Kids are naturally drawn to horses. Learning how to ride one is like a dream come true for those who love these majestic animals. Yet, horseback riding does require paying attention to safety. Especially for younger kids who are still inexperienced with handling large animals. Follow these safety guidelines as you explore horseback riding lessons that will let your child experience the joy of spending time with their favorite animal.
Choose the Right Time
Many kids seem to start begging to ride a horse from the time that they can talk. It is important to realize that very small children may not have the control they need to ride safely. While riding stables can vary according to when they are willing to teach children how to ride, a good guideline is to wait until your child is in the third or fourth grade. At this age, they will have the ability to follow their instructor’s directions and safety rules as they learn how to ride.
Teach Kids Proper Horse Care
It is essential for kids to understand how to treat horses with respect. A quality horseback riding program will spend the first several lessons helping kids learn how to behave around horses. For instance, your child will be taught how to approach a horse quietly from the front or side. This is so that they avoid spooking the horse or getting kicked from behind. As kids progress in their lessons, they are also taught how to groom and care for horses so that they develop a relationship with the ones they ride.
Arrange for Professional Lessons
If you know people with horses, it might be tempting to just let your kid hop in the saddle and go for a ride. However, learning to ride horses the right way is essential for ensuring your kid’s safety. A professional horseback riding instructor knows how to do things such as show your kid a proper mount and dismount that protects them from injuries that could occur during a fall. Professional instructors also know how to develop and implement lesson plans that are carefully crafted to meet the current skill level of your child.
Wear the Appropriate Safety Gear
Riding boots are not simply to look adorable on your kid. They also protect them from serious injuries. They help them keep their feet properly in the stirrups and add a layer of protection against scrapes if they fall. Talk to your child’s horseback riding instructor about the appropriate safety gear your child should wear. For instance, riding helmets should be properly fitted to your child’s head, and your child should wear one every time they are working around horses. Boots, riding pants and padded vests all increase your child’s safety in the saddle.
Practice in a Safe Location
A short tour of your child’s riding facility reveals many things. Knowing what to look for when you visit the stables is very important. Ideally, you should see that the barns are organized and that the riding gear is clean and in good condition. There should also be defined riding rings. These allow your child to practice their lessons in a controlled environment overseen by their instructor.
Your child’s first horseback riding lesson is an exciting experience and you should be able to trust that your child is safe every moment. From outfitting them in the appropriate gear to selecting a patient instructor, you can look forward to watching your child ride atop their favorite horse with confidence.
Let your kids enjoy the experience horseback riding fun at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Maplewood also offers bus service to kids who live in Canton MA. Visit the site at http://www.maplewoodyearround.com to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.