So Your Kids Want to Ride Horses?
It’s a stereotype for a reason: little kids love horses. There is just something about this animal that is appealing to even the littlest kids. As they get older, your kids are going to transition from simply wanting to look at pictures of and hear stories about horses to wanting to ride (or even own) a horse. Some might even want to go riding regularly!
It’s understandable that you’d be hesitant. You’ve already used every Nike promo you could find to make it easier to afford the right shoes for all of the after school and summer sports your kids play. You aren’t sure whether or not you can afford to add horseback riding gear to the mix.
Pardon the pun but don’t go jumping over that fence just yet. Start small, with a trip to a local stable where your kids can meet horses up close and personally. It might even be worth it to spring for a short and guided ride around a ring. This way your kids will get the chance to decide whether or not horseback riding is genuinely something that they want to do regularly (at which point you’ll want to find a Dressage Extensions coupon code or two to help reduce the prices of beginner gear).
Before that initial ride, though, make sure you know how to keep your children safe around horses. Make sure you understand (and memorize) the following safety tips:
1. Do not approach the horse directly from behind or the front. Aim at the side.
You want the horse to know that you are there and to see you coming at him. Because his eyes are on the sides of his head, he won’t be able to see you if you beeline toward him from directly in front of him (or behind him). If he doesn’t see you coming, you could startle him (which typically goes badly).
2. Make Your Children Walk Toward the Horse Slowly
Your kids are going to be excited to see a horse up close and personally. They are going to want to run straight for the horse to pet it and hug it. Do not let them do this. Hold your child’s head and approach slowly so that the horse can get a feel for you. It’s the same thing you’d want to do with any new person or animal. You don’t want to startle or spook the horse by going to quickly too soon.
3. Mount on the Left
Most horses are trained to only accept riders who mount on the left side. This dates back hundreds of years to when horseback riders would have swords in their belts and mounting on the left was the only way to safely mount the horse. After the horse has been mounted make sure that your kids know to keep their heels down.
Most of all, don’t forget to have fun! Horses are beautiful and sensitive creatures. Most understand how to be gentle when little ones are riding them. Trust the horse as much as you trust your child and everything should be fine!