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Could I have some advice please <horse ignoramous alert>

(56 Posts)
CMOTdibbler Tue 06-Oct-09 09:48:16

So, it turns out that DS(3) is a complete horse nut. We went on holiday in May to a cottage next to a stables and ended up riding everyday. Went last week again (5 months of him wittering about his favoured ponies every day wore us down), and he was riding for an hour a day - 30 mins lesson, 30 mins led walk out. Fully confident in rising trot, controlling pony himself. Was quite happy in a group lesson too.

So, I can resist his requests to ride routinely no more, but don't really know what I'm looking for in a school - although there only seems to be one that takes under 4's locally.

So, any good advice for me ? Should I buy him his own hat at this point ?

Am a bit thrown by all this tbh - I like horses, but have only ridden a very little in the past, and know no one to ask ! Didn't expect to have a horse mad child either

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Tue 06-Oct-09 09:55:41

Am a complete horse ignoramus too, but for what it's worth I would say always have your own hat. A shared hat in France is the prime suspect for MadBadBaby's only ever nit infestation.

seeker Tue 06-Oct-09 09:57:05

Most stables don't take them til 4 for proper lessons - you need to check that the one that's near you that does has proper insurance. I would be VERY wary of any stables that let a 3 year old ride without being led, honestly - I don't see how a 3 year old could have the strength and "horse-sense" to deal with a sudden shy or stumble. I really think that walk outs are the best way forward at this age.

How long til he's 4?

seeker Tue 06-Oct-09 09:59:58

I'm sorry - I realize that all that sounds very negative, but horses are big dangerous things - and not all stables are as careful of little people as they should be. It's fab he's horse mad (we need more boys!), but I think you need to go very carefully for a while. He souns as if he's got a real flair and talent, which is brilliant - he might just need a bit more height and strength before he can do all he wants to safely.

kormaAAAARRRRGGHHchameleon Tue 06-Oct-09 10:00:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kormaAAAARRRRGGHHchameleon Tue 06-Oct-09 10:02:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CMOTdibbler Tue 06-Oct-09 10:11:13

Sorry, should have made it clear that he was being led all the time, and I would not expect him to be in sole charge at any time - but he had rein contact and was the one steering iyswim.

I wouldn't be confident to get a pony of our own as I know so little about keeping a pony . How does a loan work ?

Its one of those times I wish I lived near my parents, as dad would have found him a pony share by now

skihorse Tue 06-Oct-09 10:12:05

That's really great dibbler he sounds like a little star! grin

Hopefully he's turning 4 soon - it does seem a shame (to me!) that everywhere's gone H&S mad - as a child of the 70s we were positively encouraged to get on with it asap and my mum used to pick me up out of puddles! wink Maybe I "didn't stand a chance" - but I really didn't care, you don't even comprehend such things at that age - you're just too busy having fun.

seeker Tue 06-Oct-09 10:18:00

I honestly don't think not having proper lessons til 4 is "H&S gone mad!"

No reason why he can't have lots of walkouts and get "saddle-hours" in - that's the most important thing for littles, anyway!

I would get him his own hat. Go to a tack shop and get it properly fitted. That'll make him feel like a proper rider! Gloves are a good idea too - they aren't expensive and make a huge difference.

CMOTdibbler Tue 06-Oct-09 10:20:30

He won't be 4 till May - so it's a long time before theres much of a choice.

I'll ring the place which does take littlies, and give them a try at the weekend. If all they offer is the 'tots taster' sessions that are on their website, he will not be impressed though smile

seeker Tue 06-Oct-09 10:23:31

Remember to ask about the insurance! Sorry to bang on, but it's important.

CMOTdibbler Tue 06-Oct-09 10:28:59

They def state that they specfically changed their insurance to take under 5's, but will ask them about it.

Is there anything else I should be looking for ?

Sorry for all the questions !

seeker Tue 06-Oct-09 10:49:12

Nice tidy yard. Cheerful staff and happy looking horses. It's a bit like choosing a nursery, really!

Make sure they've got some good LITTLE ponies for ds to ride - putting him on something too big means he won't be able to apply any aids and it sounds as if he really wants to ride properly, not just be led round.

It would be good if they've got somewhere to go on walk outs that isn't on roads.

Apart from that, if it feels OK it probably is!

skihorse Tue 06-Oct-09 10:50:14

seeker I'm sorry you feel so limited in your children's aspirations.

seeker Tue 06-Oct-09 10:51:06

Huh??????

kormaAAAARRRRGGHHchameleon Tue 06-Oct-09 10:52:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kormaAAAARRRRGGHHchameleon Tue 06-Oct-09 10:52:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

skihorse Tue 06-Oct-09 10:54:31

Wow! what an absolutely vile thing to say korma - are you mocking those of us who post on Mental Health? shock

kormaAAAARRRRGGHHchameleon Tue 06-Oct-09 11:00:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

skihorse Tue 06-Oct-09 11:22:30

I've reported your "pills" post, I shouldn't have to report your "deranged" one too. How unpleasant.

kormaAAAARRRRGGHHchameleon Tue 06-Oct-09 11:27:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MookySpinge Tue 06-Oct-09 11:58:37

Are we all mad then? Glad am not the only loon in the tack room, sorry to have missed a bit of excitement here though.

Dibbler's lad needs a pony of his own by the sound of it, maybe there'll be a part loan scheme at the riding school?

seeker Tue 06-Oct-09 12:04:12

I honestly don't think a pony of his own is the answer unless there's somewhere to keep it at home. Dibbler's not horsy, so won't be able to teach her ds, and if it's a part loan kept at a busy yard there won't be the opportunity to mess around with ponies the way you could it if was just outside your back door. Ideally there should be a pony in the paddock that little dibbler can play with and ride bareback and fall off into puddles - but it doesn't sound as if the set up she has would run to this.

I think, find a good yard, let him go every week or so, then formal lessons when he's 4.

Leeka Tue 06-Oct-09 12:04:42

I would very much consider regular lessons for a good while before thinking about a loan or pony of his own, unless you yourself know what you are doing with ponies. If you don't, you should try to do some learning along with him, as at that age you'll have to help him with everything and you won't have same support as at a riding school - and it'll be SO much more expensive.

Regular lessons at a place where they encourage them to do more than just ride, is great - helping with grooming, tack cleaning, feeding, etc is great if he can, and he'll enjoy being involved with the ponies.

kormaAAAARRRRGGHHchameleon Tue 06-Oct-09 12:05:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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