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raywonk 04-23-2011 05:24 PM

What age would you turn your young child lose on a horse.
Ok her it gose. I have gaven beginer lessons for several yrs. I always would say to parents they have to know thier right from thier left and be 6 or close. So now that I am the mommy with the child who has been sitting on a horse and lead around sence he was born. He is now three and want more. I have given him my old WP AQHA show horse as his own. He already turns stops backs walks and trots his horse with mommy running dutifully beside him with my hand on his leg. (I am not running fast face it we all know wp can jog while we walk) The in-laws who are dressage people and show now with me at AQHA shows think that we should start turning him loose. He dose know his right from his left and can say whoa very calerly for Ace to hear. I think he should wait till he is six. Am I being over protective or what? I should say that this same horse has given beginner riding lessons to kids from the age 6 to 30. So I am not worried about how he will handle to the small cues that kids give. I just think he should wait.
Oh yah yes he has an xsmall helmet.

Spastic_Dove 04-23-2011 05:32 PM

I dont think you're being overprotective. I think around six is fair. I just worry about their lack of coordination and muscle strength. Even though you have him on a broke WP horse (just about the best you can do for a beginner lol), it's still a horse. By the time they are six or around there, at least they have the coordination and strength needed for independent riding.

raywonk 04-23-2011 05:36 PM

I am trying to hold firm to this but am affraid that when mommys back is turnd someone eles may not respect my wishes. Some people are so hard headed and think that cause they have road sence mosses was alive that they know everything.

Tasia 04-24-2011 12:08 PM

For me, it depends on the childs, expeirence, guts and listening skills. If you don't listen to me your not riding alone or at all.

MHFoundation Quarters 04-24-2011 12:13 PM

I think it totally depends on individual child and horse. My daughter is 5 (almost 6) and will be showing small fry walk\trot this season on my 22 year old retired wp mare. We've worked traffic at home, tons of practice and good old Buttons knows the ropes, will find a spot on the rail and keep herself there. She has been riding her and my oldest stallion for a few years on her own, but both are ultimate babysitters. Only let him do as much as you are comfortable with, if someone let my child do more than I was okay with, family or not I'd be pretty angry!
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VelvetsAB 04-24-2011 12:17 PM

I was plopped on an old pony before I even started kindergarten and had free range around the yard and training track, with little to no supervision. The first time I had lessons...was several years later.

If your kid knows how to steer, then go for it. He has to learn some stuff by himself anyways. By learning by himself, he can do things for himself. One of my coaches complains about having to tell the kids what to do the whole time, even after they have been riding for a year or so.

Whether or not other people like it or not...well it isn't up to them. Your kid. Your decision.
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churumbeque 04-24-2011 02:04 PM


Originally Posted by Tasia (Post 1009897)
For me, it depends on the childs, expeirence, guts and listening skills. If you don't listen to me your not riding alone or at all.

Agreed. I have been trail riding where the 3.5 years old went along with the rest of us and rode her pony well. I also think it is important to have the proper pony for them

nrhareiner 04-24-2011 04:10 PM

It depends on the horse. At NRHA shows you see 6-7 yo riding full reining patterns. My trainers little girl is only 3 and rides in NRHA Lead line classes and has been for 2 years and rides at home everyday.

mistyorbit 04-24-2011 06:01 PM

I was given a pony for my 9th birthday, thrown onto him bareback and headed down the dirt road. Then I got off or was thrown and could not get back on. This darn Shetland broke my arm 2 times in the next 2 years. It did not make me courageous, it made me wonder how my parents could have been so dumb!

Keep your kids wanting more, as far as the horses go. Don't let them hit the wall of their ability too early. It hurts! I think some parents get off on their kids being so gutsy but you know they really should learn respect first. They can break their necks after they turn 18.

This is an awesome example of overmounting a kid.

YouTube - Barrel Racing Blooper>

dee 04-24-2011 06:55 PM

We got a Shetland X pony when our girls were really little. Oldest daughter was not quite three and youngest was less than a year old. Pony was a unique older mare and was exactly what we needed. She was so gentle - we could put both girls on at the same time - oldest one holding the youngest in front of her. Pony would follow us anywhere and step so carefully, it was almost funny watching her carry my two babies. (If it weren't for that very special pony, our youngest might never have been able to walk normally - but that's another story).

We joined a local riding club that a lot of our friends already belonged to. Our girls play-dayed on that pony for several years - starting on a lead line and eventually riding on their own. Pony always challenged them - but never more than they could handle. Its almost like she was deliberately teaching them how to ride correctly. By the time the girls were 7-8 years old, they knew how to behave on a horse, how to ride and how to listen. I never really worried about them after that.

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