What age to start lessons? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-12-2013, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Thompson, Manitoba
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What age to start lessons?

I know my daughter is a bit young still... maybe??

She's three, and wants to go riding all the time.

But i was wondering what age do you like to start riding lessons?? I know for youngsters it's likely a 20 - 30 minute lesson at most. And may be just lead rope lessons for awhile.

I will likely start her western and just go with lessons and maybe some small time shows, until she is old enough to decide what discipline she wants to pursue.

I want to learn to be safe and smart on the ground and while riding.
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-12-2013, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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3 years old is a good age with the right instructor and horse. My granddaughter is almost 2 and already scheduled in for lessons next year.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-12-2013, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I was getting looked at like i was a two headed monster out of Lake Manitoba when I mentioned that I would like to start her sooner then later. At least one of us will get our horse fixes!
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-12-2013, 07:19 PM
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3 years old is when they can compete in leadline, so Equine Canada must know something, right? Well here is my little equestrian at 21 months, she rides now, at least SHE thinks she is riding, she is balancing and my horse follows me, with his ear cocked back towards her waiting to hear "Whoa", he is all for stopping!
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-12-2013, 07:22 PM
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I agree with Ware, 3 is a good age to get them started. I was riding on my own when I was 3 and I wouldn't change a moment of it.

Of course, it only works if you've got the right horse and instructor.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-14-2013, 11:10 AM
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When I asked some local instructors I was told 6 is when they start as they lack focus to begin. However, I seen some local horsemen/woman that had some as young as 3-4 riding and doing well. For me it worked out as my son has lost interest other than the occasional loving/petting on and he's now 6!
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-16-2013, 08:13 AM
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I started riding when I was 4. Most of the barns in my area wouldn't take me any younger. But I think 3 is a good age to start with the right instructor and safe horses.
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-16-2013, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Personally, I think it depends more on the child's personality. If they want to ride (and it's not just a Mommy's dream thing) then with the right horse and trainer (perhaps educated parent) I think some children would actually love to ride!
But (like the barn I'm at) if you have 4 year olds who are horrified of horses because their parents want them to ride, you have a problem. It won't matter what kind of horse or trainer they are paired with.
The only thing that matters is that they want to ride.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-16-2013, 07:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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I haven't seen a single place where they would start younger than 8, or 7 in very special cases. I think starting at 3 can be really fun, with the right instructor, but there's nothing wrong with starting later as well.
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-16-2013, 08:17 PM
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Location: Ontario
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You need to be mindful of the size of the animal otherwise the child will suffer groin pain. A 20 min lesson is plenty and the child is using muscles unaccustomed to being on a horse. Kids seem to know what to do on a horse if given a chance and the adults don't interfere. It's fun to stand back and watch them sort it out. What better way to learn than finding out what doesn't work. I would expect the child to groom a part of the horse that is manageable, and I let them figure out how to get on from a mounting block. They try so hard and who am I to interfere.
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