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My kids (ages 5 and 7) have been taking lessons beginner lessons over the summer. We likely won't be able to continue once school starts, but either way - I would like to help them practice at home. Does anyone have any tips? They ride English at the barn, but we do western at home. So far they've learned the very basics - whoa, steering, posting the trot...

Mom brag: My 7 year old is really impressing me with his riding! He has always been my fearful, timid, scared of everything guy. He's always made his younger sister be his champion. He begged for karate lessons for months, and when I finally signed him up (at 6 years old) he was terrified and refused to even go in the room. But he LOVES riding, even the trot. And he's excited to learn the canter wants to learn to jump. It's been a real confidence boost for him, and he actually seems to be a natural. Anyway, I am just so proud to see this change in him.

Thank you! :runninghorse2:
 

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Wow, looks like they are getting a great foundation! Have you talked with their instructor about re-enforcing at home what they have already learned?
 

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Pop an English saddle on your horse and teach them neck reining, or however you distinguish your riding from that taught at the barn. At this point, they should be riding with a snaffle bit either way. The only potential issue I can see is that the Western saddle will make them lazy over summer - and a bit surprised when they get back into an English saddle and all that support is gone.
 

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Pop an English saddle on your horse and teach them neck reining, or however you distinguish your riding from that taught at the barn. At this point, they should be riding with a snaffle bit either way. The only potential issue I can see is that the Western saddle will make them lazy over summer - and a bit surprised when they get back into an English saddle and all that support is gone.
That's what I worry about as well!

Our horse at home neck reigns, but they've been learning direct reigning at the barn.
 

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That's what I worry about as well!

Our horse at home neck reigns, but they've been learning direct reigning at the barn.
You could alternate Western saddle and bareback.
 
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I'm curious: Would your horse be confused by direct reining? Am I wrong when I think that all horses go through a "direct reining" stage in their training, and that neck reining gets put on later?
 

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I'm curious: Would your horse be confused by direct reining? Am I wrong when I think that all horses go through a "direct reining" stage in their training, and that neck reining gets put on later?
He seems to do well with both, so we could continue direct reigning at home if that consistency is easier for them.
 

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I am a classic English trained hunter style rider.
I am now enjoying the challenge of riding western equitation...
Know what...it is so very similar.
Body alignment, riding with leg and seat, balance....
Riding with direct reining if done correctly the horse will be on a softly held and communicating rein...so not that different a concept.
A nice mount for a young kid is pretty forgiving and you will be in attendance I'm sure while the kids do any horse activities at home anyhow.
Honestly, at 7 and beginner rider keeping the interest, the love and the want to do it right so a good base of understanding is present is what is important...
The finer points, the finesse things are a ways away yet for your kids as riders...
Let them practice what they are learning.
Let them post, let them learn to control and steer one rein or two...let them play and enjoy, spark that interest.

An idea...
Not sure about by you, but by me school based 4H starts soon. Here school aged is 8 years of age, but there is also "clover-leafs" and I know again by me there are programs for the younger kids horse-based.
Look for a program for horse activities to do since limited spots open in these programs and fill quickly.
Some are better than others too in activities and involvement of the kids to horses...
Feed the love now before something else catches their attention and make it fun or ...it isn't. :sad:
Not fun, the interest quickly wanes and turns to something else... :|
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am a classic English trained hunter style rider.
I am now enjoying the challenge of riding western equitation...
Know what...it is so very similar.
Body alignment, riding with leg and seat, balance....
Riding with direct reining if done correctly the horse will be on a softly held and communicating rein...so not that different a concept.
A nice mount for a young kid is pretty forgiving and you will be in attendance I'm sure while the kids do any horse activities at home anyhow.
Honestly, at 7 and beginner rider keeping the interest, the love and the want to do it right so a good base of understanding is present is what is important...
The finer points, the finesse things are a ways away yet for your kids as riders...
Let them practice what they are learning.
Let them post, let them learn to control and steer one rein or two...let them play and enjoy, spark that interest.

An idea...
Not sure about by you, but by me school based 4H starts soon. Here school aged is 8 years of age, but there is also "clover-leafs" and I know again by me there are programs for the younger kids horse-based.
Look for a program for horse activities to do since limited spots open in these programs and fill quickly.
Some are better than others too in activities and involvement of the kids to horses...
Feed the love now before something else catches their attention and make it fun or ...it isn't. :sad:
Not fun, the interest quickly wanes and turns to something else... :|
:runninghorse2:...
Thank you SO much, this is a very helpful reminder to just feed their fun and curiosity!

I recently started looking into 4H and got very confused very quickly. We have a custody hearing coming up to determine which school system they will be attending, and after that I will be able to figure out extra curriculars such as 4H. Hopefully they have slots available still at that point!
 
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