How to Get Kids Started on Horseback Riding

riding a horse

Horseback riding is a fantastic hobby, and sometimes, it even becomes a fruitful career. If you want your child to take up this challenging sport, here’s everything you need to know about how to get them started:

What are the benefits of horseback riding?

As a sport, horseback riding teaches children the value of responsibility, hard work, determination, and self-confidence. It is also a great way to keep your kids in good physical shape throughout their childhood and teenage years.

Who can ride a horse?

Horseback riding is an activity for everyone, regardless of age and experience. There are also horse farms that cater to children with disabilities.

What is an appropriate age to get my child started?

Children who are at a reasonable age (starting at 3-5 years old) can begin riding horses. For smaller children, tiny ponies can help introduce them to the sport safely. For older kids who are about 7 to 13, normal-sized ponies should be appropriate for their size. And for kids who are 14 and above, fully-sized horses can be suited for them, depending on their fitness level and amount of horseback riding experience.

What is the required equipment for horseback riding?

Here is a basic list of riding equipment that your child needs for their first horseback riding lessons:

  • High-quality saddle pads
  • Saddle girth or cinch
  • Helmet
  • Riding pants
  • Boots with heel
  • Gloves
  • Bridle and bit
  • Stirrups with leathers
  • Leg support
  • Lunge line

Is horseback riding safe?

riding a horse

Just like any other sport, horseback riding comes with its own risks. Riders can fall from the horse and get hurt. In worst cases, riders can agitate the horse and cause it to hurt them. That said, the maturity and behavior of the child should be considered when deciding if they are ready for horseback riding lessons.

Nevertheless, trainers will help beginners ride a horse in the safest possible way so they don’t get hurt.

What is the difference between English and Western riding?

There are two primary styles of riding a horse that a student can choose from; the English style and the Western style. Your child can choose to learn both, but they need to choose which one they want to start with.

  • Western riding. Also known as the cowboy style, Western riding involves a bigger saddle that is designed to help the rider stay comfortable for hours on top of the horse. The stirrups are also bigger, which can give beginner riders more stability.
  • English riding. This type of riding uses a smaller and lighter saddle, as well as fewer things to hold onto while riding. That said, English riding may be more suitable for those who have a certain level of fitness and balance.

How do I find a good trainer and facility?

Look for facilities in your area that cater to amateurs, particularly children. If you know other people who ride horses, try asking them for a recommendation.

Learning how to ride a horse is one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences that you can give your child. So, if you think it’s something that your child might be interested in, go ahead and find a local training facility today.

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