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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