Families who have horses often like to teach their children to ride at a young age. It is a fun activity for the whole family, and it can lead to a lifelong love of horses. However, it is important to remember that children are not experienced, and thus, they will need some extra support. Read on to find out some tips on how to teach your children to ride horses.
Understand Physical Capabilities
Since children are much smaller, they will be unable to handle large, powerful horses. There are some breeds of horses that work better for children, such as the American Quarter Horse and Arabians. You can also look into pony breeds, such as Shetland Ponies and the Pony of the Americas. Using one of these horses is a good way to introduce horse riding without the difficulty that comes with some western-style breeds.
Additionally, you’ll have to keep in mind that some children will not be able to keep hold of reins well, and they may be a little hyperactive to use their legs effectively. It is beneficial to start out children with significant oversight.
Caution Against Panicking
When something goes wrong while riding, one of the worst things you can do is panic. Panicking will only further cause your horse distress, which could lead to a scary ride or an injury. Make sure your child understands how to stay calm in a difficult situation. If they have a tendency to react by panicking or letting emotions take over, it might be a good idea to wait until they are a little more mature before letting them ride.
Patience Is Essential
When starting out, children and adults alike want to be able to ride the trails like a seasoned equestrian. However, it is crucial to remember that children can take a little longer to get going than adults, so as the parent, you should make sure to remain patient and teach patience to your child.
Take Shorter Rides
Finally, keep in mind that children do not have unlimited stamina. As they become tired, they may get cranky and need a break. They may also need to eat more frequently, which shouldn’t be done while riding. Therefore, it is a good idea to take shorter rides, particularly with younger children. After all, a distracted or rambunctious child could end up injured.
There are many pieces of advice for parents who want to teach their child to ride horses. However, the biggest rule is: remember they are a child. If you plan lessons, activities, and rides around that fact, you will be successful.