Buying a Horse for Kids
Horseback riding teaches children invaluable lessons. Here's seven tips for finding the perfect kids' horse.
By Jim Caudill | August 24, 2008
The right horse can instill invaluable confidence in a child. Children can learn patience, kindness, teamwork, responsibility, trust and myriad other life skills on the back of a trusty horse. Check out these seven tips to get you started on your search for a great kids' horse.
Checklist to Buy a Kid's Horse
- Ensure that your child is ready for the responsibility of horse ownership. Indications that they are include: A strong desire/love for horses; a strong desire to learn about the needs and care of a horse; knowledge and desire to participate in specific disciplines. Experience (such as lessons) help make sure it's not just a passing fancy.
- Find an expert you trust to help guide your purchasing decision.
- Evaluate the child's skills and needs to decide what kind of horse to look for.
- Take your time - find the perfect horse, not the first one you see.
- Let the child interact with the horse, including groundwork and riding to make sure their personalities mesh.
- As a general rule, a good kid horse is older (over the age of 10 years), is a gelding or mare, has a quiet temperament, has extensive training and, if it is a show horse, has a performance record.
- A pre-purchase exam, even on a relatively cheap horse, can save a lot of upset in the future and is recommended.
Need help determining your child's horse needs? Contact an AQHA Professional Horseman.