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How to get into riding

(8 Posts)
dancestomyowntune Tue 10-Jun-14 11:21:37

Ok, so my kids all dance, and always have. However ds2, who is six, has never been as into it as his siblings and I wonder whether the only reason he does it is because the others do.

So I asked him whether he'd like to try something else. He came up with riding, which is fine, but I have no idea how to get into this! We have a local stables and I'm thinking that as a novice he will need some private lessons to start with but I'm unsure what he'll need, and how to get started. Any advice?

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 10-Jun-14 11:24:58

As a beginner he will not need private. A good riding school will have lead rein lessons designed especially for your son. And they will be delighted to have a boy. Get along there and talk to them.

There is a tack room topic on here where you might get some advice if you say what area you are in.

Xcountry Tue 10-Jun-14 11:28:56

Call the stables, they will want to get him on lead rein first (where he has someone else on a lead rope controlling the pony till he learns) and put something sensible on his feet, too many kids turn up these days in trainers or sandals etc.

cosmicstardust Tue 10-Jun-14 14:35:05

DP and I were both horse mad as kids and have a DD who wants to dance, we should swap grin

I started at six too and went into a small group of fellow beginners around the same age, couldn't tell you how much it was as this was in the US. Some do have private lessons but they're really not needed at first, to learn the basics a group lesson will be fine. Plus it's a good way of making new friends. The kit can cost an absolute fortune, for the first few lessons just send him in long pants and rain boots, the stables should have hats he can borrow. It tends to be expensive but if he sticks at it, lots of stables allow the older ones to help out with the horses in return for a lesson. Given British weather I'd also ask if they have an undercover area!

If he dances, have you looked at equestrian vaulting? Not sure how widespread it is in the UK but here clubs take them from about 6. A dance background definitely isn't essential but does help, the kids in my classes who danced always picked it up much faster. DP and I are tempted to try and steer DD away from dancing and towards vaulting wink

TheFantasticMrsFox Sun 15-Jun-14 22:06:01

I was advised to put some sort of bandana on DS when he borrowed a riding school hat as apparently it's quite common to get nits from them <shudder>

SlowlorisIncognito Thu 26-Jun-14 15:28:00

Try and find a riding school which is bhs ( britsh horse society) or abrs ( association of British riding schools) registered as this will hopefully ensure good quality and qualified tuition.

A private lesson even for half an hour will be a lot of work for a beginning 6yo so group lead rein classes may be better. Most schools will suggest a shorter time for the first few lessons as it is very hard work on the legs. At first it will probably be confidence building and playing games, slowly building up the amount of independent riding he can do.

Progress may not seem very quick- it will depend on his strength and coordination. Learning to trot properly and in balance can take a little while and he will have to manage this before moving on to cantering and jumping.

It's a very fun hobby though and uf he enjoys it he will get a lot out of it smile

dancestomyowntune Thu 26-Jun-14 19:34:07

Thank you all for your advice.

Just an update really, he had a half hour private lesson last Sunday and the instructor was very pleased with him. He concentrated hard and was off the lead rein within five minutes! By the end of the half and hour he had mastered a rising trot, which she said some children take months to accomplish. He has good rhythm and coordination due to the amount of dance he does.

We have decided to let him do pony club, which is a three hour session (1 hour in the saddle consisting of half hour lesson and half hour hack), on a fortnightly basis (to keep costs down) and see how he gets on.

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Thu 26-Jun-14 19:43:49

Ooh a natural. How lovely.

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