Parents and children alike can both admire the beautiful sight of a horse and rider being in sync and moving gracefully along. Such grace and power together into one stunning show is enough to make someone want to learn the techniques of riding. There are several styles of horse riding, some more graceful, others more powerful, however all are stunning to watch.
Horse riding can range from simple pleasure riding to the extreme and intense competitions and shows. Anyone can ride a horse, regardless of size, gender, or disability. This is truly a sport that anyone can master; the most important ingredient is a well-trained horse. For competition riding, most riders and horses work together for years before competing against others. This gives plenty of time for the horse and rider to learn the best way to work together, as well as the trust to compete successfully. The Olympics accepted equestrian events in 1900 and the sport has gained more respect since then.
There are several benefits to equestrian riding; one of the biggest is the care of the horse. In the process of caring for the horse, most kids develop a wonderful sense of responsibility, commitment, and teamwork with their horse. Riding also has the benefit of improving posture, due to learning to sit in the saddle properly. Other benefits include stamina, coordination, balance, muscular endurance, as well as riding helps to enhance the muscle tone in your les and abdomen. Riding also provides an aerobic workout when riding at a quick speed.
Kids who tend to excel in equestrian sports typically have a great love of animals, they are not afraid of horses, they do not mind getting a bit dirty, they have muscular strength, coordination, balance, the ability to focus, they have the courage to overcome any fears they have, as well as the ability to understand the horse’s movements.
A child should never start riding horses until they are old enough to learn how to groom and care for the horse, while they will need help with the horse, they should be willing to do some of the work themselves. For those who do not raise horses themselves kids are able to start taking riding lessons as young as 6 years old. Most instructors do not accept children under 8 years old, due to the additional maturity that develops in those two years.
When selecting a stable, you want to visit several to find the one where you feel most comfortable. You want someone whom your child feels comfortable, as well as who treats the horses well. You do not want to use a stable where the horses are ungroomed and they are not interacted with on a daily basis.
Parents should be aware that many children who become heavily involved in equestrian sports do desire their own horse at some point. While stables do provide a horse for lessons, the serious students will likely desire their own horse, which can easily run several thousand dollars just for the horse, not including the boarding and stable fees.
Parents as well as the child must decide which is right for them, private lessons or group lessons, as well as English riding or Western riding. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. It is typically recommended that a child start with a couple of private lessons so they can learn and master the basics, then switch to group lessons for a more competitive feeling.
English riding verses Western riding tends to be a choice that is also geographically restricted, both styles are not always taught at all stables, and some geographical areas only teach one style or the other. Western style uses a wider and much heavier saddle than English style does, which does limit the flexibility of the horse and rider. There are several types of riding that include show jumping, dressage, and western riding competitions.
Children must be taught how to properly dismount the horse, even in an emergency so that they can reduce the injury that is possible in an accident. Most laws require that any children under 18 years old wear an approved helmet to protect their head from injury during riding. Most injuries from equestrian activities are rather minor and do not cause serious problems.
The sport of equestrian should never be taken by anyone tight on funds. Riding lessons cost approximately $35-$60 per half hour, with the costs of a horse ranging from a couple of thousand, up to tens of thousands of dollars for the horse alone, stable and boarding fees can add as much as 10 thousand a year to that cost. Add to that the shoes, clothes and other gear necessary and equestrian is a very expensive sport.