It is generally accepted that around the age of 7 years old a child is tall enough to sit safely on a horse and is mature enough to act safely while riding. This doesn’t mean younger children shouldn’t be encouraged if they show an interest. Lots of riding schools do cater for the under 7s with the aim of teaching them how to act around horses and how to stay safe. These children will then be perfectly at ease when they start to ride properly.
What are the important facts to consider when choosing a riding school or instructor?
The British Horse Society provides welfare services to horses and advice for owners, campaigns for key equestrian issues on behalf of all horses and riders and offer the world's leading equestrian qualifications and approvals system.
The International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) is the world governing body of equestrian sport, promotes equestrianism in all its forms and encourages the development of the FEI equestrian disciplines throughout the world, keeping the welfare of the horse at the heart of all their activities.
The British Horse Society offers training courses for instructors in many areas for example First Aid, Safeguarding and Protecting Children and UK Coaching Certificates (UKCCs).
Horse riding can provide various benefits for different children. Some might gain confidence from learning a new skill, others love the opportunity to be outside in the fresh air and most enjoy spending time getting to know the horse or pony. At a riding school children may also be given the opportunity to help care for the animals and learn how much work goes into grooming and mucking out.
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (born December 23, 1971) has ridden from a young age. Her father got her a pony from a local circus when she was 5 years old. He was very difficult to ride as all he really wanted to do was play football. The pony even came complete with his best friend - a donkey!
Former glamour model, occasional singer and businesswoman, Katie Price (born May 22, 1978) is also well known for her love of horses and horse riding and has written children’s books on the subject.
Other celebs who are keen on horse riding are Sarah Harding, Madonna, Richard Hammond, Jodie Kidd and Stephanie Powers.
I'm 13 years old and I've been doing horse riding for quiet a long time. I know how to walk, trot- rising and sitting and how to canter. At the moment I'm learning to jump. Where I learn to ride is an amazing place. I also have two fav horses. One of them is my big boy Pascoe, which we both have a special connection and the other one is my baby Lady. Once I had a horse called Suzy which is in another horse riding center. Eventhough she can be really cheeky I enjoy riding her. Once i asked for trot and she went in a very fast gallop. I was fun and i didn't fall off. I love all horses. They are all so amazing. Horse riding is just so enjoyable.
I had riding lessons at a local riding school between the ages of 7 and 11. I went most weeks on a Saturday morning come rain or shine. Most of the ponies were quiet and perfect for children to learn on and usually lessons went well…..unless the pony you were given was ‘Scooby’. He was a nightmare – if you were unlucky enough to get Scooby all the other children would look at you with pity in their eyes as you and Scooby galloped off in the opposite direction to everyone else with your head being dragged through low hanging branches!
Honor age 7, on riding lessons, I’ve been having riding lessons for a while, not every week, just sometimes. We ride lots of different ponies but my favourite is a chestnut brown pony called Poppy. I do walking and trotting but not quite jumping. Last time I went, my teacher took me riding on the road which was exciting. I really liked that. My worst bit is when you bump up, down, up, down and your hat falls off.
Horse Riding is my life