Horsey child, baffled mother!(11 Posts)
Hello, I'm new to the world of horses, and wondered if some of you could give me a few pointers?
My 6 yo dd has started learning to ride, and is completely lOving it! She has a lesson each week, and had her first stable morning today.
I just feel a bit at sea, never having been horsey myself, and I don't really know if there are any obvious faux pas or pitfalls I should be aware of!
I do wonder a bit about her lessons... it's half an hour in the school, then a half hour walk out, buf there aren't any of the games I read about; it's very much "all walk in a circle, then have a turn trotting/cantering, then off to the back of the queue". Is this OK, or old-fashioned? Should I be doing more?!
Sounds fine for a child learning to ride once your dd is riding better the lessons will get more difficult. Does your riding school have a pony club? As they can start working towards their first badges (like in brownies) at around age 6 and its a good incentive to get them learning the care parts as well as just the riding. Beware though horses are a seriously expensive hobby!!
I think they need to get the basics before they start doing fun and games - although it shouldn't be totally dull! From what j remember, it is lots of 'trot to the back of the ride' at first, unless you're doing individual lessons
Oh good, that's ok then!
I think she loves the care parts just as much as riding... she's desperate to be one of the 'big girls'! They let her lead her Pony back to the yard to untack sometimes, and she looks so proud.
I couldn't believe how muddy and horsey she was when I picked her up today though, I thought she'd be pooling around on the edges, but it seems she got stuck straight in!
Good on your dd!! You will now never be able to keep a clean house as she will traipse mud/hay/grass/hair wherever she goes!!
If she is really keen on learning get her into a pony club she will love it and earning badges too
Dd was a bit older than yours when she started but it has rather taken over her life!
She used to do lots of 'pony weeks' in the school holidays where they did lots of stable management type stuff plus a little ride out and when she was 10 had her first residential holiday which she absolutely loved (she went to Wellington in Hampshire which is brilliant). She now has two lessons a week and spends every Sunday working at the stables and every day she can during the holidays. She's now at the standard where she's used to help school the horses too
Her first lessons sounded similar to your dd's but they should get more interesting soon. What helped my dd as well was booking a private lesson every now and then as that's much more intense and means she can work on specific things
It's a very expensive hobby but the amount of enjoyment my dd gets out of it definitely makes it worth while
oooh this is a toughie..... so much I could say....
Errmmmmm quick etiquette
-Dont feed anyones horses without asking
-Dont borrow anything without asking (rife with horsey people and causes many a spat on yards)
-Understand theres a LOT to horsecare and everybody does it differently and there may be lots of ways to the same result..... understand that some people DONT understand this and may get snippy about 'your way'
-Be mindful that some owners / riders are secretly really quite nervous and may not be as 'gung ho' about that gallop you really fancy (shocking number of horse are like this and really just prefer the companionship)
-Always, always be kind and consider your own behaviour before blaming your pony . horse (nothing worse than seeing some screaming, whip-happy brat on some poor scared / confused pony)
and.... HAVE FUN!
Its a great hobby, teaches commitment, routine, empathy etc etc, and really good on you for supporting her. My parents didnt give a stuff......so as a rebellion I now sit here with 10 Acres and FOUR horses..... and a crafty eye on another
On that note DON'T dash into buying her a pony, they are terribly hard work, exoensive and very tying. There are PLENTY people like me with more than they can ride who are glad of the help OR many who put their own on part loan where you can pay a contribution towards costs to treat the horse as your own x days a week.
Seriously though - happy to answer any questions, just PM me.
I bet you that within 6 months you will have had a lesson and will also be hooked
I second all that was said above. I started to ride age 5 with lessons like the one you describe and I'm 62 now and never got over it!! ... still have my own horse (number 5, but always one at a time) and am constantly broke as a result!.
I love it that your DD comes home filthy and tired having got stuck in the the real business of looking after ponies. I think more kids would be better off if they did this instead of messing with their technology in the name of recreation .... (but I've been told off on here before for having the temerity of expressing an opinion on child care/behaviour etc when I don't have kids ... hey, ho).
You do realise. of course, that a girl's capacity for buying jodhpurs, colour matched clothing, hats, boots and the like is endless: heaven help you if you ever do graduate to getting her her own pony, because the list of stuff you can but these days is endless .... what fun!!!
Great the DD is loving her pony experience. All to be encouraged IMO.
As soon as you're sure shes sticking at it for a good while get her her own hat, properly fitted and replace it every 3 years. Then boots and a body protector. Some people start to use body protectors when starting to jump but my daughter came off a couple of times in the school and hit the fence. She was saved from any bruising and so didn't lose confidence. mud and muck is good and she may delay interest in boys in her teenage years!
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