what age is appropriate for beginning riding lessons? - Page 2

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what age is appropriate for beginning riding lessons?

This is a discussion on what age is appropriate for beginning riding lessons? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        07-02-2012, 03:29 AM
    Yep, I definitely agree with not letting her off the leadline. She's prone to being hardheaded sometimes and wants to do things by herself like being the one to lead Judy when we just take her for a little walk or in the unfenced area of the yard to eat a little grass, she gets mad at me when I insist that I hold onto the line too, Judy's stride even at a walk is faster than Chloe walks and those feet are so big, so I just let her be mad at me, better that than stepped on.
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        07-02-2012, 03:45 AM
    Very true!

    You're doing a great job!!

    Kids get into this "I know everything" or "I can do everything myself" mentality.. and they don't realize that it's not safe for them and horses are dangerous in general.. so they can get seriously hurt.

    I was like that too.. at age 8-13, lol Such a little bratt I was!

    Hopefully you find something that works for you a little better than just lead line rides. It'd be nice if she could at least steer while someone leads her around :) You can ask to borrow some child sized reins and practice (usually daddy is the one that is sat on to practice steering at home lol!) so when she gets older, it gets much much easier and she can keep on learning bit by bit :)
        07-02-2012, 06:43 AM
    At the stables I work at the age is 5 years old and even then they are not allowed off the lead rein as even though there is a suitable pony they are still young but if she is at home I think it would be more acceptable
        07-02-2012, 07:28 AM
    Originally Posted by With Grace    
    ... My 4 year old, no way. I'm too scared to put him on a horse, even though he really wants to ride (I want to do what mommy does.) May be different with girls, but he screams when he laughs, has no fear and doesn't listen to directions so well. We're working on his ground manners...
    I almost spit hot coffee all over my keyboard at this
    With Grace likes this.
        07-02-2012, 09:24 AM
    In Europe, it is pretty common to start young kids out with vaulting. The horse is usually very nice and on a leadline, so the kid doesn't need to "take control" physically. It's great for balance, movement, gymnastic ability and the fact that it's done in a group encourages "team spirit". Plus some horses love to get fussed over by a group of kids.
    The barn I learned at took on vaulting kids from age 6, with the occasional mature 5 yr old, so basically elementary school age.
    "Real" riding didn't start at my barn until 10, or until the kid's legs reached below the saddle pad.
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        07-02-2012, 12:53 PM
    I've seen children come to my barn as young as three taking half hour lead line lessons. It's free money for the instructor, and the child can coo and groom to their hearts desire. But if you already have a horse at home, why pay for it?

    I don't think children should be taking lessons if they lack the motor and muscle control one would need to have some semblance of control and guidance over an animal that needs control and guidance to work with.

    If it pleases the parent and child to perform lead line at shows, all the power to you. But you don't need lessons for it.
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
        07-02-2012, 01:40 PM
    I wouldn't pay for lessons for a three year old. The other things at the barn, the crafts, movies, etc.. those sound like important social exercises, so I wouldn't quit those.
    Just the fact that the trainer seems a little blase' and passes your granddaughter off to people who let the pony bolt... worries me. Firstly, that trainer should be WAY more attentive than that. [You aren't paying her to water a houseplant. This is your granddaughter!] And secondly, no lesson horse/pony should behave that way.

    It sounds like what you guys do with your Standie is perfect. She gets to brush the horsey and make friends, and learns to move with the horse's body. Eventually you can give her reins, while still leading her, and ask her to steer a little bit. As long as you keep lessons short, fun, and easy, I think what you're doing is perfect for a child her age.
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