuck your legs behind the ears of the elephant. Your toes should be kept behind the ears so that you can give your commands. Although you are to sit up straight, you must be flexible as you move with the elephant. This will help you to keep your balance. Do not be too rigid because the elephant is swaying as it moves. You can place your hands on the back of the elephant if you feel like you are losing your balance.
6.Dismount the elephant the same way you mounted it
Before dismounting, you should command your elephant to sit down. Remember to keep your balance as the elephant tries to sit down.
In summary, the above will show you ways on how to ride elephants easily. Elephants are animals which must be controlled first before humans can ride on them. To control them, they must be trained which makes them a little more easy to control. However, there are elephants which are deprived of food and sleep and are abused physically just to achieve the training. That is why if you choose to ride an elephant, you should take time to find ethical places which treat elephants properly.