What Parents Should Know at a Child’s Riding Lesson

One of the most difficult aspects of parenting is watching a child's world expand to activities that don't include us. It becomes increasingly hard when parental advice and direction is not required; for instance, in sporting activities.

For some reason, parents who would never dream of "cross-coaching" their son on the Little League field will stand at the side of the riding ring and give direction or instructions every time he rides by, even in the middle of a lesson. And the same parents, who wouldn't blink when their daughter takes a spill on the soccer field are screaming for a doctor the first time she slides out of the saddle into the soft ring dust.

Because the parents of most young equestrian students are not involved with horses themselves, it is usually a question of not knowing what is sensible when the child is mounted in the ring. There are some basic tenets, however, you should observe to make the time your child spends with his teacher more productive.

Lessons for Parents

Learn To Be Patient

Finally, learning to ride, like learning any sport, requires time, patience and practice. Your son or daughter won't be ready to jump the second time in the saddle. Everyone learns on a different curve. Some children require more practice and time than others. One of the most wonderful things about riding is that it is a partnership between human and horse, and what matters is that synergy, not whether your child canters before someone else's.

The best way you to encourage a successful partnership is to provide a supportive and safe learning environment. Trust your child's instructor to do the rest.