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Do I start 3yo DD Riding Lessons
honeysmummy1 · 15/06/2013 17:15
We don't have our own horses but I have always been horsey from a young age, starting riding at ten years old and have had a career in the horse industry sinse leaving school (apart from the odd shop job) and I so want to share my passion and joy with DD.
She is three but little and I'm not sure how much she will be able to learn at this age on a horse or if I will risk scaring her at such a young age.
What age did your children start having lessons and how did they find it?
PestoSwimissimos · 15/06/2013 17:33
I think you'll find that riding schools won't be able to take her anyway as they can't get insurance for under 5's.
fishoutofchlorinatedwater · 15/06/2013 18:47
I thinks she's too young. Fine to take her on a few pony treks, and you may find a trekking centre that will be happy to take tots, but I would hold off in proper lessons until she's 5, or even 6. My own DS is almost 5 and has had a pony for a year, but only hacks out on the lead rein and has the odd 'play' in the school, I've not really tried to teach him properly, and won't be getting in an outside instructor for a while. If you google "equestrian LTAD" / BHS LTAD or similar (Long Term Athletic Development) this gives quite useful info about when to start riding, when to specialise etc. It suggests starting young and specialising late, but IIRC "young" is around 6 in its view.
fishoutofchlorinatedwater · 15/06/2013 19:07
LTAD Sorry, I think I phrased that reply too negatively! What I mean is, by all means start to foster a love of horses, which may include a bit of pony trekking, but hold off on the formal lessons for a while - at 3 she will not have the strength or coordination to "ride" effectively (e.g. she will not be able to pull her ponies head up if he snatches the reins: children are only sufficiently developed to deal with that aged around 6), and if you push her to actually ride (i.e, not just enjoy hacking) you risk putting her off.
honeysmummy1 · 15/06/2013 19:21
Thankyou for the advice. I think I will wait a while. It mite be nice to take her down to the stables and help brush the shetland ponies and take her a little walk on them, take her to the highland show to watch all the horses and ponies jumping. I suppose a real love of horses starts from the ground not on their backs.
Butkin · 15/06/2013 19:36
I think that is a good idea - get her used to being around horses, grooming them etc is a good place to start. If you can get her some rides on ponies (we always recommend Welsh Section As as first ponies) then I'm sure she'll have a nice time. Make sure she has a proper helmet and preferably a body protector.
We started DD at 2 and certainly by 3 she was getting the hang of riding. She did her first little shows on the lead rein at 3.6.
We know lots of children that start riding at 5 - when most riding schools start to take them - and I'd say they can certainly ride well by then (we've known some particularly good children to even ride in First Ridden classes off the lead rein) at 5 although we kept DD on the lead until she was 6.
fishoutofchlorinatedwater · 15/06/2013 19:47
Even take her along to local shows to watch too, you can just pop along for an hour and it is nowhere near as expensive as a day at the Highland. Not sure where you are based, but the Border Union show in Kelso is always good too, and although big and busy, nowhere near as big and busy as the Highland.
Just re-reading my previous posts, sorry for all typos and grammatical errors - m'nettjng while getting kids bathed and to bed!
CMOTDibbler · 15/06/2013 19:49
My ds started riding regularly at 3 - the stables we went to then offered tots tasters of 15 minutes where they did walk and trot on the lead rein with a walker by. He hadn't stopped going on about horses since he first clapped eyes on one.
He's just turned 7, and has his own pony (who is a feisty section A), and loves riding. Today he had decided to do stunt riding, so was flinging himself on and off in the arena. Having lots of fun is the important thing!
burberryqueen · 15/06/2013 19:57
I was the same in having experience in the industry and wanting to share it with dd, but apart from a lovely donkey ride in Greece when she was nearly 4 she did not start til she was 11 (no opportunity) and is coming on really well, and is doing her first little one day event next weekend! so exciting! i am going to be groom!
but there are some tinies at her yard with a pro and pushy mum and they seem to hate it....ditto some other girls I know with a pony club mum...
not sure what i am saying here except perhaps not to push it too young
honeysmummy1 · 16/06/2013 21:44
I took her along to a livery yard today that sells tack as I needed some new bits and bobs for work and she loved the horses there. She was just patting them over the stable door and seemed to enjoy it.
Local shows are a good idea, and pony trecks. I don't want to be a pushy mum, I've seen a few who make their tots ride everyday! At DD's swimming lessons the instuctor made the lesson a fun day as it was the last session before moving up a group and had all sorts of fun stuff out in the pool, balls and funny shaped floats etc. This one dad had a noodle around his son and was making him kick his legs as if we were having a normal lesson. I mean come on, let kids be kids and have fun!
Good luck burberryqueen that sounds fantastic, you must let us know how your dd gets on
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