How to teach kids to ride without ruining my horse? - Page 2
   

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How to teach kids to ride without ruining my horse?

This is a discussion on How to teach kids to ride without ruining my horse? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to kid proof my horse
  • I am teaching my dauaghter to ride a horse

 
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    01-01-2011, 02:05 PM
  #11
Started
I think you should definitely start them off on a lunge line so they can concentrate on developing some balance. If they have a poor balance it is most likely they will rely on the reins for help.

So ya pretty much start them off with a bit of walking and trotting on a lunge line. After a day or two of lunging, I think you can start them off with (either a halter or maybe even a hackamore?) or even you could attempt the bridle with the bit.

Even if your two other horses are ancient ;P I think it would be a good idea to use them. Some light work won't hurt them and ya since the kids are beginners they won't be doing much more then some walking and a bit of trotting.
     
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    01-01-2011, 02:18 PM
  #12
Trained
Riding with a halter might work, or with a mild bitless bridle (The one I use is just one step beyond a halter: riding halters).

However, if the problem is that your horses have too much get up and go for a beginner, then maybe the best answer is "No". Better to sound mean than to have a guest be hurt - and falling can hurt sometimes, even with the young.
     
    01-01-2011, 02:44 PM
  #13
Green Broke
Can you ride one of your horses and pony the other with the inexperienced rider? If not, you could just lead the horse while they ride at a walk. Most first time riders don't really like to go faster than that anyway. If it is just a one time ride, I don't think that it would give the horse a bad habit. Just explain to them that they need to be as soft as possible with the reins and keep a close eye on them so they don't yank hard. We use three of our horses to let other people learn to ride. The horses seem to know that they are inexperienced. It's actually good for the horse to have different riders so they don't too accustomed to just one.
     
    01-01-2011, 03:00 PM
  #14
Showing
Have you ridden these horses bitless, in a bitless bridle or hack/bosal type setup? Sometimes it's easier on the horse for a beginner to learn outside of their mouth than in. I would put them on your older horses at first, and if you think they're ready for the younger horses, see how they do on them.
     
    01-01-2011, 03:04 PM
  #15
Weanling
You are ALL nicer than my response.

It's your house. They're YOUR horses. Did you offer to let these kids ride your horses? If not, then these are little brats for even EXPECTING the "treat"!

That being said. I got my first horse almost a month ago and the first thing my teenager said was "When do I get to ride her?" I answered quickly, without thinking and without regret "You're not. She's my horse. I've waited 39 years for her." (Keep in mind, my daughter is also inexperienced at riding and at caring for a horse AND she never listens to anything I try to teach her-she IS a brat).

I would not share my specifically well trained horses with an inexperienced rider. Period. Now. If they weren't gaited and were just well broke, I'd say sure, but with the above suggestions.

If you're ok to allowing them to ride - All I can say is: GOOD LUCK and KUDOS TO YOU for being so open about letting these kiddos into your barn and onto your horses.

I guess I'm just a selfish li'l b****. Yup, I am.

I'd also start with caring for the horses, picking/mucking stalls, feeding/watering, grooming, etc, before ever letting them onboard. I told my daughter if she wanted to ride, she had to let me TEACH her and she had to help do the cleaning. (She has yet to visit the barn on her own initiation.)
     
    01-01-2011, 03:44 PM
  #16
Yearling
[QUOTE=maura;871040]I am very sympathetic to your dilemma; frequently guests ask why they can't ride my horse (he's bigger/flashier/better looking that the guest horse) and I just cringe. I have a very real fear that he'd hurt a beginner, but I also must admit I just don't want anyone messing with him. QUOTE]


Whenever one of my little cousins would come out to the barn I would sometimes let them ride Jesse (a 16.2 Paint x Hanoverian who is lazy and doesn't spook at anything) as long as they were on the lunge line. They always thought he was too big and wanted to ride my horse (a 14.2 Welara who was hot, spooky, could buck like no tomorrow, and had a noodle neck) instead and couldn't understand why I wouldn't let them even near him.
     
    01-01-2011, 05:39 PM
  #17
Yearling
I really appreciate all your advice. Thinking about all the options you've presented, I'll clarify that these kids rode on a lead line last year - rode one of the "ancients" - the babysitter mare - and on my good gaited horse because the 2nd ancient was going through a thin phase and it was hot; we didn't want to stress him out. We didn't put the kids on the lunge line, though, which would be a great (new) learning experience for them and would allow us to do trot and/or running walk with some speed in a controlled way. I did make them groom the horses before they got to ride last year, and they did not want to do that at first. It turned out that they were afraid of them...so we took a step back and spent some time introducing the kids to the horses. It turned out good and that they saw that the horses appreciated the brushing and rubbing. I will need to check into the halter/bitless bridle idea, and I may use that on the lunge line as some of you suggest to see how they do in balancing themselves.

I am thinking about the progression of these lessons. I expect that these kids will be recurring visitors throughout the summer, so this will be kind of sporadic. Does this plan/sequence make sense? First, we will do lunge line without reins (balance). Next, we would want to introduce the bitless/halter idea, with reins to see if the kids can control the horses with reins, seat and legs (control, confidence, good hands). Last, if we get that far, we would tack up with bridles with our mildest bits. I am keeping all this in the round pen and/or our arena, which is smaller than a competition size.

What do you think? And, thanks again - you are giving me a lot to think about!
     
    01-01-2011, 07:44 PM
  #18
BJJ
Foal
My grandchildren visit and ride my horses regularly, they have yet to 'ruin' one. The horses seem to know when it's one of the kids and when it is time to go to work. I do make sure I ride them through at least a warmup routine (even 5 minutes) before I put them away. They don't make enough blue ribbons for me to have a horse the kids couldn't be around. They love to clean stalls (I think it is the quad they get to ride).
     
    01-01-2011, 09:00 PM
  #19
Yearling
BJJ, this is good to hear. I don't have enough experience with young riders and good horses together to know what to expect. In the past, my own kids had their own wonderful pony and rode the ancient mare...so we know she's kid proof. We don't show, so that's one less worry. Thanks for the encouragement!
     
    01-01-2011, 09:00 PM
  #20
Started
Quote:
I am thinking about the progression of these lessons. I expect that these kids will be recurring visitors throughout the summer, so this will be kind of sporadic. Does this plan/sequence make sense? First, we will do lunge line without reins (balance). Next, we would want to introduce the bitless/halter idea, with reins to see if the kids can control the horses with reins, seat and legs (control, confidence, good hands). Last, if we get that far, we would tack up with bridles with our mildest bits. I am keeping all this in the round pen and/or our arena, which is smaller than a competition size.
Yes I think that a very good plan. :) It was also very wise of you to make them groom the horses, so they could relax and understand the horses more.
     

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