A Quick Guide to Horse Riding for Toddlers

A little girl attending a lesson on horse riding for toddlers.

Horse riding is one of the best experiences for a child who loves horses. If you’re an equestrian who loves riding horses, chances are your child will also be the same.

There are also a fair amount of equestrian parents out there who learned horse riding with their parents’ help. However, a parent who doesn’t know what to do might need to take note of a few things.

Is There an Age Requirement for Horse Riding?

There isn’t a definite solid age requirement for horse riding with children. Some places require the child to be six to seven years old, while in other areas, a child as young as three is allowed to ride a horse.

However, instructors recommend lessons for ages seven to eight years old, where the children already have a sense of balance. They also recommend these ages because they have a longer attention span and better awareness of danger.

What do Toddlers Need for Horse Riding?

Helmet

Do not, under any circumstance, let your toddler ride a horse without a helmet. A helmet is one of the standard requirements for horse riding.

Before you buy anything, you can ask the instructor if your toddler can borrow a helmet for their first lessons. If you’re planning to buy a helmet, look for any helmets that are ASTM/SEI certified.

Show helmets for horse riding can be reasonably expensive, so you might want to buy a schooling helmet that’s durable and adjustable. We recommend looking for a helmet that has a removable headline to wash after use.

Paddock Boots

Paddock boots help protect the riders’ legs from getting pinched by the leather. They also provide much-needed ankle support and helps your toddler’s feet from slipping off the stirrups. A decent pair of paddocks have a price range of $30 to $40. 

Pants 

Your toddler can wear jeans for the first few lessons so that their legs won’t get grazed from the saddle. Once your toddler has the basics down and wants to pursue horse riding with more interest, you should invest in jodhpurs or breeches.

These are full-length pants that reach snugly at the ankles and have side patches that protect from grazing. Look for jodhpurs or breeches with sewn-in knee pads to prevent wear and tear and shield the knee from injuries.

Gloves

Gloves are an absolute must-have for horse-riding. They protect your children’s hands from blisters and improve their grip when holding the reigns.

You can buy comfortable that are breathable with velcro straps for adjustability. Decent gloves come at prices from $5 to $10.

A toddler riding a horse.

What are the Rules for Horse Riding?

Like any activity, there must be rules to avoid injuries and ensure the horse’s safety. Here are a few rules that you should keep in mind when your toddler is going horse riding.

Set and review the Rules for Horse Contact, Safety, and First Aid

Even adults get into trouble when going alone into the arena. Review the rules that each range or trail has and make sure your child knows these rules.

The rules inside these areas ensure the visitors’ and horses’ safety. The rules usually include the banning of petting and feeding ill-mannered horses, mares, or foals.

They also ban open-toe footwear or trainer shoes in certain areas and the complete ban of smoking and playing with matches. Sometimes, dogs are also not allowed at these locations.

Keep in mind that the arena and warm-up areas may impose etiquette rules and limit the number of horses allowed. Mares in season, stallions, and nervous horses wear tail ribbons to inform and alert other riders to keep their distance.

Saddling and tacking (getting on and off) should be performed from specific sides of the horse. Even more, riding boots must meet the requirements to avoid laces getting tangled with the stirrups.

Most important of all, riders must wear helmets at all times inside the range or trail. These rules prioritize your safety and the horses’ safety, and you should always consider them before taking any action.

Start Far from the Paddock and See Calm Horses First

Start away from the paddock and make sure your child understands what spooks horses like loud noises or dogs. If it’s your child’s first time experiencing and seeing a real horse, it would be best if you kept them away from potentially explosive horses.

Instructors will try to pair your child with more docile attitudes to match with their anxiousness or enthusiasm. It’s also best not to fall for the rumors that ponies or smaller horses are docile. It’s often the small ones that are quick-tempered and aggressive.

Have A Horse In Coconut Creek?

Millpond Stables in Coconut Creek is your number one choice when it comes to horse care. Our horse boarding services are top notch, our all wood stables are maintained by expert staff. Take horse back riding lessons with seasoned professionals and ride your horse on scenic trails near our stables. Get engaged in the community with local horse shows and gatherings. Are your kids interested in horses? We offer an annual summer camp designed to teach kids how to ride and care for horses. Contact us today to sign up.

Dan Walter Reyes is an author for Millpond Stables.

About The Author

Dan Walter Reyes is a professional writer for a number of renowned websites. His passion for educating led him to study topics related to many industries in depth through sleepless nights and endless articles. He hopes to share his knowledge with the world.