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My 6 year old son wants to start Horse riding. I am toeing my hands and dont know what to do

(17 Posts)
Quintessentialist Mon 03-Oct-11 09:32:32

He announced this weekend that he wants to learn to ride. He wants to be friends with a big nice cuddly horse, that he can pet and hug and ride.

He loves animals. Wont hurt a spider, and has his room full of teddy bears.

His outlook is perhaps romantic.

Mine is realistic. We live near riding stables where he can get lessons.

But I am allergic to horse hair. So practically, I reckon his dad will take him, and get all his clothes in the wash straight away, while he heads for the bath. Or am I overcautious?

How many boys ride for sports? It seems to me to be something girls his age love.

He goes to gymnastics classes, and he is the only boy, but again, he loves it, and they say he is really good.

But horse riding? Where did that come from?

emlu67 Mon 03-Oct-11 12:08:09

Although more girls than boys ride at the top level it is the other way around so you never know you may have an aspiring jockey/showjumper!

It is expensive though and expect to pay £18-£25 for a lesson. You are not usually under any obligation to book him in for every week. Lots of children on DDs lesson ride one week in two or three or even monthly.

Some schools do 'Own a Pony' days where you get to learn all about looking after them which is great for children who want to do that little bit more.

I would say it is definitely worth a try. As for your allergies I am also allergic to horses so wear gloves whenver I touch them (cost around £3 at our saddlery centre) and I also take hayfever tablets before I go which help a great deal.

Forgot to mention most schools provide hats and boots so you won't need to kit him out straight away. It is worth seeing how he gets on first.

Good luck and let us know how he gets on!

Callisto Mon 03-Oct-11 12:23:09

Just go to your local pony club - you'll see plenty of boys on ponies there.

PetiteRaleuse Mon 03-Oct-11 12:30:31

If you can afford it it is worth it. It's a wonderful way of communicating with animals, and a great way to boost confidence.

As for allergies I gues you have to work round it. I was allergic to hay until I started riding and hanging out at the stables every weekend. It went after a few horrible weeks

ExitPursuedByaBear Mon 03-Oct-11 12:32:30

My DD rides and she is allergic to horses.

Boys make great riders - do let him.

Redbluegreen Mon 03-Oct-11 12:36:18

My dh is severely allergic to horses, so I now don't keep horses at home, but when I come in from riding I have to strip in the porch, clothes straight in the machine, and shower immediately including washing hair. It's a right pain, but I now don't ride as often as I used to so not so bad.

I would suggest you try a few lessons at a riding school, and join the nearest Pony Club. He'll be able to do lots of practical and theoretical learning about caring for a pony there, and meet some nice pony-minded friends. Depending on the style of riding school, they may be happy for him to help out there as well as just doing his lessons, giving him exposure to the ponies without you having to pay.

Don't be put off just because he's a boy!

Thumbwitch Mon 03-Oct-11 12:50:15

Agree that while more girls than boys ride, it's still something that a lot of boys do. My DS will be 4 in December and he already loves ponies and has a ride whenever he gets the chance - I'm going to start him having lessons as soon as he's old enough (and I find a place around where I am that are capable of responding to phonecalls/emails asking how old they have to be and how much it costs! hmm - Australians are sometimes a leetle backward about things like this, I'm finding).

Re the horse hair allergy - then I think you've had some good advice on how to deal with it, plus you could try taking an antihistamine as well before you see him when he comes home from riding.

Look at all the top showjumpers - how many of them are men! He could do very well - if you can afford it (and your health can stand it) do let him do it. smile

Abbicob Mon 03-Oct-11 12:51:48

He will love it as a boy as he will get all the attention from the girls - maybe not now but when he becomes a teenager he will.

You have to let him try if you can afford it.

PanicMode Mon 03-Oct-11 13:29:17

My 6 year old has been riding for about a year - she's been in a group with boys and girls her age, so my experience, it's not that uncommon for boys to ride. Having said that, the Pony Club summer camp at the stables was about 90% girls.

tryingtoleave Mon 03-Oct-11 13:38:06

If my ds wanted to ride, I would be fine about him doing it - taking into account cost and convenience.

Pissfarterleech Mon 03-Oct-11 13:40:35

My DS rides, he's fab! Love it and is completely fearless, will jump anything!

Quintessentialist Mon 03-Oct-11 15:49:30

oh, my son is pretty fearless too.... <wibble> He will go down the mountain on FULL throttle, lifting ONE leg up in the air at the time, so he is literally just balancing on one foot at 60 miles per hour down steep hills.....

Maybe horseriding is just another adrenaline sport for him?

He has taught himself headspins, and has started doing gymnastics with the sole purpose of learning how to do multiple backflips, etc.

Ah well. The local stable is charging £30 for each half hour lesson. That is an expensive minute! Will let him try it and see how it goes.

Thanks for allergy tips!

Pissfarterleech Mon 03-Oct-11 15:52:08

Oh dear! he sounds just like my boy! grin

Yes, £30 is very expensive! Our local school is £14 half hour.

My little boy is 8, btw, and jumps my big 15 3 grumpy mare, all legs a flapping and gung ho!

mistlethrush Mon 03-Oct-11 15:57:34

Ds would love to do horseriding, but its not within my budget unfortunately! He gets the odd ride on a pony and has a completely natural riding position. His friend has lessons that are £25 for half an hour, but if you book 4 you get a 5th free which reduces it slightly. I will have to hold out for finding someone locally that will allow me to take ds on their pony in return for shoeing money and help at holiday times.

Pissfarterleech Mon 03-Oct-11 15:58:51

Do you know anyone with ponies, mistlethrush?
My children's friends often come round to ride their ponies, all are welcome! smile

PanicMode Mon 03-Oct-11 17:50:59

These lessons sound very expensive - we're paying £15 for half an hour (reduced to £14 now she's joined the PC)...I also 'borrow' friends' ponies whenever possible!

mistlethrush Mon 03-Oct-11 18:42:52

No, I currently don't know anyone with ponies - must make some enquiries in appropriate places.

£25 is extortionate. But I'm not in a rural area and there's not really much choice within a reasonable distance.

Gone are the days of my £4 an hour lessons sad (although that was quite a few years ago wink)

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