What age should kids start riding?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children should be at least 6 years old before starting to ride horses. This is because horses are large, powerful animals that can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Children’s bodies are also not fully developed at this age, so they may not be able to handle the physical demands of riding.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some children may be ready to start riding at a younger age, while others may not be ready until they are older. The most important thing is to make sure that the child is physically and emotionally mature enough to handle the activity.
Here are some things to consider when deciding if a child is ready to start riding horses:
- The child’s age and physical development: Children should be at least 6 years old and have a strong core and leg muscles. They should also be able to follow instructions and listen carefully.
- The child’s emotional maturity: Riding horses can be scary, so children should be able to handle their emotions and not get too upset if they fall off. They should also be confident and have a positive attitude.
- The child’s experience with horses: Children who have been around horses before may be more comfortable starting to ride at a younger age. However, even children who have never been around horses can learn to ride safely if they are taught by a qualified instructor.
If you are considering starting your child in riding lessons, it is important to find a qualified instructor who specializes in teaching young children. The instructor should be able to assess your child’s readiness and provide them with instruction that is appropriate for their age and skill level.
Here are some additional tips for starting children in riding:
- Start with ground work: Before children ever get on a horse, they should learn about horsemanship and how to handle horses safely on the ground. This will help them to develop a better understanding of horses and how to interact with them respectfully.
- Start with small steps: Don’t try to rush your child into riding too quickly. Let them progress at their own pace and be patient with them.
- Make sure your child is having fun: Riding should be a positive experience for children. If your child is not enjoying themselves, they are less likely to stick with it.
With the right approach and instruction, children can learn to ride horses safely and enjoy this wonderful activity for many years to come.