Advice on gear for novice child pls(11 Posts)
DD (5) has started riding this week, doing 9-1 at the local stables every day. She absolutely adores it and they seem to think that she shows promise already as she is very confident and at home on the pony. She has another week booked on the 17th and we are happy for her to continue after the holidays.
At what point would you look at getting proper boots, jodphurs, riding hat ? What rider kit is essential at this early stage and is it safe to buy riding hats second hand ? She is currently riding in heeled wellies, jeggings and the stables' hat
I wouldn't buy a second-hand hat as you can't see if there is any damage to the structure. Even if the previous owner has never had a fall they may have dropped the hat, or left it on the parcel shelf of a hot car, or anything really. If you don't want to spend a lot to start with you could try a Polly Hat, they cater for the tinies, are adjustable and are kitemarked which means they reach British safety standards, but tend to be a bit cheaper than other brands. If you decide to go for a traditional style hat or jockey skull then you really need to have it fitted by a professional.
As for footwear the school obviously feels the boots she is wearing are safe so it's up to you really. Wellies are probably a bit hot this time of year though. You could keep an eye out for second-hand boots as they often get very little wear before they are outgrown, same with jodhpurs which are very hardwearing. If sticking with jeggings you might want to put knee-length socks underneath for extra protection as sometimes the stirrup leathers can pinch.
That's all I can think of really. Hope she has a great time .
Never buy second hand hats. Children's riding hats are reasonably priced and often adjustable but budget changing the hat after every fall (when the head makes contact with the ground or an object) even if there is no visible damage, or every 2-3 years, whichever is soonest.
The shoes she rides in should have a smooth sole so that the foot can slip easily out of the stirrup in case he falls and a small heel to stop the foot from sliding too far into the stirrup ( which traps the foot and causes very dangerous accidents in case of a fall). If the shoes he has do not meet these requirements I would be looking to change them ASAP. I'd also check the riding school uses cage stirrups.
A body protector is also a good precaution and it's wise to teach children to always ride with one on.
I have two children riding and, with advice from here and the riding school, I bought mine new hats after about 6 weeks. I have always bought new body-protectors, but I think you'd be OK buying these second-hand. Look online for jods etc, as you can get some bargains either secondhand or from a big warehouse-type place. Boots, I've bought both new and secondhand.
We got boots and jodhpurs from Decathlon and use hat and body protector provided by the riding school.
It costs us £1 each lesson to hire the hat and body protector, and I don't think I can justify buying them when it's that cheap.
Sports Direct online is actually very good for riding stuff, you can get kid's jodhpur boots for under £20. But secondhand would be fine too. Maybe consider a pair of lightweight half chaps too to protect against stirrup rub?
I do think own hats and body protectors are a good idea, a good fit is essential for safety. At my riding school we have lots of hats for hire and they are all checked and changed regularly but the padding does compress and sometimes the fit/comfort is compromised.
Buy the best (new) crash helmet you can afford. I know a lot about traumatic brain injuries. Body protector too, but second hand is fine for these.
Aren't BPs still closed cell foam therefore second hand is not ok? Or is my info out of date and they're now open cell foam?
Decathlon is good value. In terms if body proof and hats I think it is better to buy them in a shop where they can be fitted correctly.
I think Body protectors are a must for children, like a helmet......I never used to think this, but after seeing my (at the time) Novice son fall under the pony, and the pony somehow manage not to collect him in the ribs with a hoof (it was quite a gymnastic feat), I realised that a body protectors a good idea.
Now he is jumping a reasonable height, I am pleased that it is part of what he wears riding, in his mind something he has always worn riding, and not something we have to introduce.
You do need to go somewhere that has a reasonable variety, so you can try on different sorts, and find the most comfortable.
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