Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your horse, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

Teaching a 3yo to ride
10

LaPufalina · 20/07/2020 23:57

I'm pretty horsey from a totally non-horsey family, I have a loan horse and had my own pony as a teenager (so had to be pretty self-sufficient but some of my owner knowledge is out of date).
My three year old is obsessed with the horses and is lucky enough to be allowed to hack out weekly on the lead rein on an ancient (but still very forward going) welsh section d mare. She is too forward and too big for DD to learn to ride off the lead rein and I was planning to get her own pony next year when she turns 5 (and our nursery bills for other DD drop!)
My oldest friend has just offered me her daughter's first pony for free or on permanent loan. He's 12hh and genuinely perfect for her (and my other daughter if she wants to ride too) so it's probably happening sooner than I planned. Only thing is I'm not the best teacher, would she be ok with me covering the basics and then learning as she goes or would I need to pay for lessons too, do you think?

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Pleasedontdothat · 21/07/2020 09:23

Dd teaches small children to ride - for the majority at that age, all they’re really doing is sitting on the pony while dd keeps control of it and listens to them chatting away about unicorns or dinosaurs etc. Occasionally she’ll get a 3 or 4 year old who’s able to follow instructions and genuinely makes progress during a lesson but not many. I’d have thought that initially she’d be fine with you but as soon as she starts needing to do anything herself then lessons with an instructor would be essential. Children will generally take far more notice of someone who’s not their parent ....

Please
or
to access all these features

TryAnotherNickname · 21/07/2020 09:29

At 3/4 it’s more about just sitting and getting used to the movement and being upright etc while holding the pommel. They don’t have particularly strong stomach muscles or great coordination at that point. Is that going to be enough for the pony? Some ponies who have been very active would start to misbehave if they’re suddenly reduced to that level of activity

Please
or
to access all these features

LaPufalina · 21/07/2020 09:52

Thanks both. That's good that I can start her off. Is there a limit to how much she can ride, given her age? I was thinking three times a week for about half an hour.
The pony is a 20yo LR/FR and is very placid, she's my oldest friend so trust her judgement! And she's said the pony can come on loan for as long as we like and then retire back with her so that's reassuring.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

cuntryclub · 21/07/2020 10:04

I sent mine to the local riding school when they were 4. I know enough to ride myself and to manage and care for the horses, but I couldn't confidently teach. Once they had the basics I started having an instructor out to the stables.

Please
or
to access all these features

maxelly · 21/07/2020 11:59

I'd keep her on the lead rein for now until she gets the basics - holding and shortening the reins, stopping, steering, using her legs and rising to the trot. I would have thought you could teach her that much yourself and then send her to a riding school once she's ready to start off the lead rein. But as others have said unless you have a unusually attentive 3yo it will probably be a few years until she gets to that point which is fine, so long as she is enjoying herself pottering about that's the most important thing. Plenty of time for her to learn properly later so I wouldn't stress yourself or her out about 'teaching', it should just be all about fun. Most riding schools won't take them under the age of 4 or 5 for insurance purposes anyway (or if they will it's for 'tiny tots' rides where they are just led about whilst holding on which is what you'd be doing at home anyway).

How long/how much riding, you know your child best and will be able to tell when she's getting tired/had enough, but 20-30 mins a few times a week sounds plenty to me...

Please
or
to access all these features

LaPufalina · 21/07/2020 12:47

Thanks all.
I've agreed with my DH and friend that it'll be springtime when we take him so she'll be 4.4 by then. Very excited! And then hopefully DD2 will learn on him too so a good five years of being adored by the kids before his retirement.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Newuser82 · 23/07/2020 21:40

My son started riding our old pony on the lead rein very young (I think around 2). He wasn’t bothered about learning what to do properly until 6, he now has his own pony aged 8 (him, not the pony) and there is no stopping him. He learned how to steer, start, stop and trot with me before starting lessons.

Please
or
to access all these features

LaPufalina · 24/07/2020 06:47

Thanks newuser, how old was he when he came off the lead rein?

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Newuser82 · 24/07/2020 07:27

So he was six, it happened pretty quickly once he decided he wanted to learn properly. Before then he had just pottered round on the old pony dressed as a cowboy 😂. We never pushed him and still don’t and he rides most days because he likes it. Good luck with the pony

Please
or
to access all these features

LaPufalina · 24/07/2020 10:16

Thanks! I'm more excited than her so need to rein it in a bit (pun intended Grin)

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.