8.23.2009

The Young Equestrian

For those of you who follow this blog who do not ride horses, and are thinking about getting your child into horses, here are my tips for how to shop for your young equestrian.

1. Helmet

"The hunt caps of old don't meet certification standards, and bicycle helmets rated differently, are not adequate substitutes for approved equestrian headgear" ~EquiShopper

I also believe personally that shared helmets 1. aren't one size fits all, and 2. are a good way to bring home lice. When trying on a helmet your child should be able to shake their head without the helmet falling over their eyes. The helmet should cover the temples and sit just above the nape of the neck. I always ask "Is it comfortable enough to wear for an hour?"

I recommend a Troxel Legacy $49.95



2. Boots

"No sneakers because they have no heel to keep your foot from slipping through the stirrup; and the soft toe doesn't protect your toes from being stepped on. No loafers because they can fall off your foot. No work boots because the lug soles can get caught in the stirrup and keep your foot from slipping out." ~ Horse Mail.

Sometimes children can be thrown off by how a riding boot covers the ankle, and how stiff the leather is. Have them walk around to get used to their new style of footwear. For english riding your child should start with a paddock boot. No tall boot needed till your child becomes more serious, and no western boots as, I feel, they don't support the ankle.

I recommend either:

Saxon Equileather Lace-Up Childs Paddock Boots (Synthetic leather) $31.95



or


Ariat® Heritage II Zip Paddock Boots $79.95



3. Pants

"Make sure the pants you wear have smooth inside seams. Most jeans have the heavy seam against the saddle and the smoother seam on the outside." ~ Horse Mail

Riding pants also have a knee patch, which helps with grip, and are comfortable for kids to wear all day. Tan or beige is the best option.

I recommend:

Devon Aire Concour Children's Pull-On Breeches



OPTIONAL Equipment

Ariat® Kids All-Around III Chaps $79.95



Heritage Cotton Grip Riding Gloves for Kids $4.95



**Important Note: Most trainers won't start children until they are 6. Some will make an exception if your child demonstrates a certain level of alertness that is required for trainers to be able to effectively communicate their lessons, and the importance of your child's safety around the horses.

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