Our BO has had her son on a a shetland pony since before he could walk, and he was pretty much carried around on horseback constantly from six months to two years. He would sit in the saddle in front of his brother or dad and walk/trot/canter right along with them. That developed his seat very early, and by two years old he was riding his pony by himself in the roundpen at a walk. At three he was walking and trotting, and now he's four he is riding his older brother's 13hh pony alone in barrel races, pole pending, and pretty much doing everything his family does, but on a well-versed, bombproof little mare ^^ sure is a cutie. I really think it depends with your son though, on how well he can balance and control his horse. Andy (the little boy) wasn't allowed to ride with a bridle until he could control his horse with mostly leg in just a halter, so he wouldn't hurt his pony's mouth. Just go with what feels right!
Not to give away my age or anything :) but our daughter started riding when she started to walk which is quite common in the horse world. By the time she was 3 she would cry if we didnt take her to the barn when we went out to do chores. She was taking lessons at that age on a seasoned QH mare. She also showed in the lead line classes at the local AQHA shows. By the time she was 4 she was riding around like she owned the arena at a walk trot. She was loping at 5 in a controlled environment (she and her instructor were one on one). She showed 11 and under when she was 6 because walk trot was too boring.
What Im trying to say is that providing you have a bomb proof horse (our daughters mare was an AQHA Champion)and your child is the one wanting to try new things, and you take every precaution to ensure their safety, don't hold them back. My daughter now has 2 children of her own but is just as addicted to horses now as she was when she was a toddler. So long as its your childs idea to do the walk trot alone without a lead and you know the horse will put on the brakes if he/she even moves the wrong way in the saddle, go for it.
Ace did awesome with a 6. I do not know if he would stop if Sky gets off balanced. He is such a sensitive horse that he responds to everything even if you don't want it. That is one reason why he has been so good with the kids they do not cue him to hard. He is a second show horse and is spoke proof as fair as you can say. I have been reinforcing his whoa verbally. We are going to go to the lunge line and see how he dose with that and even if he likes it with out me next to him. I am just so scared if he falls. Have any of you had a young one fall?
I think if you are worried about your little one taking a spill you should just back off a bit and take your time. I never worried about my daughter taking a spill because I knew the mare would slam on the brakes if she lost her seat even a little bit. If you arent confident your horse will do that take a bit more time. You will be able to tell as a mom when your young ones are accomplished enough to move to the next level. Follow your momma intuition because it is usually right. What works for everyone else may not be the fit for you and your's and it is important not to push or be pushed too hard to rush things along.
We have been going slow and I tried putting him in front of me but he dose not like it it squishes him he says.
I have let go of his leg and just stay at the shoulder I need to get a new pic of him for all of you. Thank you for all of your help and support.
At my barn theres a 6 year old girl who is a pro at w/t/c but her parents only let her show w/t till she gets older I guess but she has a super bombproof mare which I really think effects the age and how far she has come for being so young. She has a horse they can trust