Horses, Kids, and Kid’s Horses

Posted in: Horse Training

That age old question…What makes a good kid’s horse? Well, most of us know that the majority of the time, an old horse is best suited for a kid. One that has been there, done that. You or someone you know, has owned that horse a while, and know all his quirks.  But does their personality fit with their rider? What if they are too lazy, and stubborn? Or the opposite? What if they still think they are young and fast, even though they are crippled, and used up? Age can’t always be your determining factor.

Safety is the key here.  And the bottom line is that kids (like horses) are all different.  Some are determined, and fearless. Others are cautious and quiet. Our job is to pair that child’s personality with a horse that builds their confidence, and teaches them love and respect.

My first horse was a stubborn pony. Many hard lessons came from that ol’ girl. When I grew out of her, she went on to be a favorite of several other kids.  My older sister had a beautiful Palomino mare.  A “big horse”.  She went around like she had nose flies all the time, and it made my sister crazy.  Crazy enough to never stick with it. I battled every day with my pony, and never lost my love of horses.  Each child’s personality cannot be overlooked when seeking out a horse for them.

My daughter was 2 when we led her through her very first jackpot barrel race on her much beloved pony. She had been horse back and in love with horses since the day she was born, but she screamed and cried the entire way.  I thought, “Oh no! What have I done! She may never want to ride again, and the entire crowd thinks I’m one of “those moms.”  It turned out she was just very, very afraid of crowds.  In fact she asked me if next time I could tell the announcer to make everyone close their eyes.


My daughter (now 6) still strongly believes that its not about winning, it’s about having fun.  Even as kids her age are racing past her on wonderful Open horses. She beams as she trots along on her little pony, and I only have to have heart attacks for everyone else’s child.

What was your first horse and what did it teach you?



Posted in: Horse Training

About Jessie Salter

Horses have been a part of my life since I can remember. Riding with my Dad as a youngster was what I lived for. There was nothing better than working cows, or racing my dad across an alfalfa field. It seems I never grew out...

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