Those with children are usually eager to share their passion of horses with them. If you’re the parent of a young child, you might be wondering how young is too young to get them in the saddle. Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer. All children develop at different paces and must be treated accordingly. Ask yourself these questions to determine if they are saddle ready!
- Do they show interest? Some as young as three years old may show interest in being around horses, getting up in the saddle, or being led around. By encouraging this interest at a young age, you can show them how much fun horses can be.
- Can they follow directions? Horseback riding can be dangerous if a rider isn’t careful. They must be able to follow the instructions of you or the instructor. Screaming, running, and jumping should be discouraged around the horses.
- Are they strong enough to hold the reins? They need to be able to sit in the saddle and hold the reins in their hands. They should have enough physical strength to maintain the correct riding position.
- Are you willing to make the commitment? Riding takes a lot of both time and money. You must ask yourself if you’re willing to drive them to the barn and dish out the funds necessary for the right equipment and instruction.
- Can you find a teacher? Not all instructors will teach children under a certain age. Some may request you come back when the child is older.
- Do you have the right horse or pony? You’ll want their first riding experience to be positive. That begins with finding a quiet, well-mannered horse or pony. He should be able to handle the mistakes of a beginner and be completely trustworthy.
When started at a young age, your child can develop a strong passion for an exciting sport. They will create lasting friendships with other children and their horses. This sport can be the perfect hobby for your child if they are introduced at the correct age.