Horse riding can be an amazing hobby for children, but some parents worry that it can be too much too soon. Won’t it overwhelm them? Aren’t they too young to be riding a horse? This all depends on your individual child and their attitude towards pets in general. If your child seems happy enough to help out with chores when it comes to pets at home, they’ll more than likely love looking after their horse. If you have to coax them into doing something similar, they’ll probably be the same with a horse. Providing a child can willingly help you with a horse, they are old enough to try riding. Some parents wait until their child is around 12 years old, so they are a stronger presence on a horse. This is totally your choice.
Horse riding is a great hobby to choose for your children, as it teaches them skills for life. Introducing a horse to your child while they’re young will be one of the best things you do for them, and one of their greatest memories. Some benefits of this include:
- They’ll gain confidence from learning to ride.
- They’ll improve their social skills.
- They’ll develop co-ordination and balance early on.
- It gives them a positive reason to stay active.
- They’ll love horses for life and reap the rewards at different stages.
- They’ll become responsible and learn the importance of being responsible.
Not only all of that, but they’ll get to explore the great outdoors with their four legged friend. Horse riding improves a person’s sense of well being, and is a wonderful form of stress relief. This is a great gift to give your child! There really isn’t anything more rewarding than riding a horse outdoors.
How to Find a School
If you’ve decided that this is definitely for your child, you’ll need to find the right school. Some schools require a child to be at least 5 years old when riding, as they need a lot of attention. Look at the curriculum of a school to make sure the activities are suited to your child, as all schools will vary.
Starting to Ride
When your child starts to ride, they’ll learn the basics first. These include:
- Signals to control the horse, like steering and stopping.
- How to hold the reigns.
- How to walk and trot.
- How to sit on the horse.
- How to get on and off the horse.
Caring for the horse is also a big part of this hobby, so that will be incorporated into their lessons too. They’ll learn all about grooming, tacking, and even different saddle brands. Please don’t think of this as a waste of time; they need to know it if they’ll ever get their own horse!
There’s no need to worry, because your child will always be given a horse that matches their size, height, and level of ability. They should always feel happy and in control on their first horse. They won’t leave the barn with the horse until the instructor feels that your child has got the hang of things either.
Do your child a favour and introduce them to this amazing hobby!