As the summer holidays start, pony mad kids scream for glee as they look forward to having hours of fun down the stables and riding their beloved ponies and for parents, it’s great to see their little ones involved in such an active and fun hobby and lifestyle. But every equestrian knows that ponies and children don’t always offer a great mix so here are some top tips from our UK Equine PR Team to help keep them both safe and happy!
If your children ride at a riding school, they may well find the whole experience hugely exciting (Yes we did too!) but letting them run riot around the arena or stables whilst waiting for their lesson and the pony to be brought out is highly dangerous and unfair to anyone trying to concentrate in the lesson before. Installing sensible behaviour at the stables and around horses from an early age could be the difference between being safe and having an accident.
If you’ve gone to the trouble of fitting and buying your child their riding hat to wear, then make sure you take don’t ownership of it until the hat is on your child’s head and the chin strap is fastened up. If it falls out of your child’s hand or off their head, the damage done to the hat isn’t always visible to the naked eye so to save an expensive accident of having to replace the helmet, store it away it its own padded hat bag and carry with you until you need to use it.
Our clients, the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund, a charity dedicated to helping equestrians injured around horses recommend that you wear a helmet when around horses – not just in the saddle and this is a good idea if your child is around horses, even on the ground. Ponies can be spooked and unintentionally kick out, so it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.
Whether your children have their own ponies or ride at the local riding school, our UK Equine PR team know that setting rules for the stables is also key. Make sure that you are crystal clear on what can and can’t be done when at the yard. And don’t forget to set an example: If you are leading in 3 horses at a time from the field and without a hard hat on, the younger riders might think that’s OK!
Just as adults can be ‘over horsed’ so can children and whilst many of us adults will have experienced the ‘naughty pony that taught us everything we know today’, just be mindful that a little bit cheeky can turn into very dangerous if the child’s ability or temperament is not matched well with the pony, so seek professional advice and ensure that your child has regular lessons with a respected and experienced trainer.
The Pony Club is also a great way to have fun and learn great skills and horsemanship at the same time, and you don’t even have to own a pony! It’s a great opportunity for parents to also get involved and to help and encourage both their own children and other members. Your kids can also take pony club tests in a huge range of areas from stable management through to riding safely on the roads.For more information about joining The Pony Club .
Our UK Equine PR team are dedicated to bringing you the best advice for anything horsey! Why not have a look how our services can help you by checking our our Equine PR or drop us an email at [email protected]