Introducing your child to horses and possibly getting them involved in beginner horseback riding lessons can be something they enjoy their entire life. Horseback riding is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise. It also helps children with discipline, patience and helps increase self-confidence.
If your child is interested, here’s a brief rundown of how to get started.
When to Start
Your child may express interest in horseback riding lessons because they have a friend who rides horses or they’ve seen horseback riding in movies and tv shows and they’ve become inspired to give it a try. Getting started on riding really depends on your child’s size and maturity, but most instructors require children to be at least seven years old with the coordination skills to be able to handle a horse properly.
Just like with any sport, having the right equipment is absolutely necessary. For horseback riding, the basic equipment includes a riding helmet, boots with a heel, riding pants, and gloves.
Riding Helmet: For the helmet, it’s important to find a helmet that fits your child’s head perfectly and is an ASTM certified helmet. Franklin Horse Supply offers a large array of certified helmets for all disciplines. They can help fit your child for a helmet.
Boots with a Heel: The right boots help protect your child’s legs and allows the rider to grip the stirrups properly. It’s recommended that you purchase a sturdy leather-type boot with a heel, no more than 1″, for riding.
Riding Pants: It’s important to purchase the correct riding clothes. Riding pants, also referred to as equestrian breeches, should fit tight, but not too tight. Anything baggy will get caught on the saddle or cause rubbing or chaffing. Its important that riding pants are made from sturdy materials. Other materials. like those used or yoga pants or similar athletic wear, promote sliding in the saddle that can put the rider off balance and could actually hurt the horse.
Gloves: Riding gloves help the rider grip the reins and prevent blisters. They come in many styles and materials.
There’s a lot of options around the area for lessons, and you may already know someone who has children enrolled in lessons or knows of a good source. If you don’t have someone to suggest a trusted place, check with your local tack place, such as Franklin Horse Supply.
Horseback riding is a great sport that can be enjoyed for many years, well into adulthood. These tips can help you in the journey to getting your child started with horseback riding.
This article is brought to you by Franklin Horse Supply, Middle Tennessee’s newest and most complete horse supply store. They carry a full line of English and Western tack, clothing and accessories, as well as your favorite horse care products. Learn more here.
Find Franklin Horse Supply at 1561 Columbia Ave, Franklin.