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A good age to start riding?

(14 Posts)
HuffwardlyRouge Sat 25-Jul-09 19:04:07

Dd is 3.2. She recently had a couple of rides on a pony and lurrrved it. She keeps asking if she can do it again. I was wondering about riding lessons. Is she a bit young? Is there any benefit in getting her started young? I'd like her to know how to ride at some point. What's a good age to start to learn?

JamieJay Sat 25-Jul-09 19:15:33

Most of the yards I know work on the basis of 5yo for lessons as it can take until then for children to be strong/balanced enough to master it and learn.

However there is nothing to stop you continuing with the walks around as you have been doing.

horseymum Sun 26-Jul-09 19:50:13

if i had my own pony for kids i would take them as and when they wanted for a few minutes at a time. However, as above, most places won't teach them till 5 and it could put quite a pressure on them to want to do it at that time every week, for a set period of time, I would leave it till then. I would love to be able to do it when they felt like it but not possible at the mo. I do take them to my work occassionally but also don't want to push them and put them off!

HuffwardlyRouge Mon 27-Jul-09 18:59:02

Thank you both. I think I'll continue to let her have a sit on as and when possible, and if she wants to. I am so pleased that she was enthusiastic, and I suppose I would like not to lose that.

poopscoop Mon 27-Jul-09 19:00:20

My daughter started on her 4th birthday. The local riding schools could not get insurance for under 4's.

MitchyInge Tue 28-Jul-09 13:25:47

they can have lessons at 4 and above at our yard, although people with own ponies seem to start from 0 upwards

Pixel Tue 28-Jul-09 18:34:07

A yard near us takes the tinies out for walks up the lane on shetlands, then at 5 they can join in a group lesson. Well they did when dd was small, but thinking about it that might be going back a bit.hmm

Pixel Tue 28-Jul-09 18:34:34

A yard near us takes the tinies out for walks up the lane on shetlands, then at 5 they can join in a group lesson. Well they did when dd was small, but thinking about it that might be going back a bit.hmm

Pixel Tue 28-Jul-09 18:34:50


Butkin Thu 30-Jul-09 21:32:37

See if you can find school friends etc with a pony as it would be great to kick on before she is 5 (the normal time for starting lessons as a riding school) although you could ask around.

Our DD started very early (sitting on our horses on the lead rein) and got her own Sec A pony for her 2nd birthday. She won her first show class by the time she was 3 so never too early to start.

Jammybodger Thu 30-Jul-09 21:45:42

My ds aged 3 loves riding and is confident enough to go round me on pony on the lunge rein. It really is up to the child as some are so scared you would not want to let them go.

Also, it really depends on the pony. Some are real confidence boosting types, others are spooky little monsters. So if you know of a lovely little pony that your dc loves to ride then it's nice to go regularly.

Tack room doors often have adverts for ponies that need exercising or you may have a friend whose pony needs exercising, these are good ways for your dc to get riding experience if you are knowledgable. If not a riding school is the safest bet as you might need another person to lead the pony while you walk alongside dc.

Southwestwhippet Tue 25-Aug-09 11:15:55

It is difficult for riding school to get insurance for riders under the age of 4 and some riding schools won't take children until age 6.

IMHE you can't really 'teach' a child much at 4 and 5, they are basically just having a nice time on the pony. Most will be able to learn the rising trot on the lead rein, do some simple balancing exercise and play games but much more than this and it begins to get 'risky'.

I don't like to have children off the LR before 6 (ish) because they are just too little to react fast enough if the pony does something unexpected. Then they get frightened and don't want to ride anymore. This does mean that unless you have a very talented, imaginative and dedicated instructor, LOs can start to get bored.

I run 1/2 sessions for my 4 to 6 LOs ATM and that seems like plenty. You might find your LO would like short, term time only lessons until they are old enough to safely do more than just walk and trot round with a leader.

wellywoo Thu 10-Sep-09 11:33:27

Hi - a good website to find a riding school near you is:

LittleB Mon 14-Sep-09 13:39:52

My dd 4.4 has been riding since she turned 4, so she's ridden about 7 times, a mix of hacks and lessons. The stables wouldn't take her until she was 4. I think she'd get bored at that age with weekly lessons, and enjoys the odd hack. She loves it and smiles alot - already has decided she wants to work with horses when she's grown up! I don't think she has the strength and co-ordiantion to rise to the trot yet, although she gives it a try, but I don't want to push her too hard and put her off. Thinking about looking for a pony that may need help excercising it in the spring to give her more hacks aswell as her lessons, but I'll start another thread about that.

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