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Country Discussion Topics
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When to start riding lessons?
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Zenia    Posted 12-14-2004 at 15:46:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
My twin boys just turned 4. I found a stable that will give them riding lessons come next spring (with helmuts, in an arena) - most stables want them to be 7 or 8 years old. I did not learn to ride until I was 11, I do fine but I never had a formal lesson. I'd like for my boys to learn to ride the right way. They've been doing the pony rides since they were 10 months old.

For those of you who ride, did you start very young? Would I be wasting money in a sense, or would starting them early have advantages/ make them better riders? It's expensive, and they are still at an age where they can play for hours with sticks and rocks and be content. OTOH, they absolutely love animals and would love to ride. I'd like to get them interested in horses, and keep their interest. I worked on a ranch from age 11 - 17, and it was such a healthy, wholesome activity. They are exceptionally well coordinated and strong for their age, but small.


Old Sarge    Posted 12-14-2004 at 19:20:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't believe it will hurt a thing. My youngest son, now 36, started about that age on a proud cut gelding. Went with me to the auction one day (selling heifers) and they trotted in this little black Shetland stallion. Nobody bid and Ray kept at me. Finally bought him for $10.00. Ray rode him in 4H for about 3 years. The 4H leader was a little skeptical at first about it, and when she was told it was a stud, she almost had a fit.

We had 2 grade Apalossa mares we used him on and got some beautiful POA's.


Short Round    Posted 12-14-2004 at 19:05:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Zenia, I dont claim to be an expert on horses far from it. But I think your kids are just a little young to start riding. If they are happy playing with sticks and rocks maybe I would wait a year or two. And perhaps get them exposed to the animals and see if they show a lot of intrest in them. My daughter is into horses and it can get to be expensive, first the lessons, then the horse, then the barn, then the tractor and so on. But it is money well spent and she did win the state high school rodeo barrel racing event for two years. I do think they are a little young, but all kids are different so it is your call, good luck.


Doc    Posted 12-14-2004 at 17:38:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Another thing you might want to do is try and make a deal with the instructor. If the boys help around the barn mucking up then maybe they will give you a break on the price of lessons and you will soon learn how much the boys want to take riding lessons.


KatG    Posted 12-14-2004 at 17:36:24       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Gosh I was born in Texas and don't ever remember beginning to ride or learning how...Just was around it all my life...Came natural I reckon...There is risks as in anything...make sure you have a good instructer...don't want the boys to get spooked...but want them to realize that as beautiful as horses are they can be killers also...My youngest brother who was an avid horseman was killed at age 29 in a horseback riding accident...
We don't have any horses at present but figure they are acoming...:)...I just got to figure out how to get on a horse with one good arm...which is my right...shoulder is frozen on left arm...ofcorse that is the arm I would use on the saddle horn:(
Let you boys try it out and you and them see if you are comfortable with it...KAtG


RN    Posted 12-14-2004 at 17:16:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Riding lessons when they can saddle,bridle, and clean up after horse. On the other hand, I was riding bareback about 2nd, 3rd grade on large draft horse. still cleaned up after them though.RN


Phred MN    Posted 12-14-2004 at 16:27:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My opinion, wait till their closer to ten. Don't push em. All kids love animals. Bicycles are much safer for children that age.


Doc    Posted 12-14-2004 at 16:24:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
hhmmmmm.... well this is just my humble opinion. I rode alot when I was young and started again just this last year. My daughter started when she was 7 with lessons like you described but I thought the cost was to much for what she was learning and the amount of actual riding time she got. So we got our own horse and she is getting much more riding time and experience that would have cost a fortune otherwise.

Most kids are a natural on horses. She looks like she's been riding since birth now. I feel that with the experience she is getting from pleasure riding that if she wants to compete in the future, then she can take riding lessons to refine herself at that time.

I always make sure she is on a mild well mannered horse and so far things have gone well. Actually, I am the one who had the spill a couple of months ago. lol.(ouch) She never trails alone either.

If you want to get into formal training then if you go to a good instructor they will make sure your boys are as safe as possible.

Having said that........ things happen. Horses kick, spook, buck etc. and that is part of the riding experience. Be aware that accidents can happen and will sooner or later with horses. Be it a fall, having your foot stepped on, being kicked or what ever. If you are ready to except the risks involved as we are then do it. I know many kids that ride at 4 years old. Ponies mostly of course.

I decided that I would rather risk my daughter being injured on a horse and reap the benefits of the responsibility taking care of a horse because it keeps her so occupied rather than ending up a delinquent, and the long term damage from so many of the questionable activities that many kids get into.

We ride 3 or 4 times a week during the summer. Not so much now. Mainly we go riding with our Amish friends and help them train and excersise their riding horses. Even though I have a bad back I love it. That's why I love riding the Missourri Fox Trotters and the Tennessee Walkers. Love that smooth ride.

Getting off track........ your decision, I do not think they are to young. If you feel right about it then by all means do it. They will love it!



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