Is she too young? Wasting money? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EponaLynn View Post
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).
Any particular book you would recommend for me? Thanks!
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post #12 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by natisha View Post
You can keep lessons to once or twice a month & not lose much in the way for learning.
It's never too early to start teaching kids there is a limit to what one can afford. I think it's nice she has the opportunity to be around horses and learn how to handle them safely. For many of us, the horse-bug started early and has lasted a lifetime. Do what you can afford now and plan ahead for more lessons if she retains her interest.
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post #13 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:13 PM
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I have to agree with Horselovinguy on all points. I've been an instructor for over 35 years and I won't take a child for real riding lessons until at least 7 years old and 8 is even better. I do know at least 2 instructors taking them earlier but as expected, they are not progressing (and the parents don't have a money issue or really know that their child is basically "pony riding" for a substantial fee). One of these instructors is using what I consider a potentially dangerous horse for lessons (I've seen her blow up on several occasions) and I silently fear for the kid's safety. Yes, there are instructors out there so desperate that they will take anyone on for $$$$.

Can you bump her back to a half hour pony ride once a month? This will give her some horsey time and allow you to see if her passion grows. In the meantime, there are always My Little Pony, stuffed animals, movies and so on.

If you came from a horsey family with a stable and she could have a rotten ()little pony to jump on, fall off about a hundred times and basically play with for a couple of years, a few riding lessons might do some good. When money is tight, you really do want your child actually learning something and at this age I find that they don't really have the attention span or physical abilities to actually control a horse.
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post #14 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:13 PM
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I think that if you have to pay for lessons, then it is better to wait until the child is older.
My kids learned to ride at an early age, as we owned the horses,and it was either take them along on trail rides, or find baby sitters!
I think that your daughter will not be behind, if you wait until she is ready for pony club or 4H, and thus get 'bang' for your bucks!
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post #15 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:38 PM
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My husband wasn't born into a horse riding family - their roots had been more in the time when horses were work animals.
He began driving them crazy to learn to ride when he was 4 because a neighbors older daughter was having lessons. They relented thinking he'd have a few 'play' sessions being led around on one at a local riding school and then lose interest but he didn't and still rides now.
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post #16 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Amandalaura View Post
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?
At age 2, I would ride without someone beside me. Just my brother to hold onto, who was 2 1/2 years older than me. We liked to ride Pete the pony around the yard.

Yes, at age 4, I rode without anyone next to me. I was on my pony, my brother on his, and my mom riding her horse. And we'd go out and about on rides together.

For my first horse show when I was 4, I did halter, western pleasure, barrels, poles, and a few other events; by myself in the arena. Sure, I wasn't going breakneck speed, but I didn't need anyone leading me or holding me. I did it myself. I do remember my dad came and got me that afternoon so I could take a well-needed NAP!! A day of showing sure takes it out of you. And I still have memories from that day.

And my grandma bought all the grandkids riding helmets when I was 5 years old and I've worn one since.

I guess I say its YOUR money and YOUR child. You do what you want, so long as the child enjoys it. If you want to continue lessons and your instructor is willing to work with a young one, more power to ya.
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post #17 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 12:58 PM
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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...

I wasn't forced to ride, if that is what you are wondering.

My dad was never into horses so he always stayed home. I could have stayed home with him if I wanted. To this day, I've only seen my dad on a horse one time, and I'd feel safer if he was on the ground, haha.

Myself and my brother WANTED to go riding with my mom, so we did. Yes, we had our own horses.

Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post

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?
No such thing as taking formal lessons in my neck of the woods, but why would that matter?

If a parent wants to spend money on their young child to take lessons, why not? Their money. They can do as they please.

On the flip side, sure my parents didn't spend money on lessons, but they spent money on buying us horses to ride. One could argue it's much cheaper to take a lesson a week, than the costs involved in horse ownership.
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∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #18 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 01:07 PM
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You can never start too young. When I was four I got my first pony, he was a dying sick two year old with an attitude problem we took in as a charity case. Dad fixed him up and threw me on. I had no fear back then, I rode that ****** everywhere and learned every trick in his book. He was the best horse I've ever had, still has a pony attitude but we hauled logs with him to build the barn, he was completely fearless and would go anywhere for me. I took him neck deep across a swamp when I was seven, rode him to my friends house an hour away, went through woods thicker than a jungle, jumped barrels on him, everything I could do with that pony I did. I fell off hundreds of times but dad always told me "get back on or he'll do it again!" I made obstacle courses, stuck him in tarp "barns" that I built, ran him wide open through our fields. Now, on the other hand I hit the ground a lot harder and it's been so hard to learn how to ride again after I took three years off. I deal with simple fears that I never felt when I was young. I kick myself every day for quitting riding.
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post #19 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Thanks all for the advice and personal stories. It seems that some of you say that I should go for it even if my kid may not be ready, and some of you *(instructors) think it's too young and we should wait.

As far as the instructor possibly being reckless/eager for $$$$, I don't think that's what's happening. We bought the groupon for 3 lessons not realizing that my kid was too little. The instructor was up front with us on the phone that she does not like to take younger than 7yo but since we made the purchase she would allow us to come for the first lesson and see if my daughter can listen and act safely. After that lesson, she said she would make an exception. She was not actively advertising for that age- we just made a mistake that turned out to be a positive experience.

I think I'm going to get a pack of 4 lessons or so for my daughter as a birthday/Christmas gift. We'll see how it goes and play it by ear. I'll keep you all posted :)
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post #20 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 01:30 PM
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You have received a semi load of great advice from everyone and I mean everyone.

They have given you their perspectives based on their experiences.

Here are mine:

1. I am 68 and have been on a horse since I was 2. I AM the born-in-the-blood addicted horse owner. I still have two that are in their early 20's and they will be my last after a life of non-stop ownership since I was 12.

2. My son started riding with me when he was a few months, being carried in a chest carrier on a horse I had raised and trained from birth. I was devastated when he turned to dirt bikes and girls in his early teens; rarely looking back unless I bribed him with a weekend trail ride deep in the Allegheny forest.

3. We all thought a lifelong friend's granddaughter would be "The One" to live a life of horse crazy.

By the time she was four years old, she was so well schooled in showmanship by an aunt, we all thought we would surely see her in high level competition. We were all middle class folk without a lot of money but this young lady had superb focus and natural talent worth spending the grandmother's money on.

By the time she was ten, it was "all over but the shouting", as the saying goes. She is about ready to graduate from high school and, at this point, has no apparent interest in horses. My hope is that she will come back around some day because she is one of those people that needs to have a horse in her life.

To my point:

As others have said, let your daughter have one lesson a week. Let her be around and groom a horse that loves small children. I just laid one of those priceless gems to rest at age 29.

Your daughter may stick with the horses like I did, or she can just as easily go the other way and become interested in other things by the time she is 10 or 12.

Enjoy the horse moment but don't get so caught up In it that you find yourself making long range horse plans while your daughter develops other ideas, then doesn't know how to tell you.

I was in so much denial with my son's eventual lack of horse interest, he finally had to look me square in the eye and tell me it simply was not for him. He loved the horses but did not want to be involved to the degree that I was and still am.

My family made me wait until I was 12 to get my first horse because I was plenty old enough to do the work that went with it. Don't do chores, let my grades slip at school and they made it clear the horse would go out the driveway.

That never happened but I am one of the exceptions. My son and my friend's granddaughter were more the norm.
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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