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Piatt Farms
Nov. 2, 2009, 11:57 PM
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, so feel free to correct me if I should have posted elsewhere....

At what age did you start riding?
My daughter, who is 2 1/2 LOVES to ride. LOVES it.... like if she could she would rather ride then eat, play or take a bubble bath. Every horse parents dream right? Except I didn't start riding until I was older so I'm not sure what I should be encouraging her to do at this age.
I have an older paint mare who is wide as she is tall (another story) that I toss her up on and let her ride bare back while I lead to help her develop balance and self confidence. Occassionally I will tack our mare up and actually let her ride double with our niece who is 13 but I'm quickly realizing that she is going to need to progress and I'm not sure what the next step is for a little person.
When did you start riding and in what discipline? Any direction and experiences you can share, your own as a former child or as a parent, would be appreciated!

CowGirlSoap
Nov. 3, 2009, 12:24 AM
I started riding regularly in 3rd grade when my grandparents and mom got me my first horse. My mom had "it" and said I was born loving horses. I don't remember not loving horses... pony rides, etc. Not sure when I first rode.

My first 2 kids like horses, but don't have "it" like my mom and I. The youngest just turned 3 and definately DOES. He wakes up before the sun and is ready to ride... ready to scoop poop, move hay, sweep the barn isle- anything horse. He's devistated every time I go to ride without him. Devistated.

I started letting him ride as soon as he fit a helmet, with me walking next to him, holding his arm and my old appy walking (barely). Now we've progressed to him sitting in the saddle in front of me... He LOVES it. We've only done this in the arena, only with helmets on and only on my old appy. This horse is one of those super carefull with each foot step type of old guys... I wouldn't have tried it on any other of my horses.

I think by the time he's 4 I could count on him to actually hold on if he had to and I think I'll be o.k. with him on a steady lesson horse at at that time. And I think this way is good for him to improve his balance until then. Probably not before he's about 4 since I don't trust his self preservation enough to hang on... right now he's all giddy'up and yee-haw!

Beverley
Nov. 3, 2009, 12:32 AM
I first sat on the pony led 'round the neighborhood for pics at age 3, I think- starting riding the rental horses at 5, walk trot canter (back in the day nobody fussed over what a kid 'should' be able to do, you just did what you felt you could do). My older son rode a bit til about age 7 or 8 but preferred flying planes with his Dad- younger son started foxhunting w/me at age 4 and pretty much rode to hunt.

Bank of Dad
Nov. 3, 2009, 08:13 AM
I started on rentals at 5 also. My 95 yr old Dad is still waiting for me to outgrow them. My boys were put on horses as soon as they could sit up and I could hold them in the saddle. They rode double with us until around age 7, then got ponies. Neither really "loved" it. They both stopped at age 12 when they could stay home alone. My oldest might of continued if he could have done show jumping or steeplechase riding, or something really scarey. Trail riding was way too tame.

I have my fingers crossed for a horse crazy granddaughter some day.

jeano
Nov. 3, 2009, 09:07 AM
Which time? I was horsecrazy from the time I could talk.

I was probably 9 or 10 the first time I got on a "real"horse and was turned loose, completely unsupervised, on a gigantic quarter horse that ran away with me to join its buddies. I fell off at a dead run.

As a teenager I rode half-wild pony sized nags bareback.

Took horseback riding in college. Think trail riding with bad horses and worse instruction. I got to ride the big mean horse that every one was scared of (me too).

At age 37 or thereabouts I actually took real riding lessons on really nice horses. Got my first horse age 39. Had to sell out after a divorce just a couple years later.

Back in horses now since 2006--I will be 56 in a few weeks. I am hoping to not have to quit again until the undertaker comes for me.

ponygrl25
Nov. 3, 2009, 09:39 AM
:winkgrin:We have pics of me sitting in front of my Dad on his big roping horse at 2 weeks old. When I was big enough to sit up and hold on, they let me ride in circles in the yard until I fell asleep . If that big old horse felt me move, he would stop and whicker for someone to come get me. I never fell off of him. That was before we moved to va. when I was 3. By age 5, I had my own bratty pony that I rode bareback with hay string for reins. He taught me to jump over a little dry creek in his paddock. That about scared my Mom to death!

I still have the best pony on earth. I got her when I was 10, she hadn't really been trained much, but she had foundered on all four feet. She was broke by me sitting on her in her ''mud'' stall and in her dry lot later when she sound. I am now 27 and she is 28, we still get out and burn up the trails. She still acts like a 3 year old once in a while, at age 26 she won reserve champion barrel pony at our county fair. She tells me what she wants to do and we take it easy now when she lets me.

I have ridden sooo many amazing horses and have high hopes for my new 3 year old. He let me ride him bareback in a halter the other day. Listened as well as if he was fully tacked in the ring.:D

Ozalynda
Nov. 3, 2009, 09:58 AM
Here (http://www.heste-nettet.dk/lodge/billede/163540/full/?1) is me sítting in front of a cowboy on our farm in Northern California where we raised thoroughbreds. I was riding double behind my grandmother from probably age 3 or so. Got the bratty pony as a christmas present when I was 5 (sounding familiar?!).

Went on to riding the exercise ponies and then when I was 10 my father bought a 3 year old appendix quarter gelding who had broken his owner's back rearing over backwards. Gotta wonder in hindsight what he was thinking, but we went on to have a great relationship and I could jump courses with him with no saddle or bridle, just a stiff wire around his neck.

Never had a proper lesson until some years later but sitting on a horse was a natural as breathing air. I always knew how lucky I was to be in a horse family when all my horse crazy friends at school could only draw pictures and dream of horses.

PRS
Nov. 3, 2009, 10:15 AM
I would have been just like your daughter if I'd had access to a pony. My mom said I came out of the womb horse crazy. My parents simply didn't know what to do with me since they weren't horse people. My baby brother had to spend a lot of time at the local county hospital that had a play area on the patio that had a life sized fiberglass horse!!! I spent lots of time "riding" that horse so I didn't mind spending all that time at the hospital. I watched every TV show that had horses, I was glued to the car window on road trips on the off chance I might actually see a living breathing horse. I had my first actual ride on a pony when I was 4 or 5 but didn't really get to ride regularly until I was 10 or 11. I was almost in heaven then. Finally, Finally I got my own horses when I was 32 years old. What a miracle that was for me!

Even though I'm now 49 years old I remember that longing and heartbreak of not being able to be WHO I was even at the young age of 3 or 4 years old. I'd say from a parents point of view you should be concentrating on safety first. Get her a helmet and demand she wear it any time she is near the horse. Find her a nice, calm pony or horse that she can take rides on. I wouldn't be turning her loose on her own yet though. You just never know. Fill her room with pictures and breyer models of horses...this helped me when I couldn't be with them.

rmh_rider
Nov. 3, 2009, 07:29 PM
11 or 12 years old.

I am 47 now.

Got my first horse at about 20 years old, had horses ever since, except for 1 year.

I have ridden a little bit western, ALOT bareback, and the rest english. I have ridden bareback more than I have ridden western, and then all the rest is english - which I got my first english saddle at age 25.

CowGirlSoap
Nov. 4, 2009, 01:29 AM
Oh my... I was reading through the other posts and totally remembered something that I had long since forgotten. When I was little and riding in the car I would watch out my window- ALWAYS imagining myself riding on a horse that was keeping pace with the car. Jumping everything, counting strides. I never did learn to jump for real... totally forgot about that until now. LOL

tabula rashah
Nov. 4, 2009, 10:07 AM
I started for real riding when I was 8, but I think the first time I was on a horse was when I was 5.
Honestly, as long as you feel whatever you are doing is safe for her- then go for it:) I would have been in heaven as a child if I had had horsey parents :)

Zu Zu
Nov. 4, 2009, 11:38 AM
In the womb ! First show at three - lead line class --Lexington -first horse at five ~ Skipper !

Piatt Farms
Nov. 4, 2009, 11:52 AM
First show at three - lead line class
Zu Zu, what is a lead line class? I'd LOVE to be able to show with Katlyn! (Confession...I've never shown other than doing the ISR inspections, my husband has an irrational fear of me falling off and leaving him abandoned with 2 girls and a bunch of horses)

PRS
Nov. 4, 2009, 12:32 PM
Oh my... I was reading through the other posts and totally remembered something that I had long since forgotten. When I was little and riding in the car I would watch out my window- ALWAYS imagining myself riding on a horse that was keeping pace with the car. Jumping everything, counting strides. I never did learn to jump for real... totally forgot about that until now. LOL


ME TOO!!!! I'm 49 years old and I STILL catch myself doing it sometimes!

pnalley
Nov. 4, 2009, 03:24 PM
Piatt,
Lead line class is when the child is dressed in proper riding attire for the disipline. With a person leading the horse (also dressed in proper riding attire). I started a bunch of kids in leadline. I let the child actuall steer & control the horse, I was just basically an emergency brake.

First sat on a horse at 3, started riding at 6. Been riding for the last 42 years.

Zu Zu
Nov. 4, 2009, 03:31 PM
Piatt,
Lead line class is when the child is dressed in proper riding attire for the disipline. With a person leading the horse (also dressed in proper riding attire). I started a bunch of kids in leadline. I let the child actuall steer & control the horse, I was just basically an emergency brake.

First sat on a horse at 3, started riding at 6. Been riding for the last 42 years.
Thanks for explaining ~ lead lines classes to Piatt for me ~ I was out " horsing around" as usual !

ReSomething
Nov. 4, 2009, 03:49 PM
I would have been just like your daughter if I'd had access to a pony. My mom said I came out of the womb horse crazy. My parents simply didn't know what to do with me since they weren't horse people. My baby brother had to spend a lot of time at the local county hospital that had a play area on the patio that had a life sized fiberglass horse!!! I spent lots of time "riding" that horse so I didn't mind spending all that time at the hospital. I watched every TV show that had horses, I was glued to the car window on road trips on the off chance I might actually see a living breathing horse. I had my first actual ride on a pony when I was 4 or 5 but didn't really get to ride regularly until I was 10 or 11. I was almost in heaven then. Finally, Finally I got my own horses when I was 32 years old. What a miracle that was for me!

Even though I'm now 49 years old I remember that longing and heartbreak of not being able to be WHO I was even at the young age of 3 or 4 years old. I'd say from a parents point of view you should be concentrating on safety first. Get her a helmet and demand she wear it any time she is near the horse. Find her a nice, calm pony or horse that she can take rides on. I wouldn't be turning her loose on her own yet though. You just never know. Fill her room with pictures and breyer models of horses...this helped me when I couldn't be with them.
I'm like this, only the "horse" took 25 cents and sat in front of the JC Penney. Did have cousins with horses, who lived far away, and a mother with a little of the horsey bug so got my own at aged 13. Had been riding rental horses, leased a pony for trail riding fun and begged rides off the neighbor kids. Going to ditto the advice too, helmet and good shoes always and give an old guy a good job being a sofa. Start really teaching when and if they can pay attention.

shalomypony
Nov. 9, 2009, 06:23 AM
I was 4 1/2 and am now 47.

hellerkm
Nov. 9, 2009, 09:45 AM
DD is 6 she started around 2 1/2 really started learning when she was 4 she can now walk trot canter and pop over crossrails. My parents own a horse farm so I have ridden forever and now my girls do too.
Dd started off with pony rides on our lesson pony with a good helmet and paddock boots ( I have a few pair of small ones if you want to contact me I can let you know where to find the itty bitty ones) Our pony is awesome at lunge line lessons so she rode her until this summer when we found her a nice made pony that is currently trucking her around the ring and teaching her to really ride ( pony does have a few tricks up her sleeve LOL) Start her now its never too early just be safe and let her lead the way if she does not want to ride one day don't push it! My DD would rather ride than breath so I know how you feel!!!!

katarine
Nov. 9, 2009, 11:54 AM
Ever since forever I wanted a horse. Not a pony, a HORSE. When presented with a dude-string riding opportunity at age 6 on a family vacation, I dissolved into terrified tears LOL much to my parent's bemused dismay (read shock and awe). At 9 I was in a summer lesson program learning to post and at 10 got my first horse. We couldn't catch her and when we could, I couldn't stop her. LOL Ah, horses.

Anywho get that daughter of yours a saintly old pony gelding and have at it. enjoy :)

RougeEmpire
Nov. 9, 2009, 12:15 PM
I was born into it, had my first "own" horse (pony) at 3 years old.

Trakehner
Nov. 9, 2009, 08:27 PM
Let's see, I was -6 months old when mom rode when preggers with me. Pony rides when I was 18 months old and got my first pony (Boom Boom) when I was 4.

This was pretty typical in our neighborhood...a very horsey area .

Ozalynda
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:22 AM
Anywho get that daughter of yours a saintly old pony gelding and have at it. enjoy :)

I second that. Forget everything about pedigrees, looks, even age, and remember that temperament and rideability is all that matters.

I wish I could roll back time and NOT buy that gorgeous unbroken 4 year old welsh section B pony for my son. The one with the great pedigree. I should have bought a steady old mongrel pony with the temperament of an angel instead.

My son is now 15 and will still help with feeding, likes standing and talking to and scratching the horses, but WILL NOT ride. Stupid me.

matryoshka
Nov. 10, 2009, 04:03 PM
Agree. Solid, sweet pony or small horse. I've had horses who loved beginners, and ones who hated them. Temperament is everything. Patience in a horse is a wonderful trait, especially since kids move in ways that horses don't expect.

I started riding at age 11 when we moved from Philadelphia to the country. Started out in lessons, then parents were given horses. My first pony was dishonest and caused quite a bit of grief. I learned to ride really well on her, but also learned how to work through fear issues (she would bolt given any excuse and wasn't satisfied until I went off, so sometimes there were bucks thrown in for good measure). It would have been better to learn how to face fear at a later date. ;) The love of horses kept me going. I'd never let my kids have a pony like the one I had.

I just had my kids' saintly pony put down this morning. Cancer was killing her slowly, and I didn't want her facing winter with cancer sucking so much energy out of her. She was solid, patient, and not prone to bucking or running off. She also had a few tricks up her sleeve for getting out of work (like ducking her head, turning, and heading back to the gate). None of that was dangerous, and the kids learned to ride rather than be carried around. She was a fabulous first pony, and I wish she could have lived for 10 more years, even though the kids had already outgrown her.

Petstorejunkie
Nov. 10, 2009, 08:42 PM
I was in my first horse show at 16 months...no clue when I technically started riding.. zygote?

Painted Horse
Nov. 10, 2009, 11:13 PM
I don't know how old I was when I started riding, but I have a scar on my cheek, that I got as a 6 year old. I was a horse up deer hunting, My dad fired his rifle and the horse bolted. I was too small to control the horse and as he ran, he went under a low hanging branch, I wasn't alert enough to duck.

That was 51 years ago, I rode frequently through Jr High, but moved on to objects with engines when I got into high school. Later in life I came back around to horses.

broughton_sporthorses
Nov. 11, 2009, 01:54 AM
Hmmm I got my first pony (Fernando, the grey Welsh pony) when I was 4 or 5. I rode for probably a year or so, but he was so naughty it put me off a bit, and I had non horsey parents (well, Mum loves horses and rode a bit back in the day, but not much). Did lots of other sport (swimming, hockey etc.) til I was 11, then I decided to get back on Fernando. Turns out he wasn't so naughty when I was a bit older and stronger, and I started to love riding again.

I kind of wish I hadn't had that break, as he turned out to be such a great little jumper! But oh well. Been riding ever since then and I'm 21 now.

pnalley
Nov. 11, 2009, 02:01 AM
I have recently been asked to start a very dear friends Grand-daughter. Riding

They have done everythimg right. The kid has a helmet *& boots & other proper riding attire

Piatt Farms
Nov. 11, 2009, 11:06 AM
Thanks for the stories everyone. I love reading the variations on how everyone got started (some in the womb) and especially how you chose to start your own kids.
So I'm behind the preverbal 8 Ball and don't have any riding boots for the little one, but I've hit a road block. Does anyone know where I can find size 9W or 10W kids riding or paddock boots? I've found reg but not W or XW. She's 2 1/2 but she has THE FATTEST feet ever. Regular ones will pinch her feet and that won't be any fun....

JollyBadger
Nov. 11, 2009, 05:07 PM
I always loved horses, from the time I was young, and any time my family went on vacation in a place that offered trail riding, I always begged to go.

It wasn't until I was twelve years old that I began taking lessons. I'd gone away to a summer camp for two weeks and took "riding" as an activity. . .cantered for the first time there, and was instantly hooked. When I got home, my parents looked into riding lessons and found a nearby stable.

They're still hoping it's just a "phase" I'm going through, and that I'll grow out of it, get married and have kids. The marriage may happen, but I've already assured him that kids won't happen for me. . .under ANY circumstances. . .except for more of the four-legged kind.:lol:

matryoshka
Nov. 11, 2009, 11:06 PM
You only need a shoe with a heel. Prefer boots, but the heel keeps the foot from jamming all the way into the stirrup. It's for safety.

And you can get gaiters (half chaps) for kids.

That's what I did for my daughter. She dinked around on the pony bareback for several years. When she wanted to take lessons, I bought her boots with a heel and gaiters.

Safety counts more than looks until you start showing.