Having an animal around you in the early years of your life can be a very endearing experience. The effect of growing with them reflects in their overall personality. One such outdoor activity that could have a major impact on your child’s development is horse riding.
More often than not, horses are known to be friendly animals. Teaching horse riding to your children right from the early stages of their lives will significantly impact their social, emotional, and cognitive development.
However, a few ground rules should be kept in mind while your child begins their horse riding lessons.
Steps for Horse Riding Beginners
While horse riding is a fun and thrilling activity, it also needs to be given considerable time to be learned because of the many techniques involved. There is a list of steps that you and your child can follow if they are just beginning.
1. Choose the Correct Horse Riding Instructor
It goes without saying that the way you learn and the extent you learn to depend on the instructor you have chosen. They must not only be cordial and friendly but should also be an expert in horse Riding. Only then will they be eligible enough to teach your child.
Make sure that the instructor you choose also knows their way around animals and how to treat them nicely.
2. Choose Your Horse Wisely for Horse Riding
Choosing a forgiving and friendly horse so that it does not go harsh in its rides is the most sensible choice for beginners.
Children should first learn about all the horses that could be used for horse riding and choose a horse that prefers slowing down over speeding up.
They should try to build an emotional connection with their horses right from the first day.
This becomes easy if you opt for a horse that appears more friendly than others.
3. Brushing Your Horse
As soon as you make a choice of the horse that you want, children should begin by brushing their horses. This could be a fun ice-breaker activity as a first-timer.
Horses love to be pampered, and by doing so, children are likely to get more comfortable around the animal. This comfort will make their riding experience all the easier.
4. Saddling and Bridling on Horse Riding
For beginners, it is very important to get your instructor to saddle your horse to ensure your safety. Since you would have absolutely no experience until then, you could observe your instructor while they’re saddling your horse.
After your horse is saddled, it is also important for the instructor to bridle the horse as well for additional support. It is also important to take notice that both the saddle and bridle fit the horse accurately so that maximum safety is ensured.
5. Riding Attire and accessories for Horse Riding
Now just your child begins their first horse ride as an amateur. It is very important that they are all geared up. They should wear the proper riding attire along with all the necessary accessories.
- Make your child wear a helmet at all times.
- They should be wearing pants that keep their legs from getting rubbed.
- Make sure they are wearing proper quality boots that help them in maintaining their grip.
- Invest in a good-quality horse or pony Saddle for kids. It is of utmost importance to keep in mind both safety and comfort.
- They should go for a shirt that is not very loose and can be tucked in.
- Children can also wear extra safety equipment like leather gloves, knee pads, etc. that will ensure maximum safety.
6. When You Begin Horse Riding
Before beginning riding, the instructor should make sure that all the above-mentioned points are taken care of.
Once a child is mounted on a horse and has taken their position, it is important for them to keep their ears open to the instructor’s instructions.
They should start slow and should maintain a correct riding position at all times.
It is important for children to think of this as a gradual process, and they should be able to take over the whole process by taking one thing at a time.
Tips and Tricks for First-Time Horse Riders
1. Using a Diverse Range of Activities
The most likely thing to happen with children when they sign up for a certain activity is that they get bored easily. After the first few days of practicing the same thing, they tend to lose interest. Instructors can avoid such a situation by experimenting with their activities.
They can twist and turn the same process of horse riding into different and interesting activities that will also help to keep the interest of the children intact. This could include learning games, lots of arena figures, changes of rein, transitions between paces, different types of gymnastic jumping exercises.
2. Break Down the Whole Process Into Steps
While it is important to make the process interesting, it is also important to make it simpler. It will become easy for the kids to understand and comprehend the whole process only when they are able to grasp instructions.
Instructions should make sure the whole process that is full of techniques should be broken down into shorter and simpler steps. This will not only make the process more interesting for the children and help them take one thing at a time.
3. Keep Experimenting
One of the most likely things to happen in the case of teaching young kids is that after they are done with their basics, they want to take greater risks and keep on experimenting.
Instructors should not let the child shy away from experimenting. Otherwise, they’ll tend to lose interest. They can make the children ride horses in newer areas as a form of exploring.
In addition, make them teach new tricks and techniques. They can also make them be supervised by a different leader for one day for greater experience, etc.
As interesting as an activity or sport that horse riding is, it is one that requires considerable practice and consistency. If it is taken upon right from a very young age, it is more likely to become a habit that is going to stick for long.
However, there are multiple dos and don’ts of the whole process that should be taken care of by the instructor, the parents of the child, and the child themselves.
We have also posted about knee and elbow pads keeping your kids safe when biking.
Our super author here at Famous Parenting and an absolute wealth of knowledge. She has studied many topics including creative writing, psychology and journalism but her real passion lies in raising her 3 children. Between working from home, homeschooling her youngest 2 children and navigating the world of teenagers she is a guru for parents.