Riding lesson gone wrong! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 09:38 AM
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The youngest I'd have was 5 as often the child suffers groin stretch which is painful. Child may not say anything to please the parents. Children are naturals when it comes to horses but certainly not ready for trotting on the second lesson. Mine spent 3 lessons learning how to direct the horse, to stop, back. These kids have wonderful hands, that is what comes natural to them. When we advanced to trot I trusted my arab to do the right thing. If he refused to trot then I knew he knew the rider didn't feel right on his back. When the rider was ready he'd trot yet stop if something wasn't right. Perhaps the OP's daughter's horse knew better than the trainer/coach and moved so to protect his cargo. The older horses often become the best babysitters so let her enjoy the pony.

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post #12 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 09:55 AM
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So different from here. Insurance won't cover riders under 7, maybe it is 6 for lessons with an instructor so you don't find them offered. Those that ride younger are riding with family or friends though I am sure there are those that push to far too fast. There was an article about a 3.5 y.o. riding a QH on cattle drives in the newest issue of America's Horse magazine. An accident waiting to happen at an age too young to be put in that position IMO. Hope your little gets past the experience. I'm sure she will with patience and going back to basics with you.
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post #13 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ShirtHotTeez View Post
There is something seriously wrong with that instructor, you should NEVER whip a horse that someone else is riding.!!!!
The instructor obviously doesn't know much about young children or horses/ponies either, since he/she set that pony up for the accident to happen. There is only so much a child of that age can do. If I were asked to instruct a three year old, I would explain to the parents that all I would be doing is basically giving a glorified pony ride and that they should not expect much progress until the child is older.
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post #14 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 11:08 AM
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3.5 is much too young for real riding lessons and don't expect your daughter to get anything useful out of it. And, in fact if she becomes frightened enough or hurt, you will put her off horses altogether.

I don't take kids under 7 years, anything under that is strictly a ten minute "pony ride" on a lunge line and I no longer have the patience for it. The tiny ones simply don't have the attention span, understanding, desire or physical abilities to truly learn to control a horse and this instructor must be desperate for money if she starts them that young.

I'd advise you stop rushing/pushing this toddler into lessons. Casual pony rides are fine but you cannot expect any comprehension at this point and any instructor desperate enough to take them this young can't have much knowledge or judgement.
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post #15 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 11:45 AM
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Totally stupid, and I would hope that instructor has a good insurance policy, given that kind of stupidity!
A three year old belongs on a trussted horse being leg by a parent, or riding with that parent, and not in lessons!
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post #16 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 12:57 PM
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I don't know anyone that would start a 3 year old in lessons on their own. The age limit here is 5-6 years old and some *might* start at 4 if the family is very horse savvy. A three year old should always be kept on a lunge and learning the very basics like stop and walk and steer. Trotting, particularly posting-type trotting, should be a long way off. Personally, I would've stopped after the first lesson where there is a 3 year old loose in the arena on ANY horse. My daughter has been riding and showing since she was 2 and she was always on a line or walking right next to me or somone else trusted until she was 4. Then she was ONLY walking with the babysitter horse and learning to steer. She didn't start really trotting on a horse that you need to post until she was 5ish and even then it was on a line and only a few strides at a time.

What that person did (I refuse to call them an instructor) is dangerous and irresponsible. I would've flipped my lid by the second lesson. Absolutely just no.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #17 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 01:47 PM
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Somebody needs a whipping and it ain't the pony. That instructor either doesn't have kids or shouldn't. In any case, if you want your child to want to ride in the future, set her up to enjoy riding at this age by letting her be on the pony while you or your husband lead it around, let her brush the pony (with close supervision), feed it treats (again, with close supervision). An injury could make her hate riding for life and fear horses way more than she should. Like others have said, she lacks the balance to be "serious" at this age.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #18 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 07:58 PM
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As for the pony . . . It sounds like an excellent pony for a young child to learn on by responding so well to the girl bringing him into the ring on her own and wanting to stay at a walk. However when the time is right for the child to be doing more it would be good to make sure that the pony is lounging well without a rider first. Not having to steer or make transitions herself will make it much easier and safer for her to concentrate on her seat and balance. I hope she gets over this incident well. Perhaps explaining that the pony was "mad" at the instructor and not her will help.
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post #19 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 08:37 PM
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Haven't read other replies, but no no no, this is not at all how it's supposed to go. Sorry for the awful experience. I really do hope that you're poor daughter is okay from her fall =(

If it were my child she'd be doing leadline "lessons". I have taught lessons in the past and no child was in a lesson until 5, but we did permit leadline from 3-5. I believe most stables are this way with starting lessons. IF the child is off the leadline for whatever reason before 5 years old, they need to be completely coherent (so to speak) and more than likely on a lunge line at the very least and nothing faster than a walk on their own.

I feel like if it's your own property and you are the one giving the lesson to your own child, then of course you can give them a leadline pony ride before 3 years - I know my children will have pony rides well before 3, lol - but for the sake of someone else's child having a lesson, what you have described is so very wrong/dangerous. Please find a different instructor.
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post #20 of 41 Old 08-24-2015, 09:22 PM
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Hi OP, it looks like the entire gang is on your side! The instructor is not an instructor with any kind of sense, else he/she would not have taken on a toddler. you are so lucky that your child loves horses, I am jealous.

When My daughter was young she went on one or two rides with me, in my saddle - never on her own. Unfortunately for me, my daughter never got the horse crazy bug. I had hoped to have a riding companion, now she is 24 and loves dogs, tolerates horses lol.

Best of luck!
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Wendy B / Sedgwick, KS / Extreme Trail Riding / Camping
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