Do you have a horse-loving child who is begging you for riding lessons at the local barn? Are you wondering what basic items your child needs before beginning?
Before dashing your child’s hopes and dreams of riding horses, prepare your child for this adventure by obtaining the appropriate gear needed for riding horses. The purchase of few simple items will increase your safety when handling this large animal and make the entire experience more enjoyable.
Your first purchase before beginning lessons should be a helmet. A small investment in protective headgear is the best investment you can make in your child’s safety. A properly fitted helmet helps to protect the head from severe injury if a fall from the horse occurs.
Keep in mind that an animal weighing 1000 lbs. or more can crush your foot if stepped on. Visit your local tack store and find an appropriate pair of boots to wear during lessons and any other time your child is near a horse. Boots designed for horseback riding will help protect feet and will prevent your foot from becoming stuck in the stirrup should you fall off the horse. Cute flip-flops, sandals, or any open toe shoe should not be worn while handling or riding any horse or pony.
Long sleeved shirts and jeans or breeches provide an extra measure of protection for your arms and legs against an unplanned dismount. Picking bits of gravel and dirt out of open wounds is not a pleasant experience. Keeping legs and arms covered helps prevent serious cuts and abrasions.
Your child’s helmet, boots, and clothing should be comfortable to stand, sit, and walk in. Boots should not pinch the feet or slip up and down the heel when walking. The same rules apply to the helmet, comfortable with no pinching. Jeans and shirts need to allow room for bending, turning, and stretching.
Although these items are only the tip of the iceberg, they will help get you and your child started on a safe and enjoyable horse adventure.Unless your trainer has additional requirements, allow your child to take a few lessons before purchasing additional items. This will save you money should your child’s mind change after the first few lessons.