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countrylove 02-15-2013 03:39 PM

what age?
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What age did you feel your kids were ready for lessons? & the big one...Horse ownership?

I have a 6 yr old who was previously scared of horses. I finally talked him onto a horse and he is HOOKED LoL all he wants to do is ride. Now we talked that with riding comes responsibility. He has learned to halter, lead, fully groom, including picking feet, and all the ground basics, all within a week or two. He is super excited to learn. He checks water troughs without being asked and is always first out the door to feed. Its only been maybe a month now. I am praying he doesnt out grow this phase *fingers crossed*. I am getting him lessons and am wondering when I should buy him his first horse. I know Im probably jumping the gun but I have always hoped there would be a day I could buy my kid their first horse. My oldest even though practically born on a horse has no interest, so it's exciting for me that one of my kids caught the bug :)

What are your experiences with children and horses? For the ones with kids who caught the bug: how did you know it wasnt just a phase? When did they get their first horse? What did you require of them before they could own? I know I have a million more questions LoL so just tell me your stories :)
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busysmurf 02-15-2013 04:12 PM

I started when I was 7, my first horse at 10. My oldest, almost 10, was bit by the bug but not that hard, lol. So we'll see how long she lasts. I have a feeling that when the rubber hits the road, she's going to lose interest real fast.

My youngest, just 4, so far is a different story. I can't keep him away. Right now he just rides in front of me since I don't have access to a short kids pony

countrylove 02-15-2013 04:34 PM

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I adopted a horse on personality alone. At first I didn't want to do anything other than pleasure ride, then I caught the show bug. Turns out my mare will never be able to do the things I want to do (Extreme cowboy races and competitive trail) but will be perfect for my son to start on and will do well in schooling shows. So it's just a matter of when I should pass over ownership. Her personality is too good to sell her, so even if he out grows this phase, she still has a forever home. I also love the idea of teaching him responsibility by letting him have her.
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jaydee 02-15-2013 04:58 PM

I was born into a horsey family and so were my children, they had little ponies from when they were pretty young - 11.2 and super dependable animals - I think its important not to overhorse small children as it can intimidate them.
The main thing is to teach children that horses need to be respected for the damage they can do to you without scaring them so its a balancing act really.
My kids were encouraged to help take care of their ponies and not just treat them as something they could ride and pet when they felt like it and ignore when they felt like it.
I was the only one of 4 children that remained interested as we grew up and 2 of my 4 children totally lost interest when they were teenagers.

Maple 02-19-2013 12:47 PM

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My little girl was out riding at 2 1/2 - 3 on the leadrein and with a super bombproof but ugly as sin pony. at 3 she was even hacking down the road with us (obviously being led). She is on her 2nd pony now and Simba was far to clever for her, and will compete at about 6 or 7 lead rein shows this year. She doesn't go for lessons at a riding school but a good friend of mine comes out to her whenever she can. I'm VERY fussy about the quality of lessons and have yet to find a riding school here that makes sure it is done right, rather than quickly.

Sevastion27 03-02-2013 01:31 PM

To get a horse....old enough so they take care of it....not just to ride it
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WSArabians 03-02-2013 01:45 PM

I think we got our first pony at five. I bought my own at 15, but I was never without horses so I have no idea.
I think a big part of it depends on how responsible and un-lazy your kid is.

countrylove 03-03-2013 12:18 PM

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For 6 he is very responsible and definitely not lazy :) we are a very active family that loves anything involving the outdoors. My mare has some shoulder issues and will have to be ridden lightly, so I'm considering passing her down to my son. He helps clean pens, checks water troughs without being asked, helps feed, holds for farrier or tacking up, grooms, picks feet, etc... I have instilled in my son that nothing comes without hard work and if he wants to ride then he has to help with work involved as well.
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WSArabians 03-03-2013 12:22 PM

Sounds like he's got a great start, then. :D
I think like anything or anyone, interests can fade over time but I think if he's really into right now, I'd probably get him his own pony (or your mare).
But I'd rather see any kid have a horse over a x-box or whatever anyday!

Maple 03-03-2013 01:05 PM

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I think a lot of it is down to the parent to nip the lazyness is the bud? My daughter was starting to get into the wii/telly rut, and I down right refuse to allow her live inside. My husband's nephew refuses to play sports and lives on his DS, in the last few years if he isn't playing it he's in a pout or talking about it.

If the weather is good you can be darn sure she isn't sitting infront of the telly - she's been told that with the evenings getting brighter she will only be allowed 1 hour of telly/games a day, which I feel is more than generous. Today she rode her pony and when I thought she'd want to go home; she surprised me by asking if she could watch me ride Bandit.

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