Seriously, if I had a more size-appropriate pony I'd be more happy for him to ride (mine's 17.2 hh). You can get basket saddles or children's pony saddles but at this age there'd still need to be a hand on them. My only real worry right now is that he's absolutely no concept of danger and although I trust my mare if she does accidentally stand on him or knock him over (more likely) then he's going to be very upset. Right now I either lead the horse and his dad holds him steady or I pop him on the saddle in front of me and he shrieks with delight when we trot.
I don't mind if he competes at Badminton or Burghley in the future - his old mum will be very proud!
I was probabably about 18 months-just sat on an old shetland that we had.The dds were 4.My neighbour was a RI and reckoned that regular riding before then could cause hip/pelvis problems,and the riding schools wouldn't take them before then anyway.It was a loooong 4 years-DD1 asked as soon as she could talk and never stopped going on about it.We bought their first pony when they were 6 and 7 and are now looking for another one.
Mine was obsessed with horses from the time he first set eyes on one - in the first picture of him actually on a pony, he's using sign to talk about it. We then spent the time till he was 3 finding every pony ride going, and then found somewhere that does tots taster lessons. Never looked back, and now he's 5 and has a pony of his own (just as the Tack Room said he would )
We used to hold DD on our horses from about 16 months. For her 2nd birthday her Godmother gave her an old schoolmistress Section A and we bought her a Safari Cub saddle - one with a handle - and she never looked back!
I looked after a girl who was sat on a pony practically at birth. She first went hunting in a basket saddle at 8mths old. She loved riding and got so excited every time she saw her pony. She's now 14 and was recently selected for the British Junior team and I have no doubt I will oneday watch her ride at Badminton. < Proud ex-nanny emoticon >
I am about as horsey mad as they get (own 4 at the moment) but I see no reason to place young babies on horses (and I have one of those too). Horse riding is a risky sport, a young baby does not get much out of it, they just run the risk of injury. With DD I will wait until she is old enough to decide whether she wants to ride, then she can spend a couple of years taking lessons and if she still likes it then we can discuss pony buying.
Both of mine had their first "ride" the day they came home from the hospital, it was a sentimental thing for me obviously as a horse mad woman, but they didn't object being fast asleep at the time. They started to sit on properly at about 2, and now at 5 and 7 are quite happy on anything with 4 legs regardless of size.
My son is 2 nearly 3 and has just started lessons. I was recommended no earlier as the motion of the pony can affect their posture/balance later on. Don't know how much truth in that. Also, as for basket saddles I was advised against by my family who all work with horses not to use them because obviously for what ever reason if the pony rolls the child isn't naturally thrown off the pony so could be hurt. Sorry I must sound very negative.