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Teaching A Young Child To Ride

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Thelittlebaymare, Mar 20, 2017 at 1:57 PM.

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  1. Thelittlebaymare

    Thelittlebaymare Registered

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    I have a 7 year old neice who I will probably have over for at least a week this summer. I plan on teaching her to ride or the basics. She's been on a horse a lot but hasn't really been in control before. First I'm wondering which of the following horses would be the best to put her on:

    · Horse 1: A stubborn pony mare who would rather eat than work. She's been on this pony before and isn't afraid of her. I'm just not sure if this pony would make her loose her interest because she has to fight it to do anything. It is pretty much bomb proof. She been under saddle for a few years but never had correct training. As of the moment we don't have a bit to got her. She has a lot of training problems and because of her size let to get away with a lot her larger sized counterparts wouldn't be able to do. She can move fast and will, but this kid doesn't have enough strength and isn't big enough to kick her to get her to that speed, without spurs or a whip. She wouldn't be using either. She's been to 2 shows in her life.

    · Horse 2: Another pony mare who is a little shy. She does what is asked, and is very calm. She has a little pep in her step, so in the beginning she'd need to be rode by this kid, in a SMALL pen. She has just been started under saddle. She is older and gentle. She's either the oldest or the second oldest of these horses. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She has never offered to buck, kick, or rear. She will be better broke by summer, and is willing to learn. She hasn't been to any shows since we got her but I believe the previous owners took her to one show.

    · Horse 3: She's the only big horse out of the 3. She's well trained and you don't even have to kick her to make her move. You just have to click. She is 18 almost 19 but acts like a 12 year old. She has some get up and go in her, and would also have to be rode in a SMALL pen, since she has a ton of get up and go. She went to a state championship show and placed in the top 15 in keyhole. She's easy to control but likes to move and I wouldn't want the kid to take her out of a walk, or a trot, at the most. She goes to at least 10 shows a year, she went to 12 last year (including 2 overnight shows), and has already went to 2 this year. She's not bomb proof but she is level headed.

    Which horse would the best to use, or should I use a mix of them? Also I want to know do any of you have any tips, or exercises to use with her? I show during the summer, and take horse 3 to all of them but I could take the others if I had someone to ride them. I'm also wondering if I take her to one of the shows to actually ride in, which horse would be the best to put her on? She'd be competing in speed events such as barrels and poles, either on a lead line or off, depending on the horse. Do any of you know some ideas to teach her? What should I focus on? Should I let her hold the saddle horn (I only ride Western) at first or teach her right from the beginning? She'd be having daily lessons, or multiple lessons a day. I'm not doing this for a profit but to let my niece her to mess with horses.
     
  2. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    None of these horses sound appropriate for a 7 y/o raw beginner to be honest.

    I'm going to suggest the be put into a good lesson program with a coach who has brought along young kids before.

    Just as a side note: I teach young kids - the youngest was 4....so I do have some experience in this area.
     
  3. Thelittlebaymare

    Thelittlebaymare Registered

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    Honestly I already know her parents wouldn't be game for that sadly. If it cost them anything more than a few bucks. Definitely speaking that she's in cheer and would only ride for a few weeks in the summer. Then wouldn't ride but maybe on thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break (that's stretching it . . .) until the next summer. She lives over 3 hours from us.
     
  4. Compadre

    Compadre Senior Member

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    I'd stick with small pen riding of whichever horse, and ponying. I mean, no matter how bomb proof a horse is, a 7yo lacks the physical strength to even try to stop or prevent a spook or a bolt.

    I have a big pony mare that I will let kids kip around the yard with, but for the most part if it's a child, she will just make a big circle around the yard and come back to me, regardless of how the kid is messing around. But I don't let kids ride much, because I get salty when I have to undo little bad habits, which kid riding WILL create.
     
  5. Thelittlebaymare

    Thelittlebaymare Registered

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    Honestly agreeing with what you said about that, I'll put her on horse 1 or 2. I think at first she'll do dome balance work on the leadline, and lunge line. Then I'll put her on one of the ponies. Then once she builds up confidence and balence, let her also do round pen work, and pony her behind horse 3 who I could ride. This is just a idea, but the beginning of a plan. Both horse 1 and 2 could use a tune up, before she rides them. I know both up them are rideable, though.
     
  6. Huckleberry777

    Huckleberry777 Registered

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    I agree with Rhythm 'n Blues, I'd be nervous letting a beginner child ride any of these horses. Maybe let her do things with them other than riding them, like grooming them?
     
  7. Thelittlebaymare

    Thelittlebaymare Registered

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    She'll do that for sure and honestly think she'll not do much, she definitely won't go onto horse 3. The first few days we'll spend learning parts of tack, how to care for it, and how to groom. I honestly forget her age as she acts so much more mature. If she does get on one of these horses I've decided we're not leaving the round pen or lunge line unless I'm leading her.
     
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  8. QHriderKE

    QHriderKE Senior Member

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    Just start with the kiddo on a lunge line or just leading them around teaching them how to sit and hold the reins and balance without holding on to anything. A number of years ago I did a similar things for my cousin. I just put her on my moms old rope horse and kept her in a pen. The horse did have a mind of her own and would just wander off on the kid, try to pull the reins out of the kids hands when she got bored, need to be kicked a lot to go sometimes.... just silly little things, she was never dangerous and was never going to like take off running or anything, she'd just walk away and go stop in a corner haha that's how ya learn!

    I led her around and made her do things in the saddle like balance on the horse with her arms out, stand up in the stirrups and reach to touch the horses poll, turn in the saddle and touch the horses bum, lean down and touch her own toes.... little things like that just so they learn they can balance and not fall off. I made it into "Simon Says" just so it would be fun. Eventually I just rode my own horse in the corral with her so the horse she was riding was more inclined to follow me or keep trotting if I was trotting beside her. I actually got her to the point of learning how to post the trot. That was back in 2011 I think? And last fall she started English lessons as they moved away and there is a good English barn where they are. She actually remembered how to post the trot and I was thrilled, my aunt sent me videos of almost every lessons she had! It was really cool!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 3:21 PM
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  9. Huckleberry777

    Huckleberry777 Registered

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    That's a good idea. If anything I'd put her on horse #1 because I've found that it's the stubborn horses that teach riders the most. ;) Even though she'll only be with you for a week, you'd be surprised at what kids can learn in that period of time. Hopefully she enjoys it.
     
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  10. Thelittlebaymare

    Thelittlebaymare Registered

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    Ok that's probably my best bet, horse #1 taught me how to ride MANY years ago, and I taught her to ride too . . . My first horse was a unbroke young pony, so that's her reason for improper training as she was trained by a young child. She had buck then but now she's calm and doesn't care. Also a week is a long time to learn I agree with you, definitely when worked with daily.
     
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