Little children and horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-18-2011, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Slovenia
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Little children and horses

My 4 year old niece adores horses.

Except from brushing, giving too many treats and giving kisses, she enjoys riding too. I've been letting her ride only with both of us in the saddle - Candy is 16 hands tall. And my little niece never wants to get off, although I know it couldn't be comfortable to her, as the saddle is too wide for her and she doesn't have enough place with me up there.
I've been teaching her how to stop and turn the horse and she's so happy cause she can ride a horse 'by herself'.

What else could a child that young do? Candy is wonderful to her and she behaves perfectly. But, you never know, something might scare her and that wouldn't be good.

And when do you think she could ride alone in the saddle, with me leading a horse?

It's RAINING!

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post #2 of 5 Old 09-18-2011, 04:25 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: abilene,tx
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She should be fine with you leading my friends grandson often rides with us in the saddle or we will just pop him up on one of the horses and lead him around (not always they super steady lesson ones) But you could lead her through different obstacles but keep candy on a lead at all times and if your neice doesn't quite have enough balance yet have someone walk next to her

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-18-2011, 07:29 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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You could set up a mini obstacles course, like going through these poles, around that barrel, etc either with you in the saddle or just leading. This way she can practice her steering more while keeping it interesting. Like BarrelracingArabian said, you can have someone walk beside her if she is unbalanced in the saddle.

I can't remember what it is called, but there is a game where you say a specific colour, for example, and that either means walk or halt. So when you say.. green, she has to walk. But when you say red she has to halt. Basically, it will teach her the aids for walking on and stopping.

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-18-2011, 07:40 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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My daughter is 4 and she walk, trots and lopes on the longe line. She can ride my mare through obstacles set up in the arena. She even gets on and off by herself with a mounting block. Once she can control her horse at a trot and lope we will venture out on the trails around the farm.

My daughter is around horses 24/7 though, so gets a ton of exposure.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-18-2011, 10:39 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
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At 4 I'd probably keep her on a lead, however there are exceptions, we've all seen tiny tots at shows riding alone and generally doing well.

Simon says is always fun to play, teaching her to take feet out of stirrups and back in stopped and walking is a really good safety excersice for all ages. Get her to be an airplane spreading her arms out. Even things like singing in time to the horses footfall.
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