How young?

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How young?

This is a discussion on How young? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    01-11-2011, 09:21 PM
How young?

When is a good time to start a nice even foundation. I would like to start my daughter out doing lead line and get her a nice base for future riding. She loves horses and asks lots of questions. I was just wondering how young was too young?
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    01-12-2011, 05:09 AM
I don't really think you can be "too young" to have a walk around on a lead line once or twice a week for a little while.
I started learning when I was 4 while others on here started at 2, and some probably even younger!
I would take your time finding a good instructor that will be able to explain things to your daughter in a simple way she can understand.
How old is your daughter? I think that the sooner it's embedded in a rider to hold a correct position, the better. It won't let her develop bad habits if she's molded from day 1 to do it all correctly.
    01-12-2011, 05:28 AM
I've been on a horse since I was born. However, if you mean properly learning and riding I've been doing that since about 4. The important thing to remember is to keep it light, fun and safe. Never push your kids to ride. My mum pushed me to compete ever since I could sit up and post and when I turned 12 I eventually quit riding and had a 2 year break.
    01-12-2011, 05:57 AM
I started riding when I was four, and I could jump and canter when I was six. There's never a time to be too young or too old, that doesn't exist in the equestrian world! Like Amir said, it will take you some time to find a good equestrian center and good coach.
If you're worried she's too young, I don't see the harm in going out on a lead line every once in a while, but she might start badgering you to ride more often! Lol :)
    01-12-2011, 09:03 AM
My daughter is 3. I have always been a western pleasure rider, with just basic English skills. I would like her to have a better foundation so she can be versitile. I do not push her, this is all on her request, we I live in a small town so it is going to be hard to find a decent center without having to drive 45 minutes, maybe we will get lucky!
    01-12-2011, 10:27 AM
Green Broke
Some places will not give lessons to kids under a certain age, depending on the barn.

I was plopped on a pony when I was about 6, and didnt really have any coaching at all. Plum was my babysitter and we would just tour around. I learned how to ride by doing. Although it was good for our situation, I would be a much better rider now if I had been properly instructed.
    01-12-2011, 10:59 AM
Green Broke
My kiddo has been taking lessons on and off since the age of 5. They haven't been consistent until the past 6mo because of weather, trainer moving facilities and other extenuating circumstances. Attention span is the hardest part, her lessons right now are limited to 30, maybe 45mins. As soon as she stops paying attention, my trainer ends the lesson.

She walks, trots, canters, goes over small jumps and as my trainer usually has me ride one of her beyond calm horses during the lesson, she's learned about leg yields, half-halts and other things I have been working on. Right now her focus is on her 2-point position since she's convinced she thought she wants to jump (not so sure about that, her pony over-jumped last lesson and now she's thinking that staying on the ground is good! LOL).

Find a qualified instructor with LOTS and LOTS of patience, take it easy and she'll have fun!

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