Can anyone give me tips to keep my child safe on horseback?

We are lucky enough to have a kind neighbor with her own horse who is teaching my 8-year-old daughter to ride for next to nothing. She loves it and I think it is good for her in so many ways. Exercise, she's outside for hours, it helps her feel competent, etc. She's catching on very fast (I promise, I'm not the only one who thinks so). I want to get her the best helmet I can afford, because even though she's riding a docile, 26-year-old gelding and has him convinced she is the BOSS, stuff happens. Does safe and comfortable have to mean expensive? I have also heard a few stories about adults with back problems from riding when they were children. Does anyone know how to avoid this, short of making her give it up? She's even happier there than on the ice! We are only able to do this about twice a month right now, and I'm hoping that will help her back, but of course eventually she will either stop or be doing it more often. Thanks

Update:

Thanks, Shadouse, for the advice about the goggles. I hadn't heard of that and I hope I don't sound too silly, but why? Is it just to keep the dust out of her eyes? I assume they come unbreakable in case of a fall.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    I've been riding since I was three years old, and riding all my life every single day. I have no problems with my body, but even if I did I'd still ride horses :) If riding horses is a passion for your daughter, then try to offer as much as you can. Yes, I'd suggest getting her a helmet just because she's so young and things do happen. I agree, I think it is a myth about people having back problems from riding. What I have heard is that older people get bow-legged, but this is like older people who ride every single day all day, especially jockeys on race horses.

    If you're a little worried about your daughter having any physical problems from riding horses, have her do some stretches before she gets on, especially leg stretches. This helps her loosen up, relax, and helps prevent her pulling muscles and other health issues. Oh and goggles? this truly isn't necessary I've never in all my life seen anyone who rides horses where goggles (except jockeys) lol it sounds kinda funny, your neighbor might look at you weird if you put goggles on her. They actually might get in the way with her concentration or affect her vision, and I don't think they help in any way. But I guess it's up to you.

    I hope your daughter does well! She's so lucky to have an incredible oppurtunity like that. Riding horses will not only keep her fit, but it teaches her lessons in life. I'm serious, horses are amazing creatures that will touch your soul. Good luck!

    Source(s): horse rider/trainer
  • 1 decade ago

    Many people have bad backs that have never ridden a horse. I think that is a myth. I do not have a bad back and neither do either of my adult brothers

    A set of safety glasses or goggles are also a good idea.

    I do not know where your child rides but horses can get under tree and that can be a problem, also at a run getting hit in the eye by a bug is no fun

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    -Stuff hay in her clothes. The horse will like the familiar smell and will treat her like a friend.

    -Heavy means stable. Feed her McDonalds Happy Meals, and soda instead of water until she plumps out nicely.

    -Riding is not bad for the back, contrary to popular belief. Horses have very strong backs.

    -Teach her to ride on an untamed stallion. After she learns the correct way to fall off, and how to roll quickly to avoid the clomping hooves, she will be an expert riding the docile older horses.

    Source(s): How do you consider riding a horse "exercise?"
  • 1 decade ago

    The more experience she gets the better rider she becomes and the safer she'll be. More kids get serious hurt on bicycles than horses

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