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How to take a toddler horseback riding

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

How did people used to ride horses with toddlers? Do you just sit them in front of you on the saddle and hold them with one arm and ride western using the other? My DD is 2 1/2 and this is what we have done for short rides, but I question weather that is the only/best option for longer rides.

 

It seems like there are seats and trailers for bikes, backpacks for hiking, jogging strollers, etc. and there must be some way people make this work too.I KNOW that there was a period in history where this had to have been the norm. I don't love the idea of a backpack, as she will be riding with her father (who is a better rider than I am and who is on a more reliable horse) and he isn't a backpack kind of guy, and I think it would throw off your center of gravity, and it seems really dangerous to be in such a constrained situation if a fall ever did occur.

 

I have googled this and found nothing. Anybody know of any special saddles? Saddle attachments (like so the child was able to use stirrups for balance as well)? Belts - like belt to belt with quick release type harness systems between the child and the rider? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

post #2 of 8

One thing I can think of is to be sure she's wearing a helmet. Also, maybe you could make something like this work.

 

http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=536369&cmSource=Search

 

But obviously only as a back up. I would still think you'd want a hand on the child.

post #3 of 8

I think my preference for a very young child would be riding with them in front of the saddle. It's easy to keep one/both arms around the child and hold the reins in front. The most comfortable for me, I think, was the leather two-person bareback pad that we had when I was a kid, but obviously not an option for all riders. There are "buddy" seats/tandem saddles for older kids that strap on behind the saddle and have their own stirrups. But I would be more comfortable with that option for an older child.

 

 

post #4 of 8

we weren't asking for an advertisement, did you have any advice for the lady or just a link you your company?

post #5 of 8

Who does this?!?!?! Am I the ONLY one who thinks this is all wrong?!  When the horse bucks off it's adult rider what do you think happens to them?  Broken spines, dislocated hips the list gets worse here.  What do you think would happen to your toddler?? 

 

Just don't do it wait till she is much much older why risk her life or quality of it? 
 

post #6 of 8

How old is your kiddo?

 

My 5 year old starting riding when she was 4 -- I personally see nothing wrong with it. My friend has been riding for 15+ years and her daughter was on a horse from a very, very young age. With an EXPERIENCED rider it can be done - I would think (me NOT being the person to ask but just giving advice here for the heck of it..) that sitting in the front would be best, holding on to stirrup but again depends on what kind of ride you're going on (super slow trail ride) and what sort of rider/horse it is. 

 

I imagine as long as your not galloping through the fields bareback it's fine : )

post #7 of 8

I'm with Lulu on this one. 

 

Please read http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/_WMS/publications/wmj/pdf/104/2/50.pdf and make sure you have a proper helmet if you decide this absolutely can't wait.  People used to drive cars with babies in laundry baskets.  History is a poor choice for modern safety decisions.  

post #8 of 8

I think sitting in front is the best option. And a helmet. I think it goes without saying that the horse is old, calm and spook free and the adult rider is experienced.  A trailer kind of extension wouldnt work in general .. kids face to close to the hooves, and the trailer would / could spook the horse (unless its a trotting cart horse or clydesdale, you are riding).

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