Child riding outfit help(14 Posts)
Any advice appreciated as I am totally useless and have no knowledge at all.
DD (8) goes riding every week and has done for the last 8 months or so. She loves it, but has not progressed to pony club yet (she has ASD) but she wants to keep on with riding and the 1-2-1 lessons.
We want to get her a helmet (hat?) and jodhpurs for Xmas but I have no idea where from? Budget is middle ground, important for her to be safe but at the moment she just goes round the ring bit and a walk/trot for half an hour a week. I have no idea what brand to get, what to look for etc. so any help appreciated.
Also any thoughts on encouraging her? She is really reticent to do the pony club as worried about meeting other people and not being good enough etc. (I live in hope though...) I am happy to keep on the 1-2-1 lessons but worry she is not really getting the full experience.
Apologies for lack of proper terminology - this is all a new world to me!
I'd look in your local tack shop for a helmet as it's important to get hats properly fitted. Google 'tack shops' or 'equestrian supplies' and you should find one near you.
Countrywide and Mole Valley are two chains, so you could see if you have one of those near by. I quite like independent shops if you can find one as it's normally easier to get help than in a huge store.
If you want to look for jodhpurs online, then Robinson's is quite good I find, and reasonably priced. here
Caldene, Harry Hall are two big brands. I quite like Equetech jods as they are really comfy. They are just like leggings. I discovered them when pregnant and have never gone back to my old ones! Depends if your daughter is fussy about clothes.
1-2-1 lessons are great and a good way to learn. She should feel she's making progress though. If not, you may want to find a different riding school.
Pony club might be a bit of a big step at the moment. What about starting with group lessons? That's a good way to mix with others and maybe do different exercises that you can't do with just one person in the school.
Also, does your riding school do a summer show or 'own a pony weeks' or anything like that? Again things like this are fun and not as daunting as pony club would be as she'd know people and it would all be familiar.
For the helmet, get her fitted in a good tack shop. Your stable should be able to point you to some in your area. It may not be a big surprise then but safety is more important.
For jodphurs, I got several from Amazon, Equestrian website or Declathon. Gloves are also quite important if she doesn't already have some.
For progress in lessons, speak to the instructors. After 8 months you should see progress. Maybe look for a school who is doing SEN lessons, they may be more familiar how to approach her and teach her.
DD's school runs badge days or half days in all holidays, they are low key and children normally get them without too much trouble unless it is in connection with an exam. If your school does them as well, maybe you could attend one with her to see if it is suitable.
Thank you - we will find local tack shop and get a helmet that way. The legging type jodhpurs sound great too as she is a bit funny re some clothes, and leggings are ok for her.
In terms of progress, she has progressed to trotting, and can 'turn' the pony and is doing bit more in the ring (if that makes sense?). Should she be doing more than that? To be honest it took 3-4 lessons for her to let go of the saddle and just hold the reins.
I have looked at riding for the disabled but they are over an hour from us which would be difficult. Her teacher is lovely and they have a good rapport, so I am a bit reticent to change - but obviously want to do what is best.
There are 'have your own pony' days so I will look into that next, even if she only stays for an hour (Pony Club is 3 hours - so would be a huge stretch for now!), it would be a start.
Thanks for all the help, hugely appreciated.
Is it possible she could go out for some little 'hacks' on the lead rein rather than just stay in the arena? I find children tend to relax a little bit more as they have things to look at and can chat which they can't do in a lesson. Going up and down gentle slopes and round trees etc improves their balance and helps confidence. If there was any way to progress to going out with another child who was also being led then that would be perfect as your dd could get used to riding with someone else without the pressure of being 'good enough'. I'm sure once she had one friend it would be easier to join in with a group. Not sure how that could be arranged but perhaps the instructor might have some ideas.
From what you say she is making decent progress in her own time and obviously trusts the instructor so that's all good. My son has ASD and although he has great balance and is able to walk, trot and canter confidently he wouldn't be able to take instruction and do it on his own like your dd does so I think she's doing very well.
Hi - I second what others have said - you need the hat properly fitted, so that is something you need to do in a tack shop. If she is a bit funny about clothes , then I would get her to try jodhpurs there, as there are seams in "odd" places and you can make sure she is comfortable.
My son has dyspraxia and sensory issues. - he loves wearing jodhpurs - think it is the gentle pressure ...... you don't mention if your daughter has sensory issues.
My son is now 11 - and riding has helped him so much with his confidence and social issues. He did mostly 1-2-1 to start with and now he has his own pony - it is mostly 1-2-1 - just because of the set up we are in.
I think key for making riding so successful for him was his instructor- she too had learning difficulties- not the same , but she had a lot of empathy and patience.
Also because it was one to one , he wasn't comparing his progress to others - he just did it for the pure joy of it, and could go at his own rate. His instructor got, that because of his dyspraxia, some weeks he just couldn't do, what he had been able to do the week before.
Honestly I wouldn't worry about her doing one on one - I would be patient, because the social stuff can happen around the riding - the casual interaction's.
you say she hasn't done the pony club yet - is that for any reason ? Not that my kids do pony club - but my son does go to shows..... though we are planning on starting in spring.
I think your daughters progress by the way is great - remember it is not a race to trot and canter ..... horse riding is such an amazing thing for children who struggle in other areas , you have to let them progress at a rate they are comfortable with.
My son is too capable for RDA - and if your son has a good rapport with your instructor- I would stick with that.
Own a pony days are a great way to up the social quotient- however I always wanted to know that my sons quirks would not be made an issue of - however he has always got on better with girls so he loves the own a pony days!
You can get cheap hard-wearing joddies in aldi in their special buy events. Agree with everyone else, you need to get her properly fitted for a hat and don't buy a second hand one
The ALDI stuff is great - but think they did riding wear about two weeks (maybe 3) ago as I stocked up for the kids , and it doesn't seem to come around that often.
If you have a Go Outdoors nearby they are good for jods and boots but like everyone else said proper tack shop for a hat.
Lessons sound fine to me and the instructor sounds good. The odd hack out would be a nice change if possible but if she's happy I wouldn't worry.
Thanks everyone, just updating. We got DD a hat from a tack shop, and she is very proud now that she has her own.
She has been on quite a few 'hacks' (never knew what that really meant but understand now!) on a lead rein, and I saw her in the arena last week, and she is doing brilliantly. She was riding with arms in the air (i.e. no hands, but on the lead rein, but still), and had great balance. So I am really pleased with it all.
Its lovely to hear how horse riding has helped other children too, I am really pleased thatshe has kept it up!
My son rides and his hat was the first item we got. He has now got gloves, boots, chaps, crop, jodhpurs and a body protector. I just built it up gradually
Just a quick update. DD is doing well and hopefully will soon be ready to start in group lessons and the staff say that she has been progressing well.
She is now hoping for a pony share so that she can go a few times a week, and has told me that it is in investment in her future career She now accepts that she might need a Plan B to being World's Best Jockey but is determined that she will work with horses. Incredibly there is a college near us that does animal and equine qualifications, with ASD support. Very far in the future yet, but it gives her something to aim for as school can be a struggle for her.
Anyway, I have told her that she can try the Pony days in half term, progress to Pony Club and then we will think about a share scheme... I used to be an indoors person who hated the outdoors. Now my life is watching her ride a pony and walking the dog :D
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