Horseback riding can be a fun and exciting activity for kids. Before you and your child dive into the wonderful sport of horseback riding, there are a couple of things you should be aware of. The following tips will make horseback riding more fun, safe and enjoyable for children interested in horseback riding.
Age, size, and maturity should play a role in deciding whether a child is ready to begin horseback riding. Many instructors recommend children be at least six or seven years old before they ride a horse. You want to make sure at the minimum that a child is large enough to be seated on a horse or pony. Additionally, you want to ensure that they have the maturity to behave and follow directions from an instructor when they are riding.
Getting a child into horseback riding should be a slow and gradual process. Consider watching movies or reading books that involve horseback riding at first. Then you should teach your child to respect the horse and get them familiar with some horseback terminology. Suppose they still show interest in riding a horse. In that case, they will be more responsible and familiar with what horseback riding entails.
If your kid is starting out riding for the first time, it may be a good idea to have them ride a pony at first. Calm horse breeds like the American Quarter Horse are a breed that is considered to be a good fit for kids. Have a horse trainer choose a horse that can handle the inexperience and antics of a child.
Unless you are teaching your child how to ride a horse on your own, you will probably have to find a horse trainer that can teach your child the ins and outs of riding a horse. Make sure you check that the horse trainer is certified and qualified to teach. You should also check that the riding school or camp has safety protocols and that the horses are treated well. Ensuring that the trainer gets along with your child is another good idea.
Horseback riding comes with risks. To minimize any injury to your child, it is essential to have safety equipment such as helmets. You can usually rent a helmet from a camp or school. Another thing to consider is comfortable clothing that is appropriate for riding a horse. Riding boots, long socks, and gloves for gripping a stirrup are all good accessories to make horseback riding more fun and manageable.
The last step in introducing your child to horseback riding is to let your child lead the way. Don’t force them to ride a horse if they don’t want to. Let them lead the way and have them ride as frequently as they want. They will enjoy the experience that much more this way.