It is very common for us to hear from successful people express how they wish to have begun investing their attention, aspiration, and resources on what they do best now. They’d say, “How I wish I didn’t fool around when I was younger. How I wish I began early.” That is probably true, and we’d hope that we won’t say the same thing when we’re older. However, horse riding is an entirely different sphere, and if we cannot coerce our feet to reach the stirrups yet, then we have no choice but to wait until we reach the proper age. Indeed, there’s a proper time for everything. But for horse riding, what is the ripe age to ride?
Choice or Coerced
According to a sports psychologist Jenny Killilea, the right age for children to begin their horse riding lessons depends on what kind of personality the child has, how adept the parents are in teaching and in overall riding, and the purpose for their teaching their child to ride. More often than not, it is the parents who decide on what the child should do with his or her life. That includes horse riding. As a child, we cannot really know for certain if a child should follow in their parents’ footsteps or to even fancy riding a horse at all. If things go well as planned, then it’s good for the family. But if not, then there’s a big possibility that the child will treat horse riding as a whole with contempt for the rest of his life. “The dilemma is knowing whether if they start early they will end up loving it because they are good at it, or resenting the parental influence,” she explains. “If a child chooses an activity themselves they are less likely to reject it later.”
Another thing to consider is how fast and normal the child grows up, not just physically but in all aspects of her life. You need not worry so much about your kid not being able to secure her feet in the stirrups, as there are pony clubs that hold horse riding lessons beginning from age 6. However, to find one that accepts children below that age would be absurd. “I would be very surprised to find any riding school teaching below the age of five or six,” explained Julian Marczak from the Association of British Riding Schools.
The possible reason for it is that many of children ranging from those ages tend to have short attention spans, and may have issues regarding their balance atop the pony’s back and their control of motor muscles. Children may seem very energetic, but the thing about the youngsters is that they get tired easily, especially when the activity doesn’t really grab their interest.
In light of this, we can say that it is very critical for the child to have interest in the subject first before we even urge them to sit atop a pony. While it is a good idea for our children to start young, but the goal really is to end well, regardless of the age when they started.
Tags: Horse Riding