Horses are wonderful for children’s development, both physically and emotionally, and there are many reasons why a child should horseback ride. Horses build character for children in many different ways, and, speaking as a parent, parents should be excited at any requests that gets their child away from the TV, cell phone, video games, computer, etc.
While caring for a horse, your child will quickly learn that they need to take responsibility for them. The best way to really bring about responsibility is to make sure they take care of all the work involved in caring for a horse such as feeding it, grooming it, cleaning, saddling, as well as riding it. Many children may feel that they should get to ride and play with the horse, but they may not want to take care of it and want to leave that responsibility to you. We do not agree with that and encourage all of our young riders (and their parents) to require the child to be responsible for the care. As they do, one thing that results from a child taking care of their own horse is that they seem to have a deeper love for the horse when they put the effort into taking care of it. Once they understand the horses need them in order to survive and that they cannot ride wit out taking care of it, they will quickly learn that the work pays off.
Your child will absolutely build confidence. Horses can look big and intimidating to any child (or adult!), but once your child has had the chance to handle their horse on their own they will receive a huge boost in confidence. This allows them to build confidence in other areas of their life such as relationships and school. This confidence develops a huge boost for a child’s self-esteem.
Your child will learn patience. Horses oftentimes do not do what you tell them to do at first. Sometimes all it takes is a little while to get everything to work just right. So when a child has to deal with a horse that just won’t give into its wishes right away, they develop patience and perseverance to adapt. This patience is applied to other things as well.
Your child will learn self-discipline. Horses are not easy to take care of. Many children lack dedication and decide to give up on something as soon as it gets difficult. Furthermore, horses need to be tended to early and many child may not want to get up early in the morning and to get to work outside and take care of their horse.
Learn From Mistakes
A child will learn how to learn from his or her mistakes. Most people are not able to do a task perfectly from the start, and this rule definitely applies to horses. This is especially true because a rider also has to deal with how the horse is acting. A child will quickly learn mot to make the same mistake again after they learn the consequences of their actions. The most important thing is to learn from your mistakes and not dwell on them.
A child will learn respect. Horses can be dangerous when not dealt with in the correct manor. Having a horse will quickly teach a child they cannot disrespect their horse without consequences. After learning that they will have to respect their horse, a child will learn to respect other things as well.
Horses are fun! The most important rule of everything is to have fun. If a child is not having fun with their horse they are less likely to want to take care of the chores that come along with it. While this may lead to disinterest, be sure not to push your child too hard to just do chores and make sure they get to have a good time riding their horse.