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When is a rider too young?

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  • #21
    We had a wonder kid at our barn who started riding with us at the age of 5. Rode a super saintly pony that did have an attitude.. she'd fall off, get back on. Kid was a freak.. she saw distances from like 4 strides out sometimes.. And about one stride away, would slide her hands up the neck, grab some mane and go.

    Comment


    • #22
      My 9yo is walking and trotting solo, learning to canter on the line. Trotting poles on the ground. She had a few lessons last year but wasn't really strong or focused enough. Striking how much more progress she has made this year.

      Comment


      • #23
        Those of you who know me could have guessed I would chime in when I started getting texts about this thread.
        My daughter, Annabelle, is the one you all are debating. She is 4 years old and wants nothing more than to ride 10 ponies each day. I keep her on her 28 year old, famous, packer pony, Violet and she has been riding her since April. She loves grooming, washing, riding, and watching all the lessons. To say I am pushing her would be a gross assumption.
        She showed in leadline at Upperville and Devon and didn't want to do it anymore. She loves to jump and her pony takes care of her.
        If I am at the ring reminding middle aged women the course, is there a problem with reminding my 4 year old daughter the course?
        I am certainly offended that "horsewomen should not produce" since clearly that was directed toward me.

        here is her course from the week before. Perfectly safe and received great ribbons.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=wKcsaCUe9Ts

        ~Brooke Brown
        Brownstone Farm

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        • #24
          I started riding when I was four, and was w,t,c at 5. I also started cross rails at 5-ish. I kept doing cross rails and tons of flat work, and I dont think I started doing lines or anything til I was 6 or 7. I dont remember how old I was when I started doing courses, but i'd say it was around 7. I was on saintly ponies all the time.

          My parents got me a saintly (but bratty) pony at 9, and we did courses quite a bit. He had a tendency to run out and dip one shoulder, so I fell of a good number of times, but I learned from it and have a very sticky seat now. That pony taught me how to RIDE. It was good because I was very fearless at the time, and falling off didnt scare me. Thank goodness I never got hurt. I had great trainers and instructors!
          Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
          White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

          Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Brownstone View Post
            I am certainly offended that "horsewomen should not produce" since clearly that was directed toward me.

            ~Brooke Brown
            Brownstone Farm
            That is my quote. If you read for comprehension, it was about MY "why horsewomen should not reproduce" story and I said "just kidding". A story about kid vs pony, pony won, kid is fine, no harm no foul.

            My daughter showed at Devon, too. Rides, grooms blah blah. If you have yours jumping courses at 4 or 5, more power to you. I just watched your video. The pony is a saint, the child is adorable. As a trainer, do you really feel she had the tight position to be jumping? It is a judgement call, as are most decisions in life. If it was not your daughter- would you really have had that child jumping???.
            Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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            • #26
              I think that we were at the same show. The thing that bothered me was that the people stationed at all corners were spooking the other ponies and when I asked them to move, I got an ear full about how they had to be there because their rider was only 4.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by QM2 View Post
                I think that we were at the same show. The think what bothered me was that the people stationed at all corners were spooking the other ponies and when I asked them to move, I got an ear full about how they had to be there because their rider was only 4.
                Could be worse....could have been a golf cart

                Oh wait....that was there too

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                • #28
                  I guess I'm one of few people, but I don't really see the problem here. I watched the video and saw a cute kid with a great eye, a saintly pony, and overall, a cute combination. I wouldn't expect a beginner to have a super solid position, especially not a peanut like her, but I didn't think that looked unsafe. Sure, she could be tighter, and that would be easier if she had longer legs, but for the most part, she lands pretty balanced and doesn't interfere with the pony.

                  As for the people in the corners... how many adult riders have their trainers yelling directions to them at the show ring, whether in the hunters or the jumpers? I see a lot.

                  I might be a bit biased because I was jumping crossrail courses when I was 6 (and was on a 3-year-old pony), but..
                  http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                  Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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                  • #29
                    I am also a mother and trainer of pony girls that started at an early age...
                    If I felt my girls were not ready and safely mounted they wouldn't have shown.

                    It is about balance, timing, having a saintly pony and having fun !

                    Here is a video of my youngest showing over fences at an early age.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCKSk0LeZAU

                    I think Annabelle is riding great ! Watch out future pony riders... she has alot going for her.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      My daughter rides at Brownstone and we know Brooke and Annabelle quite well. I can attest that this little girl loves to ride, she is a exception to small children riding. The pony she is on is quite safe and is worth her weight in gold.

                      I just don't understand why people have to come on a public forum and single out one child who has not bothered anyone. The question could have been generic. Obviously the OP (who is hiding behind a alter) has some issue personally with this.

                      As for the horse show that people were spooking other ponies, that is untrue. My daughter worked the gate and no one mentioned that ponies were spooking. I know the show manager and it would have been addressed. In fact Annabelle won the class and it was judged by a well know judge/trainer that is known nationally. I am sure if she would not have pinned the child first if it was not deserving.

                      Do we really need to make people angry, feel bad and pick apart a small child who is so happy riding ponies and spending quality time with her mom?

                      I have taught a lot of children and you know when they are good and when the are not. This little girl is going to be a good pony jock, lets applaud her and encourage her, not belittle and tear apart.

                      I am truly disgusted and appalled by this thread.
                      L. Bradley
                      www.theoutsidecourse.com Check it out!
                      http://community.webshots.com/album/526735618MJIbKY
                      http://community.webshots.com/album/546407280WGDcVr

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                      • #31
                        My daughter starting riding when she was 2 1/2. Her mount was an old 16.2h thoroughbred mare. My daughter would ride until she was tired of it, slide off the horse and then walk out of the ring. The horse would just follow her. Mom of course was running behind going "Wait! Stop! Don't leave the ring!" She started crossbars at 4, went up to 4'9" before she decided she didn't want to show. She's now 27 and working for me as my trainer.
                        Cindy Bergmann
                        Canterbury Court
                        559-903-4814
                        www.canterbury-court.com

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                        • #32
                          The only issue I have with it is the fact that if an 8 year old (or 12 or 50) year old rode a course like that, I would be appalled. I understand that kids bodies are different, but there was quite a bit of flopping around in the first video. The girl in the second video looked much more able to ride a course.

                          I also think it's one thing to have a trainer on the rail coaching, but to need someone at EACH CORNER is ridiculous. If a child cannot remember the course without 4 people helping, they need to practice more and wait until they can. Memorizing the course IS part of the class.
                          Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                          White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                          Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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                          • #33
                            FWIW, I also found the OP pretty generic. I'm sure there wasnt just ONE kid that rode a pony over a 2' course this weekend. And maybe she created an alter because she didnt want people to know which show it was. Or her location. The MOM pointed out that it was her daughter, and even posted the link. If she hadnt done that, no one would have been the wiser.

                            Geez, it aint like the OP posted a video of the child.
                            Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                            White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                            Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Originally posted by Showponymom Aefvue Mid Atlantic Division View Post

                              I just don't understand why people have to come on a public forum and single out one child who has not bothered anyone. The question could have been generic. Obviously the OP (who is hiding behind a alter) has some issue personally with this.
                              In the interest of keeping this "generic" I did create an alter. I tried to leave out identifying details. I also did not mention any names. I was curious of other peoples opinion, thus the reason for posting on a public forum.

                              You clearly have no issue stating names and details. Dont blame me for that info being made public.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                [QUOTE=

                                As for the horse show that people were spooking other ponies, that is untrue. My daughter worked the gate and no one mentioned that ponies were spooking. I know the show manager and it would have been addressed. In fact Annabelle won the class and it was judged by a well know judge/trainer that is known nationally. I am sure if she would not have pinned the child first if it was not deserving.[/QUOTE]

                                It is completey true. I walked down to the other end of the ring after 3 ponies in a row spooked.

                                I said " excuse me, I'm not sure if you realize it but you are spooking a bunch of these ponies. Would you mind moving?"

                                The girl replied that she was not going to move because they had a 4 yr old coming up soon and they needed to tell her where to go.

                                I walked away and I counted 12 more trips until their 4 yr old went. 2 more ponies spooked out of that 12.

                                They could have walked up when it was her turn to go. They as horse people should have noticed that they were causing a problem and walked away until it was their kids turn.

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                                • #36
                                  well I think she looks pretty great, VERY secure, lots of other kids, older than her, would have fallen off, those were not little chippy spots saintly pony was taking. I do know young kids though that did have very scary falls at that age, that still haunt them today. I personally don't see a reason to rush it. For some reason, there seems to be a rush to have the youngest kid doing this or that, next thing you know she'll be at Pony Finals as a 5 yr old because she's gotta be the youngest kid at pony finals. I don't personally get it but again I didn't let my daughter lesson until she was 6.5 and she didn't show until she was 7, heck she'd be over the hill compared to some of the kids LOL. I also know one of the most amazing riders I have known, started when he was 11... and I started at 9, at some point, it all comes out in the wash.

                                  I think as a mom it's an unnecessary risk, but to each their own, it's their kids they're putting in jeopardy and thats none of my beeswax.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I started taking lessons at 4. I could WTC by the time summer was over. I then started jumping at 5 and showing by 6 in the short stirrup then the smalls. I have always been tall with very long legs so I'm sure that helped. I don't recall ever having a problem with balance or fear even after falling off.
                                    Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by slsponymom View Post
                                      I am also a mother and trainer of pony girls that started at an early age...
                                      If I felt my girls were not ready and safely mounted they wouldn't have shown.

                                      It is about balance, timing, having a saintly pony and having fun !

                                      Here is a video of my youngest showing over fences at an early age.

                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCKSk0LeZAU

                                      I think Annabelle is riding great ! Watch out future pony riders... she has alot going for her.
                                      This kid is awesome too! How old was she?

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by canigetanalter View Post
                                        In the interest of keeping this "generic" I did create an alter. I tried to leave out identifying details. I also did not mention any names. I was curious of other peoples opinion, thus the reason for posting on a public forum.

                                        You clearly have no issue stating names and details. Dont blame me for that info being made public.
                                        I agree, you did nothing to identify this person...the mom identified themselves.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I know no one involved in this thread, but I have to admit that the first video made me a little nervous. She just doesn't look to have enough control of her body to me. If the pony took a side step, spook, tripped, it doesn't look like she'd be able to recover.
                                          The second video was ADORABLE. That little girl looked nice and tight, even though you could tell she was also very young.
                                          The OP did not say where, when, or give any identifying comments other than "a 4 yr. old riding a 2 ft. course". The mom was the one who identified herself and her daughter, then posted the video.
                                          My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
                                          http://www.youtube.com/kheit86

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