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Toddler safety

15 replies

limitedscreentime · 20/05/2018 19:40

Ok, I’m prepared to be shot down in flames but this is genuine....!

We have a (safe) pony coming home soon. It’s not ideal timing and the kids (3&1) are too small for him, but he would be ok as a lead rein. I wasn’t really planning on starting them riding but they are showing enthusiasm and have done the occasional bit of sitting on friends ponies.

So, the plan is to trial them on this pony and see how they/he get on before getting serious with it. I cannot envisage then going faster than walk for a very long time and the pony doesn’t trot very fast anyway.

We are lucky to have use of an inky dinky saddle but my question is over hats and body protectors. Their safety is obviously paramount but I’m wondering if they can use their cycle helmets rather than getting proper riding ones. I’m hoping a cycle helmet would be designed for a higher speed impact (they both go on the back of my bike and the elder uses his scooting and on his balance bike) and should be as safe as a riding helmet? Can you even get a riding helmet for children so small?

And also, would it be unreasonable to use a swim float vest in place of a body protector?

I think both of these are obviously better than nothing, but wondered if anyone actually knows about design/structure/safety of these things and can advise?!!

Many thanks

OP posts:
Gabilan · 21/05/2018 08:21

Do not use a cycle helmet. They're designed for a totally different job. They simply don't absorb enough impact energy to cope with a horse's hoof landing on a head. Cycle helmets are designed to absorb the impact of a fall at around 12 mph. There's considerable discussion about how much use they are in cycling collisions, let alone a riding one. Also there is some evidence of increasing concussion injuries with helmets so I really wouldn't start using the wrong one for the sport!

Something like this might suit the three year old. Really not sure about the younger child but if I were you I'd find a specialist fitter and take their advice.

As for the swim vest - pass. But in general my advice would be to do your best to stop the accidents before they happen rather than resort to protective equipment in case they do. So make sure footwear is appropriate so their feet don't get stuck in stirrups. For goodness sake get appropriate stirrups and leathers - do not stick small feet in the leather above the stirrup. Find the BHS advice on this and stick to it.

I'm not trying to shoot you down in flames and to be honest plenty of people would be more lax than I am (and others considerably more careful). I think it's lovely that they get the chance to ride when they're so little. But I think appropriate headgear is a must, plus some other sensible safety precautions.

limitedscreentime · 21/05/2018 09:24

Thank you - very sensible re the head gear and exactly the advice I was looking for.

T-bar leathers so don’t have loops and we’ve got safety stirrups plus quick release clips, I’m actually more safety conscious than this post probably makes me sound. But maybe I’m a bit tight and I guess I just don’t want to spend loads of money on something already have, but dressed up differently. Your post has answered that question re the helmet so thank you!

OP posts:
RatherBeRiding · 21/05/2018 10:58

I'd not be too fussed about a body protector whilst they are literally just walking - but a well fitting riding hat is an absolute must. Children's basic riding hats aren't that expensive. Also - footwear with a heel, i.e. proper boots and stirrup irons that are small enough.

Theresahairbrushinthefridge · 21/05/2018 17:21

Hats - maybe consider the adjustable ones. They grow so fast!

Size 0 fitted my toddlers. Also I think at that age they should get used to wearing hats whenever they are around horses.

Ariela · 21/05/2018 17:39

Do make sure that the riding helmet you get is light weight, neck injuries can be caused by a too heavy hat cuasing the head to hit the ground faster than it otherwise would..

Footwear, ensure you can fit a finger either side of the boot when in the stirrup, and that it has a heel to prevent it slipping through the stirrup.

Basic child safety on the ground: make sure you teach them to respect the pony, to not shout, run about, make sudden movements or startle the pony. Teach them not to stand behind the pony & why, how to feed it safely, not disturb it while it is eating, and to let go of the lead if the pony runs off (rather than get dragged). Etc.

rainbowdashflip · 21/05/2018 17:50

Can I just ask why you are getting a pony that your children are not ready for? Especially as you want to cut corners with their safety gear!

How can you compare a swim vest to a back protector Confused

Pasithea · 21/05/2018 18:14

Would the pony be happy just being a lead rein pony cos if not they will need far more than a bike hat and swim floats.

limitedscreentime · 21/05/2018 18:32

The pony is an old one of mine who has been out on loan and is returning. He’s pretty elderly but can still do a job. He’s fine as a lead rein and as a second pony - less so the second pony now due to his age hence not wanting to loan him out again.

I’m aware of boot/stirrup things - anything that would be applicable to an adult really. My issue is around the design of a helmet for cycling vs riding (helpfully explained above, thank you again) and the same for a swim float vest vs a back protector. I’m not trying to cut corners, just trying not buy the same thing twice!! As far as I can see from child body protectors we have used in the past, they are just dense foam - and very similar to the swim vest which is why I am asking if anyone actually knows anything about the design of each and how they differ, as I appreciate appearances can be deceiving.

And before it gets mentioned, I won’t buy second hand either Smile

OP posts:
Fucksgiven · 23/05/2018 22:30

I'd just make sure you hold them on (side walker holding leg) then they won't fall off

Ploppymoodypants · 23/05/2018 22:36

Yep what fuckgiven says. DD rode from 18 months in a cub saddle, In a cycle helmet on a lead rein and always, always with a side walker. When she was 2 (just) I got a 000 lightweight hat from Charles and Owen. And a Rodney Powell back protector. Smallest sizes. But she always had a side walker. Pony was 100% but he did shake once and the side walker just picked her off. (Pony about 10hh). Planning on doing the same with next child. Progressed to no side walker at just before 3. But could confidently trot (bouncing not rising) by then.

crackerjake · 23/05/2018 22:40

I got my kids hats from decathlon which I felt was ok for lead rein stuff. Cheap too.

They didn't wear body protectors for that level of 'riding'.

Booboostwo · 23/05/2018 23:13

Just to add, in my experience cage stirrups are essential as young, unbalanced riders tend to push their foot too far into the stirrup and risk getting their foot trapped in a fall.

CountryCob · 27/05/2018 14:17

I am very keen on cafe stirrups mine are great and we have spur straps instead of stirrup leathers as need to be so short, a balance strap on the front too unless saddle already has one, my little girls has been riding about once a fortnight like this since she was under 2, only walking on hacks but she can trot in school. Pony a saint but we have had a shake incident too where I caught dd thankfully so I always watch out for a shake or roll coming. We are in a cycle helmet the tack shop said be careful before 3 with a hat as the skull soft and wearing a hard hat can impact on this, got a tiny body protector but never wear it as back too long and was pushing hat over eyes!! Main thing I am grateful for is really good stirrups they really help my little girl ride, hope you have fun xx

CountryCob · 27/05/2018 14:17

That is cage not cafe!!

limitedscreentime · 27/05/2018 17:10

Thanks everyone.

I spoke to mark Davies injured riders who were great - said they used to recommend a cycle helmet over a riding one but now there are good lightweight riding helmets available. Helmets should still have passed PAS105 (our cycle helmets certainly haven’t!!). Apparently champion do a child helmet which confers and air o wear do body protectors in made to measure if xxs too big!!

I’ve decided no stirrups for now. They don’t use them and seem to only add further hazard!!

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