Is she too young? Wasting money? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 02:47 PM
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OP, you have a four year old who can hold interest in something for more than five minutes!

I think you're idea of getting the "Christmans special" for her is a good one! See how it goes and go from there.
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post #22 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 03:01 PM
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if you don't have the money, I think it's better to wait. or, go for rare, treasured rides every few months. get her Breyer horses and get her reading pony books. get her a really nice rocking horse to ride. start putting away a dollar a day toward her eventual lessons. a dollar a day.
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post #23 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alhefner View Post
OP, you have a four year old who can hold interest in something for more than five minutes!

I think you're idea of getting the "Christmans special" for her is a good one! See how it goes and go from there.
HA, don't know where she gets her ability to focus from. Both me and her dad have legit ADHD!!!
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post #24 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Amandalaura View Post
Any particular book you would recommend for me? Thanks!
I love Linda Kohanov's books, The Tao of Equus and Riding Between the Worlds, she has another after that but I haven't read it.

I love Melissa Pierce: Horse as Teacher: The Path to Authenticity

These I haven't read but came up on Amazon:

Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal

The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd

There are lots others of them, choose one that speaks to you! You might get hooked too .

Good luck!
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post #25 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EponaLynn View Post
I love Linda Kohanov's books, The Tao of Equus and Riding Between the Worlds, she has another after that but I haven't read it.

I love Melissa Pierce: Horse as Teacher: The Path to Authenticity

These I haven't read but came up on Amazon:

Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal

The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd

There are lots others of them, choose one that speaks to you! You might get hooked too .

Good luck!
Thank you for the recommendations!
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post #26 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 04:24 PM
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First, if you want to know "everything", find "The Encyclopedia of the Horse". Best all around read I can suggest.

Second, although I have had the "horse bug" since I was 2 years old, I don't think your daughter will suffer by waiting until older for "real" lessons. I lived for the occasional pony ride (a whole 10 minutes each) maybe every 3 months. Because it was delayed gratification, every ride was extremely exciting! I learned to save my allowance when I was in grade school to buy an hour trail ride at a local riding establishment.

When I was 12, I made and sold pot scrubbers door to door for a whole year to pay for half of a two week camp (parents paid other half) where I could ride a WHOLE HOUR A DAY. My parents just didn't have the money for lessons and we did not live anywhere close to a riding school (or so I was told).

I think it makes more sense (at least it would to me) to take your daughter for an occasional ride (like your Christmas package) and save money towards more regular lessons down the road. Grade school kids learn quickly too and I don't think her skills will suffer if you don't plunge in whole hog right now.
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post #27 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 05:46 PM
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I don't think she is inherently too young but I also don't think she will get as much out of formal lessons as an older child would.

I have seen impressive young child riders and they often develop into great riders but almost all kids who ride at that age come from a riding family.

Is there some sort of middle ground. Like a basic lesson once a month to satisfy your daughter a bit but still save you money. If she is still keen in two years then commit to weekly lessons.
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post #28 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 10:03 PM
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As the mom of a horsey daughter, I would side with those who suggest spacing out the rides for now. A half hour pony ride once a month, maybe a bit of assisted grooming. Here's why: she is too young to make some significant progress. I'm not saying it will be pointless, but honestly, I don't think they are ready to truly learn to ride until they're about 8. Even if she can focus, she doesn't have the muscle tone or the fine motor skills yet. She probably doesn't have the ability to memorize complex patterns or be able to do three things at once and still have room in her little head to plan the next move. And here's the second reason: hold off so you have something to build up to! You say you can afford weekly lessons, but if you start with weekly lessons now and she really falls in love with it, in a year or two, you'll be looking at bi-weekly at least and by the time she's 8, she'll want her own horse and you'll be looking at board (or leasing, which is also expensive). What will she want by the time she's 15??? Start slow so you can build depending on her level of interest and commitment. Let her ask for more, then maybe find ways she can earn extra horse time.

My daughter started when she was 6 and honestly, those first two years, she didn't progress at all. Just a lot of going around in circles. She got bored at times, and we took breaks from riding when she did. Maybe I unintentionally pushed her into it just a little. But she would always come back to it and want to try something new. She is 10 and has her own horse now. That's ok, we can afford it and I've always wanted horses again (I had them in my youth). But it doesn't really sound like you're very horsey yourself so I'm guessing having one in your backyard isn't an immediate possibility. Take it slow... buying lessons as presents is a great idea! My daughter is so used to having me just pay for them that she would flip out if I said it was her Xmas present (though technically, the horse was a birthday present). That's my own fault because I never waited until she wanted it badly enough.
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post #29 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 10:13 PM
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I do think some exposure to horses and riding could be very beneficial but I also see the point of the other posters who feel that she is very young to start formal lessons. You might want to look into some other stables and see what might be available and possibly more affordable. I am by no means knocking a saddle seat barn and actually like what they provided for your daughter, but at her age horses are horses and learning to interact with them and learning some very basic skills is what is important. There is plenty of time in the future to decide on a discipline and think of more formal lessons.
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post #30 of 41 Old 11-23-2015, 10:23 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?
I grew up much the same as Beau. Very horsey father (professional trainer) and non-horsey mother. She CAN ride, but given the choice, she'd rather stay home.

I was plodding around on my own at 3 and I was working cattle at 5. Of course, the fastest I ever got even then was a plodding lope.

I learned much during that time because I WANTED to learn. I craved it like a junkie and my Dad was more than happy to provide my "fix" LOL. I would pitch a royal fit if my Dad ever left the house with a horse or a trailer and I wasn't with him.

My brother was competing in team ropings by the time he was 6 and he and Dad were often in the money. Not because they were fast, but because they usually made good catches where other teams missed.

I'm a firm believer that the earlier you start to teach a child, the faster they learn and the easier it is for them to learn because they aren't nagged by doubts and random fears like adult beginners or even older children can be.

The most important thing is that they are being taught age and ability appropriate things and are put on a good horse that is both well trained and forgiving of mistakes, which it sounds like your daughter was.

So IMHO, if you want, give her lessons as often as you are able to afford it. One way to help her learn the value of things is to have her "earn" the lessons by doing housework or being helpful in some other way.

I'll also be honest, I was halfway expecting to open this thread and find a person in your situation that was wondering about buying a horse for their child and IMHO, that's very seldom a good idea LOL.
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