RU2U ... I so agree and applaud your post!
I've been at shows where, a 'baby' (in my opinion) was on a horse (leadline, obviously) with TWO spotters, one on each side, trying to keep the head from wobbling. I'm sorry...but that was for mom and dad...NOT for the kid.
I was out of horses for many years, after having my own as a teen. Not a step back into it, in early marriage, or when she was born, 'for myself'... So, it was soooo strange to me (!) that not being in a 'farm' home, or having any horse exposure at all (!) that she 'went there' as early as she could (!!) it was always horses, ponys, my little pony...NEVER dolls, or anything else for that matter. So....I relented at age 5....and she began lessons (close to age 6)...........
IF I had had my horses and a kind, bombproof trusted friend in my backyard would it have been different and / or earlier? Yes...I'm sure it would. But...I can say its a good rule of thumb to wait until THEY ask, inquire, want and KEEP asking...for the involvement. Make sure its a desire they have, and one that lasts past the first mention!
"Indecision may or may not be my problem"
Heavens...by 3 I was on my own horse doing things. In fact, that was often my folks' way of keeping me up and out of the way!
I dunno. I certainly don't think that we should be throwing 3 mo babies up on a horse and turning them loose...but there's a whole lot of common sense in between that CAN be safe and reasonable.
I guess I grew up with horses a little more "out west"...and keeping me up on a horse kept me away from the rattle snakes. Take a look at some of the vids of little kids out West riding on ranches. Horses are more common than bikes.
And those wee ones can outride a lot of the adults I see around here! LOL
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
Five. Decided it wasn't for him by age 7. He still loves his pony, but has no interest in riding. The pony stays, however, because she drives, is STINKING cute, and makes very nice babies--might breed myself a driving pony one of these years.
Oh, mine were both sitting on horses in diapers. Sitting unassisted at the walk, on lead line, for brief periods- probably age 2. My older son was putzing around the ring solo at age 4, getting off to go play in the sand, or with cats, while the horse just stayed ground tied, and then climbing onto a fence to get back aboard when he wanted to resume the ride. My younger son went foxhunting with me at age 4, mostly w/o leadline on a very reliable 26 yo mare.
By about age 7, older son decided flying planes w/Dad was more fun. Younger son continued hunting with me a few times a year.
I was probably age 5 when galloping around my uncle's farm in East Texas w/cousins on the roping horses. Unsupervised, unhelmeted.
I appreciate ALL the replies and stories
secretariat- yes, i better be VERY careful what i wish for, LOL
I've taught a lot of beginner children down to age 4/5 and I'm VERY safety concious, just wanted some feedback as to what other horsey moms have done!
she is pretty forward in development at least on the physical end and picks up new things easily, plus she LOVES all the animals, so i thought it would be a fun thing for us all to do this summer- she'll be about 16 months by then. Its not something that we'll push on her, if she likes it- great; if not, no biggie.
But I would like to go pony shopping. hehehe. We'll see.
I waited until my son told me he wanted to ride. That's just me though. My son's 5 years old.
Me too, we may have put our first on when she was younger, just sat her on her pony. The youngest who is three now was two before she road. I refuse to allow anyone to ride with my kids double. That is just asking for trouble, if the horse trips or falls, what do you do when holding a child? I love my kids too much and just won't do it. The buddy seats, and back packs make my heart race.
My kids wear helmets too.
Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
& FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt www.frostyoaks.com
My kid sat on my horse with my husband holding her from the ground at 9 months ( I held the horse-he held the kid). At 4 years she was riding behind me-with me riding in a bareback saddle on a 24 year-old AQHA on trail rides. She was riding the same AQHA alone in the ring (walk, trot and cross rails). By 5 she was cantering and we would ride together on the trails. By 8 she was doing limited distance endurance rides on her 4 year-old AQHA mare. By 9 she was do 50 mile endurance rides on her Arabian and continues to LDs and open shows with her AQHA. She also hunter paces and jumps 3 ft in the arena and jumps a bit lower over some of the hunt fences that are on trail.