Telling your storiesfrom the stables to the fields

Hay Bale
03 July,2018

Introduce Your Children To Horse Riding This Summer

With the summer holidays on the horizon, the weeks seem long ahead in entertaining children and finding them interesting and fun things to keep them amused.

Why not introduce your children to the wonderful world of horses this summer?  Horse riding has many health benefits including physical exercise but also gives children an insight into life outdoors and being around ponies by riding them or simply looking after them. This can give inherent qualities in children and give them a lifelong love of the outdoors and being around animals making them confident, responsible and generally happy young people!

How old should my child be to start riding?

There is no written rule on how old a child should be to start riding but a rough guideline would be from around the age of six. However, some children who are lucky enough to grow up with horses are in the saddle before they can walk! If your child has not had contact with ponies before, it is probably best to leave it to later on when they have the physical maturity to enjoy riding lessons. This will hopefully lead to many years of horsemanship.

How to find the right riding school

Finding the right riding school with professional instructors is key to making sure your child has the safest and correct introduction to riding ponies. Word of mouth is a great way of finding a good riding school where parents can give you an honest opinion of an instructor and how the school operates. You can also contact the British Horse Society who has a list of approved schools where these have been checked for the highest standards of equine welfare and health and safety in teaching children and adults to ride.

Many riding schools will have a minimum age of six to start riding lessons and will usually teach in small groups to start with. This will be probably the cheaper and better option in starting out with the first few riding lessons. Once you know your child has really harnessed the horse riding interest, then it will probably pay to move on to individual lessons.

Do I need to use an approved riding school?

You may know someone that has horses and ponies, where you are able to go with your children and enjoy more freedom in riding.  There are advantages and disadvantages to not using a riding school and the health and safety stance in this modern age would recommend you to use an approved riding school to start riding lessons. This may be the best route to start initially teaching the ground rules and basics of being around horses. This will also give your child confidence and correct understanding of how to be safe at all times around horses and ponies. Time may be limited at a riding school, so to spend time with ponies on a farm with friends is also a great way to learn more about the equestrian world. This will give your child a thorough insight into life with horses but you will have to be aware that accidents can happen with potential falls, bites, kicks together with incidents within a stable environment. However, this could also happen at professional school, so you need to make the decision what is best for your child overall and be aware of the risks.

By introducing your child to the love of horses and ponies secures the next generation of horse riders keeping equestrian sport alive which is much needed! You never know perhaps you have another William Fox Pitt in your family or a young Charlotte Dujardin in the dressage arena. Whether it is competing at an Olympic level, taking part in local shows or simply enjoying a canter around our countryside, the love of riding horses and ponies will certainly become a lifelong passion.

Written by Samantha Hobden

Image credits: Big thanks to Beth and Charlie with their super ponies being photo models for this post!

Advisory post only


4 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    I certainly hope it will! I’d love my daughters to ride out alongside me and my husband!

  2. Haynet Admin says:

    They will I am sure! Mind you I tried to instill the equestrian bug with my two sons when they were younger but sadly football and cricket won!

  3. I think horses are stunning majestic creatures. Unfortunately they can smell fear, fear born of being tossed twice as a child.
    I always admire horse riders who love and respect their horses.

  4. Shane says:

    My family has always been heavily involved with horses for generations and it does seem that either they are born with the bug or not.

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About Haynet

Haynet is a leading equestrian and countryside blogging directory, telling your stories from the stables to the fields. If you love living in the countryside, riding your horse, farming the fields or walking your dogs through the woods – then you will feel right at home here!

Haynet is also the host of the Country Style and Equestrian Blogger of the Year Award celebrating top class bloggers within the industry. We also promote the hashtag #HorseBloggers with a dedicated Twitter channel to share equestrian related content, engaging with the rural blogging community. Together with a #HorseBloggers Meet Up Group on Facebook encouraging this blogging community, our aim is to raise the profile of equestrian blogging. Working also with equestrian and rural companies, Haynet brings you all the views, news and latest products that you will find of interest.

So grab a cuppa, kick off your wellies and enjoy reading from the countryside!

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