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Riding lessons for children
The first thing a child has to learn (or any rider for that matter) is how to secure their seat and to gain balance. Hands can come later.

I've been giving riding lesson for over 7 years, now, and it's better to start them out on a longe line and not even worry about the hands at all in the beginning. They have to learn how to sit and how to balance on a moving horse first before they ever start to use their hands. I've discovered that trying to do both at once is just too much to learn all at the same time.

Once they gain that balance and leard to sit deep in their seats, then I introduce leg cues with the student still on the longe line. Riding should be done more from the legs than the hands, and the more a person stays out of a horse's mouth, the better off the horse will be and the communication between horse & rider.

Riding the horse with the hands should be the least important thing when it comes to riding a horse, but once my student gets to this point, we combine the hand cues with the legs, the seat, and the sense of balance of the rider. All this takes time and lots of patience.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
I also dont think it matters what you start with. i started taking english riding lessons when i was 3. and its true that it makes you have to learn to balance properly, and use your legs. i recently started riding western wich i find much more relaxing. but i would also take into consideration what they want to do. ask them wich they would prefer.[Smile]
I started riding bareback, does that count? Worked for me but would follow the above advice and find a good trainer for kids. Start them well and they just might turn out to be more horse people Smile

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