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Horse riding - is it a good thing to do?

(45 Posts)
donnie Mon 18-Aug-08 18:36:09

dd1 ( nearly 7 ) has expressed an interest and there are liveries/stables near us. It is pricey but, cost aside, what would people say is good about it?


muppetgirl Mon 18-Aug-08 18:39:28

My son has been riding for 4 months now after begging us to let him. He absolutely LOVES it and has a picture of him on the horse by his bed and can't wait to go again! He's 4.5 and very confident.

seeker Mon 18-Aug-08 18:39:46

Very expensive and gets more expensive if they enjoy it. Potentially dangerous and deadly boring to watch at least at the beginning stages. But good exercise, good for confidence, gives them something to do on a Saturday afternoon if the stables welcomes helpers (most do - who wouldn't welcome keen, willing unpaid workers!)

donnie Mon 18-Aug-08 18:41:10

I have this vision in my head of her galloping along, hair streaming in the wind....!

seeker Mon 18-Aug-08 18:42:58

That is exactly how my dd sees herself - and she's 12!

Overmydeadbody Mon 18-Aug-08 18:44:26

donnie it's a good thing to do if that is what your dd expresses an interest in doing.

Like all extra curricular activities, they are only worthwhile if the child is actually keen and interested in doing it.

muppetgirl Mon 18-Aug-08 18:46:34

...dh does have visions of ds telling us that he 'needs his own pony...' hmm

I also love horse riding, just very crap at it as I started at 21 when the adult fears have well and truly set in. I spent most of my time on the floor having gone the other way to the horse. Ds was so excited whenever he saw a horse I just wanted to give him the chance I never did. We thought taking him once would be kill or cure but he loved it. We're now thinking that if he can still be enthusiastic over the winter when it's cold, rainning and generally not very nice we'll actually get him his own hat but we'll get nothing till then. He rides in jeans and wellies!

pointydog Mon 18-Aug-08 18:54:34

What's good about it?

1. Makes your buttocks permanently spread
2. Gets you in with the horsey set
3. You get to stroke long pink soft noses which is pleasant
4. You get across a field really quickly

Seriously, The only 'good' thing about it is if your dd gets a lot of enjoyment from it. Especially at that price.

elmoandella Mon 18-Aug-08 18:54:54

if dd is really interested get her a "job" can be as little as couple of hours at weekend , to every morning before school

most stables will exchange free lessons for help with livery duties. i.e mucking out and feeding.

gives them some experience of what it would be like to actually own one. just incase they ask.

it's not all about riding. ig you want to own one relatively cheaply dc will not need full livery. they will have to get up every morning before school to feed and let out horse. and every evening after school

pointydog Mon 18-Aug-08 18:56:48

Round here, you can't help out till you're about 14. You've at least got to be at secondary school.

KnockOffNorbert Mon 18-Aug-08 19:01:01

It's the best thing in the world. Yep, can be pricey but it depends really whether it's private lessons and holiday camps, or helping out at stables etc. When my sister was rolling in from the pubs and clubs, I was waking nice and early to get down the stables.

elmoandella Mon 18-Aug-08 19:01:25

pointydog it is a great form of exercise.

if op's dd gets really keen on it, it will give her an excellent hobby to keep her mind off boys in the teenage years.

when i was a teenage my friends were of these ponsey horse types. we were to busy buying horsey magazine and bridles and leads with our pocket money to even consider make up, boys or <shudder> "more" magazine that my school friends were into.

pointydog Mon 18-Aug-08 19:14:57

I know there are pros, elmo wink - dd1 rides. But like any hobby, it's only good if the child enjoys it.

muppetgirl Mon 18-Aug-08 19:18:15

My son LOVES it. I think he feels about riding and the horses as I did about music -it just makes him light up. (I was a 'cellist in a previous life)

Quattrocento Mon 18-Aug-08 19:20:58

It's a good form of exercise, they get to work with and care for animals, it's lots of fun, it gets them integrated with a nice set of people (horsey people are generally very nice - I speak as an unhorsey person).

The downsides are the cost and the danger. Make sure you do get some insurance for him btw.

pointydog Mon 18-Aug-08 19:23:34

My no.2 was tongue in cheek but I suppose it could be a serious advantage for some people.

Horsey people are bonkers.

elmoandella Mon 18-Aug-08 19:47:53

some horsey folk are complete w*ers though.

pointydog Mon 18-Aug-08 20:52:24


twinsetandpearls Mon 18-Aug-08 21:00:24

My dd loves her riding, agree that a hobby is only a good one if they actually enjoy it. Dp loves to watch dd,I find it quite dull after 10 mins

donnie Mon 18-Aug-08 22:02:55

thanks for all those comments - very illuminating. I do have slight concerns about the permanent buttock spreading, however!

not sure I can see dd as a horsey type although if riding proves to be a distraction from yucky boy stuff then saddle up!

we are totally non-horsey so I am coming at it from a thicko angle.

It is £26 for a half hour where we are - London. About the norm I expect.

donnie Mon 18-Aug-08 22:03:26

sorry that is £26 for 45 mins.

stealthsquiggle Mon 18-Aug-08 22:09:38

We pay £11 for 30mins, but nowhere near London and that is cheapish even for this area.

It is very good for balance and co-ordination.

She will gain a set of friends outside of school (always good, IMHO).

If she gets into it you will never be short of ideas for birthday/Christmas presents (sadly not the case for boys - boys' riding stuff is boring and rubbishsad).

It gets very expensive - DS is 5 and for now is happy with weekly lessons but I can see that won't last.

SueW Mon 18-Aug-08 22:15:03

DD is mad about it - she's 11 and has been going for two years now.

Our lessons are £26 for one hour with a £5 discount if you have ridden the previous week. The school also offers a riding club where for an extra tenner per time you can take part in an event on most Saturdays - dressage, showjumping or working hunter.

DD would like to loan a pony - an additional £35 per week plus shoe fees, etc. We won't do this at the moment but I know other parents consider it a fantastic distraction/occupation for their teenage girls during weekends/school hols and cheap at the price.

DD has had a few trips for medical attention because of riding - clipped in the face causing black eye, swollen lip, lots of bruises and a new hat; squashed foot (doesn't have steel toe caps) and most recently aggravating a previous back injury. None of that puts her off though, any more than coming off and landing in a puddle did soon after she started.

SueW Mon 18-Aug-08 22:17:44

We pay for extra private lessons in the holidays as the stables have special offers on - £25 for 40 mins but always lasts longer. She has one per week although due to other commitments, some weeks she may ride 4-5 times and other weeks not at all.

I am no rider but have finally reached the stage where I can watch most of what DD does!

LuckySalem Mon 18-Aug-08 22:21:30

I loved it and still do (at 24) it is expensive and I expect I cost my parents a fortune...
BUT I think it taught me responsibility etc and I made ALOT of friends through that and I didn't really have that many in school as I was abit of a geek. lol

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