At what age do your kids start riding? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 12-20-2013, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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At what age do your kids start riding?

My now 2yo daughter started riding with my wife and I at roughly 6mo. this fall we started to let her ride on a lead line, and she did 2 barrel patterns at local shows lead line. I work with several non horse people and you would think that we were taking our child out and beating her. She wears a helmet, and has a properly fitting saddle (I had never seen a 6" saddle before). wears jeans and boots.

My wife and I both were riding before we were in pre school. So we dont see a problem with it, and we are very particular about which of our stock she is on.

Any thoughts?

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post #2 of 28 Old 12-20-2013, 11:08 AM
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I would let her ride on the front of your saddle, until she is about 3/4 years old. Otherwise, it could be dangerous if the horse did spook at something. (I don't know much about this topic. This is just my opinion)
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post #3 of 28 Old 12-20-2013, 11:34 AM
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I'm not a parent but I don't see a problem. It's not like you're putting her on an un-broke 2 year old or a green broke horse and/or without proper attire, plus she's on a lead line not left to her own devices. My bosses granddaughter rode with me when she was about a year old, when she turned two I always gave her pony rides on my mare (who's as kid safe as they come). Can't keep her OFF of horses lol.

My brother rode at two on a leadline. And I was also on a horse by two, we didn't have them yet but my mom always took me out to places that had some so we could ride. I think as long as the horse is safe, the child has a helmet on and at that age they're not turned loose that it's all good. Honestly from what I've seen, once a kid has been on a horse and likes it, it's impossible to keep them off!
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post #4 of 28 Old 12-20-2013, 11:48 AM
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I am not a parent yet, but I myself have no problem with a small child riding a horse, so long as the horse is suitable for the child. A properly fitting helmet, of course, is also a smart idea.

I was riding since before I could walk. In this picture, I am 2 yrs old and my broth is 4. (We didn't start wearing helmets until I was about 5 or 6.)

Everyone will have their own opinion on what age a child should start riding.

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It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #5 of 28 Old 12-20-2013, 11:56 AM
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I was probably 2 or 3 when I started riding around on donkeys and ponies, but I didn't start my official English riding/training until I was 8.
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post #6 of 28 Old 12-20-2013, 12:56 PM
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Mine did the exact same thing as yours. Mine was riding with people when she could sit up. She cantered the first time with a friend of mine at 8ish months old. Safety came first and always has. She's been riding on her own in a proper saddle since 16-18 months old. She's been showing since she was 2yo because that was the minimum age. She started with saddleseat and now has been riding and showing Western gymkhana and contesting for 3 years and is 8 now.

I never cared what others thought. I Did get looks from non horse people, but I couldn't care less if they approved. Lol. Some of those people also tried to tell me their dogs were like children and I laughed at them. I reminded them that I can't leave my child alone at home for hours while I'm at work nor can I lock her a cage without having angry people knocking on my door.
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post #7 of 28 Old 12-20-2013, 01:55 PM
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All my kids rode with me practically from birth, usually by 6 six weeks when I felt good enough to climb back in the saddle. They ride on the lead line and compete in barrels as well around 2, usually by four I let them off the lead line and start riding on their own. Obviously I am riding a very broke trustworthy horse, and put them on broke trustworthy horses. My kids always wear helmets. In 18 years with 5 kids we have only had one broken arm when my 5yo fell off our mini and landed wrong. I tend to not worry about what other people think, and people who are not horse people don't get it.
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post #8 of 28 Old 12-21-2013, 03:21 PM
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My son started at 3 on the leadline but in front of the saddle younger than that. He rode my old horse western pleasure leadline classes. Non-horse people would freak out, and then I asked them does your child have all the proper safety gear for the quad they are speeding around on. If you know the horse I don't see a problem with it.
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post #9 of 28 Old 12-21-2013, 03:26 PM
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The first time my mom ever bought a horse I was about six or so - that was the first time I rode and I rode on my own pony by myself, but an adult was always walking beside me. I never went above a walk either.

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post #10 of 28 Old 12-21-2013, 10:37 PM
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A small child has a better chance of not being seriously hurt if it comes off a horse should it spook. On the other hand, a child riding in front of an adult is a risk of being crushed under a heavy rider if both come off. I think the age has more to do with the child's comfort and that it doesn't suffer groin pain which can be caused by either a too wide saddle or horse/pony.
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