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2 year old keeps asking to go horse riding

(31 Posts)
happygilmore Wed 25-Jul-12 20:17:00

Before I get told off, I know she probably has no idea what it actually involves!

However she has been asking constantly to go horse riding (after feeding/patting horse at farm, and seeing people riding) for a couple of weeks now.

At what age will riding schools allow little ones to have a short ride? What age is best anyway? I'm not at all convinced she's old enough (in fact I'm sure she's probably not) but wondered when she could try a short ride.

I'm not a horsewoman at all, used to go riding as a child but haven't in many years. Thanks.

seeker Wed 25-Jul-12 20:24:21

Too young I'd say. The problem is, if she likes it she'll want to do it more and it's not really good for their hips/pelvis to ride much too young. It wouldn't hurt her to sit on q quiet pony for a while, but that won't be the end of it, you mark my words! Hold off til she's 4.

BonkeyMunch Wed 25-Jul-12 20:25:25

Most places won't take them under 5.

happygilmore Wed 25-Jul-12 20:28:57

I think she'd love it (although I can't know of course!) as she adores all animals e.g. thinks it's brilliant when dogs jump up (I know, I know) and so on.

I'll try and hold off then. Bless her, I swear she has asked me 30 times today, at least.

Thanks for the advice.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 25-Jul-12 20:33:30

IIRC DD was 3 when she had a ride on a tiny pony. It was on holiday (the idea was she could ride and we'd get a decent walk!) so it was clear to her this was a special treat.

I think at this age a nice little rocking horse or toy big enough to sit on may be best bet grin

Whenthetoadcamehome Wed 25-Jul-12 20:33:51

The reasoning behind waiting til they are 4 ish is because of childrens back development, apparently riding before this age can damage the spine?

malinois Wed 25-Jul-12 20:36:16

I wouldn't call it 'riding' but DS has been led about on a miniature Shetland a couple of times a week since 13 months. He loves it!

happygilmore Wed 25-Jul-12 20:39:17

I honestly had no idea it could damage their bone development, I thought it would be more of a safety issue!

I think it is very likely she will love it and ask to do it all the time, knowing her!

TheSkiingGardener Wed 25-Jul-12 20:43:32

DS is just 2 and has had a couple of pony rides. Our local open farm place offers lessons from 2 upwards, just 20 minutes at a time.

If its occasional then its probably a great way to encourage love of horses, but obviously it she's going to go a bit nutty about it and want to do it every day then it's not the best idea. Any instructor in any sport teaching small kids should know about the effect of that sport on physical development in children.

Butkin Wed 25-Jul-12 20:44:06

DD got her first pony for her 2nd birthday and has always ridden. Wasn't a problem for her - she wore her cycling helmet to start with and Chipmunk jodphur boots. She had a saddle with a handle on it (a Safari Cub) although you can attach a strap to most saddles.

Don't think riding schools will take her until she is 4 or 5 though for insurance reasons.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 25-Jul-12 21:26:29

You anywhere near north Essex? She can have a sit on mine if she likes.

happygilmore Wed 25-Jul-12 21:28:37

Thanks Saggy that is really kind of you! We're in Mcr tho.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 25-Jul-12 21:32:35

That's a shame. Us Gilmours have to stick together! wink

Whenthetoadcamehome Thu 26-Jul-12 06:54:52

It was the reason given to us by dd's instructor before she started, she was pony mad from an early age too. I'm assuming that the odd pony ride here and there is fine!

worrywortisworrying Thu 26-Jul-12 07:01:51

My 2YO rides. She has 30 minute 'lessons'. She is no longer led (but she does still have someone walking along side the horse and does need occasional 'guidance') and only walks. She can do the 'round the world' now and is also learning about horse care. Over the holidays, she is going on a 2 hour 'groom and ride' session. The stables are very reputable, insured etc., and the only provision I have to make is that I stay on site (which I would anyway)

They also take my 4YO DS who is autisitic and he enjoys 'riding' immensely.

I am not sure if I can name the stables on here, without being seen to advertise, but I highly recommend them and happy to send details by PM if anyone is interested.

worrywortisworrying Thu 26-Jul-12 07:07:09

I would agree though, that she is battering me to ride more and more often. She is having a pony party for her 3rd birthday and is getting her own hat as a present.

She tells anyone who listens that it's her horse grin

seeker Thu 26-Jul-12 07:42:03

Honestly- do check this out. I have been around horses all my life and I have always understood that it's bad for the hips/pelvis to ride much at all until at least 3-preferably 4.

worrywortisworrying Thu 26-Jul-12 07:48:19

I will look into that, thanks seeker

She will be 3 on Sunday and I think she would never speak to me again if I stopped her lessons. She only does 30 minutes per week actually riding the other time, she is learning to groom and watch the 'big' girls clean the stables etc., (I'd be lying if I said she helped wink)

She is 2 going on 13.

AlpinePony Thu 26-Jul-12 08:00:16

Riding might be bad for the pelvis, but seriously, does a 2 year old ride? They just sit there and do round-the-world type stuff. If we're going to start saying that spreading your legs is bad for the pelvis then we're going to have to stop children sitting on the floor.

I too have been around horses all my life and have never heard this ditty. I have however heard it can cause pain in older bones and my mum for example now prefers a very narrow horse.

A 2 year old is not going to be spending 6 hours in the saddle 6 days a week - unless of course it's a patagonian cowboy!

seeker Thu 26-Jul-12 08:10:59

Ok- I bow to superior knowledge. I'm probably just really old fashioned in this as in so many areas! Just don't tell my dd - I made her wait til she was 5!

worrywortisworrying Thu 26-Jul-12 08:20:30

My DD is not a patagonian cowboy. She would, almost certainly, give it a go, tho. Her spanish is coming along very well now!!

OP - I would be tempted to see if you can find a stables who will let her ride. IMHO, I prefer to pay for 'lessons', as it provides regular access to the same horses (and both of my children have built up relationships with 'their' horses and - I might be being totally anal about this - I like that.

Treblesallround Thu 26-Jul-12 09:02:48

Are you abroad Seeker? I've heard that in continental Europe children start riding later due to the view that it's bad for their development. I don't know about it, but ours started at 4 as they started in riding schools and that was the earliest they would take them.

dappleton Thu 26-Jul-12 10:20:53

Where I live there are a lot of people for both UK and France, it tends to be the French who talk alot about children starting later due to bone development, i've not really ever heard that in England. As others have said it depends what you class as riding, perhaps actual riding would be detrimental but I can't see how just sitting, as one would on a sea-side donkey, for short periods could cause any harm.
I allow children to have a 5-10min walk-about on my ponies from any age (3months old in my sons case!), they must however have one person walking with the pony and one person walking beside (and if necessary holding onto) the child. I don't like children in lessons until they are around 5yrs old and have a certain degree of balance, coordination and concentration.

AlpinePony Thu 26-Jul-12 11:37:40

I'm in the Netherlands and lessons start at six, tbh I have no idea if it's physical or risk of litigation!

When I lived in Belgium it was illegal to hack out on roads until you were 14.

Rebecca72 Tue 16-Dec-14 10:19:08

My 2 1/2 yr old daughter started riding in Spain at 17 months. It was for a photo and she became so obsessed and hysterical about horses that we decided to try short "lessons" too..
I have never heard about the development issues etc.
I am looking for stables near London who will accept children from 2 years old. Does anyone recommend anywhere down South who allows this?
Thank you :-)

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