Is she too young? Wasting money? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Is she too young? Wasting money?

Hi all!
My name is Amanda. I grew up in NYC and had virtually zero exposure to horses growing up. I don't know anything about them.
I currently live in MO and have a daughter who is about to turn 5. She LOVES horses and animals of all kinds. Recently there was a groupon deal for horseback riding and I purchased a pack of 3 lessons for my daughter as something fun to do.
The instructor was very kind and had great rapport with my daughter. She told me that she usually starts teaching kids who are 7y/o, but that my daughter had a great attention span and was able to listen and pay attention better than some 7y/o's she teaches. The first lesson my daughter learned about grooming- she basically just brushed the horses and used a hoof pick with assistance. The second lesson was review of grooming and leading the horse around the barn on a rope. The third lesson my daughter got on the horse and rode around the barn with the instructor at her side. My daughter LOVED all of the lessons.
My reservation is that I am pretty much working class, and lessons seem expensive for a kid so young. I am willing to sacrifice on something enriching, but don't really understand how much a 5y/o can get out of lessons. She does love being there, and the instructor seems impressed by her focus and thinks it's "in her blood."
Do you think it's better to hold off on lessons til she is older? Is that a better use of limited funds? Do 5yo's really gain much from formal lessons?
Sorry so long!
Amanda
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post #2 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:30 PM
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I think they do. They learn to listen, have something special to look forward to, learn care & compassion for another living thing & it's a good bribe to keeping their room clean

You can keep lessons to once or twice a month & not lose much in the way for learning. Yes, they are costly but she's young enough to be happy with infrequent rides- kind of like a treat.
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post #3 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:33 PM
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She could be the next child prodigy ;) you never know.

I'd suggest, if it is difficult financially, limit the lessons to once a week? If she's really enjoying them, she can truly benefit from being around horses. Animals, especially horses, have amazing soothing qualities - it would be good for her mentally and physically :)
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post #4 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:34 PM
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I've been riding since I was 2 years old. Entered my first horse show / playday when I was 4 years old.

As long as your daughter seems to enjoy it, carry on!!


∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #5 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natisha View Post
I think they do. They learn to listen, have something special to look forward to, learn care & compassion for another living thing & it's a good bribe to keeping their room clean

You can keep lessons to once or twice a month & not lose much in the way for learning. Yes, they are costly but she's young enough to be happy with infrequent rides- kind of like a treat.
With care and compassion, we already have a dog she gets to harass with her loving :) And really is there a difference between a horse and a hamster?
(SORRY HORSE PEOPLE!! I don't know what I'm saying?!!)
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post #6 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
I've been riding since I was 2 years old. Entered my first horse show / playday when I was 4 years old.

As long as your daughter seems to enjoy it, carry on!!

Love the picture! Were you riding independently at 4 without an instructor by your side/holding a lead? Do you think a 5yo with average strength and balance can learn to ride safely?
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post #7 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:55 PM
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Beau....did your family own the farm where that pony was and have other horses that were ridden by siblings and parents?
Such a young age and riding independently makes me think it was ride or be left home...
Did you take formal lessons that cost your parents $$ at that young a age or did they kind of put you up there and coach you themselves on what to do?
Cute pony btw....


So to me...
That is pretty young... 4 years old currently!!
Riding lessons, attention span, natural ability and being able to afford all of the "horsey" things are a case by case, individual thing.
No two children are the same. No two family financial situations identical either.

With a child of this age, some do wonderful, others not so.
The instructor may have reached a great spot in communication with your child...but you need to comfortably afford that communication and riding time.

Instead of thinking riding every week or several times a week as some places push,...with a child of this age and truthfully her coordination, attention span and strength I would maybe consider bi-weekly lessons if she truly, truly loves it. Excels at it and keep it to lessons only, not do the showing route or lease/ownership at such a young age.

If it is just to be on a horse or near a horse....a more than occasional pony ride might also work.
Some time to see, to pet the pony/horse might appease her for now. It also might be all she is wanting now...simple horse time!

If the love of and wanting to ride still surfaces and exists in another year then that is when I would be entertaining the idea of riding lessons myself.
Yes, we all see those cute little ones riding next to or with mom & dad.
Many of them also have horses and a place to keep them do to how and where they live, make a living and their financial status...

You're the parent and know your financial status not some riding instructor.
Make the decisions you need to that are in the best interest of your family...
The riding instructor sees a bank-roll, a paycheck increase first...yes, she may see possibilities but she more is seeing opportunity!
Your daughter loving animals, "caring" for animals is limited because of her age, her size and the ability to do for herself because of those factors...
If horses "are in her blood" they will still be in her blood in a few months, a year or two...
Just a different point of view....neither in favor or against lessons but seeing the financial aspect and what gains for the child really happen at this age...
...
jmo...

Last edited by horselovinguy; 11-23-2015 at 12:57 PM. Reason: typo
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post #8 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natisha View Post
I think they do. They learn to listen, have something special to look forward to, learn care & compassion for another living thing & it's a good bribe to keeping their room clean

You can keep lessons to once or twice a month & not lose much in the way for learning. Yes, they are costly but she's young enough to be happy with infrequent rides- kind of like a treat.
Agreed, she will learn so much more than riding. And it will be invaluable.
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post #9 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amandalaura View Post
With care and compassion, we already have a dog she gets to harass with her loving :) And really is there a difference between a horse and a hamster?
(SORRY HORSE PEOPLE!! I don't know what I'm saying?!!)
Horses teach leadership, authenticity, spirituality and confidence like no other species IMHO.

If you want to learn more, there are tons of books on those topics on the market (for you, not your daughter).
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post #10 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post

Beau....did your family own the farm where that pony was and have other horses that were ridden by siblings and parents?
Such a young age and riding independently makes me think it was ride or be left home...
Did you take formal lessons that cost your parents $$ at that young a age or did they kind of put you up there and coach you themselves on what to do?
Cute pony btw....


So to me...
That is pretty young... 4 years old currently!!
Riding lessons, attention span, natural ability and being able to afford all of the "horsey" things are a case by case, individual thing.
No two children are the same. No two family financial situations identical either.

With a child of this age, some do wonderful, others not so.
The instructor may have reached a great spot in communication with your child...but you need to comfortably afford that communication and riding time.

Instead of thinking riding every week or several times a week as some places push,...with a child of this age and truthfully her coordination, attention span and strength I would maybe consider bi-weekly lessons if she truly, truly loves it. Excels at it and keep it to lessons only, not do the showing route or lease/ownership at such a young age.

If it is just to be on a horse or near a horse....a more than occasional pony ride might also work.
Some time to see, to pet the pony/horse might appease her for now. It also might be all she is wanting now...simple horse time!

If the love of and wanting to ride still surfaces and exists in another year then that is when I would be entertaining the idea of riding lessons myself.
Yes, we all see those cute little ones riding next to or with mom & dad.
Many of them also have horses and a place to keep them do to how and where they live, make a living and their financial status...

You're the parent and know your financial status not some riding instructor.
Make the decisions you need to that are in the best interest of your family...
The riding instructor sees a bank-roll, a paycheck increase first...yes, she may see possibilities but she more is seeing opportunity!
Your daughter loving animals, "caring" for animals is limited because of her age, her size and the ability to do for herself because of those factors...
If horses "are in her blood" they will still be in her blood in a few months, a year or two...
Just a different point of view....neither in favor or against lessons but seeing the financial aspect and what gains for the child really happen at this age...
...
jmo...
Thank you for your thorough response. She is turning 5 in December- less than a month, but yes, still 4. The instruction horse being used is a Saddlebred, the instructor specializes in Saddleseat. I needed to google to see what that even means, and honestly am still unsure I get it (but willing to learn.) Financially, we can afford a lesson a week if it's worth it. It's only worth it to me if she can actually *do* something that amounts to more than a pony ride. There are Christmas discount packages available now- thinking that getting a pack of 4 and seeing what comes of it might be the way to go.

Do you know of any resources -books, movies- that you would recommend as an introduction to horses so that I can be less ignorant?
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