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help in getting dd into riding when I have no clue!

9 replies

Ifancyanewname · 12/03/2012 13:36

I have a dd who is coming up 3 and would love for her to get into horses, she loves them and enjoys being outside and I think it would be a good hobby for her to get into. Unfortunately I dont have a clue about horses and how it all works, can anyone offer some advice? I see that some people share ponys, how does it work?!

OP posts:
SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 12/03/2012 21:33

Where are you?
She's a bit young for a riding school, the youngest they take is usually fourish, but you could find someone local with a small pony who would let you have a wee ride now and again. Tbh at that age, ten minutes brushing and twenty minutes being led around is plenty.
I'd advertise in local tack shops for someone to let her ride. You could offer to pay if necessary, we used to do £5 per visit.
This would be a very good way of gaining husbandry experience, with a view to having her own pony in years to come.

Booboostoo · 12/03/2012 21:53

Riding is a risk sport and I think you need to be a bit careful. The best way to learn to ride is on a suitable pony, in a safe environment, under the instruction of a qualified instructor. The BHS runs a riding school approval scheme (as do some other organisations) that gives you some guarrantee that approved establishments will be up to a decent standard.

Any good RS should talk to you first about safety. Your DD will need a hard hat (RS usually have some you can borrow but it's well worth investing in one if she decides to continue with the hobby), boots with smooth soles (that will easily come free of stirrups if she were to fall) and ideally a body protector. Your DD should have a helper leading her pony and possibly also another helper walking along side her at least for the first time. The pony should be healthy and have a really calm temperament.

At 3 she is quite young to start riding - many people do start their kids at so young it's by no means uncommon, but in my opinion children get a lot more out of it when they are 6/7 and they start being able to follow instructions.

In time you can look for someone local who needs a share, but to be honest you need to know enough to assess the suitability of the share pony for your DD and to help her out with handling and riding. At this stage you are much better off at a professional riding school.

It is advisable for anyone who rides to take out rider's insurance although I have no idea if this is available for children that young.

Butkin · 13/03/2012 11:05

OP I agree with Booboos overall common sense reply. However, as she states, you could start gently now. Our DD started when she was 2 and by 3 she was already going to gymkhanas and little shows on her pony.

She is probably too young for lessons at BHS riding schools (due to their insurance policy) but if you go to your local one they will give you good advice and may know of people who could let you ride their ponies occasionally.

See if you can find anybody (friends at nursery etc) that has an experience and quiet pony. I definitely agree that your DD should wear a hat and body protector - maybe borrow if they fit right.

Also use either a tiger cub saddle (which has a handle) or make sure you can put a strap handle across the front of the saddle for her to hold on to as this will be much better than balancing using the reins when she first starts.

BlueChampagne · 13/03/2012 11:29

Start saving now in case she gets into it big time!

Mirage · 13/03/2012 13:59

Slippery slope -[looks ruefully at bank balance]

Most riding schools won't take them under the age of 4,so as others have suggested,a friend with a kindly pony or a share would be your best bet.Have fun!

Ifancyanewname · 13/03/2012 15:06

thank you all so much for the advice, there's some great info here. I think I shall put something on facebook to see if anyone out there knows someone who can help.

OP posts:
homebaked · 18/03/2012 16:23

have you seen a new DVD for little ones called Saturday Stables? It is charming and gives a realistic idea of what it is like to spend a day at a riding stables - looking after ponies, going for a ride etc. My children love it..

rogersmellyonthetelly · 20/03/2012 22:47

Best advice I can give you is don't! Horses and financial solvency are mutually exclusive. Riding lessons are criminally expensive. Wait until she is old enough to ask and if she doesn't don't bother. Sorry that's rather harsh, but horses are dangerous, expensive and quickly become all consuming. And this is from someone who loves horses. I sometimes wish I didn't, my life would be easier, warmer, drier and less fragrant. Oh, and I'd have a lot more money too!

Mirage · 21/03/2012 21:34

Grin at Roger.

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