Like all of the other firsts in your child’s life, that first horse she wants will be very special – hopefully, in a good way. A first horse isn’t quite like a first trike, a first bike, or even a first dog or cat. Getting that first horse right could make the difference in if there will be a second horse, or any more to follow that first one. Finding the right first horse can be a very pivotal decision and purchase. You can’t afford to get it wrong.
There are two very, very, important pieces of advice that all parents should know when out shopping the marketplace for that first horse for a child. These two pieces of advice are priceless, unforgiving, irrefutable; unalterable, and sacred. They are a must. There is no way around them, no way under them, no way over them, and, no way through them – you must follow these two rules. If you don’t get these two rules right – you probably won’t get to fix the mistake that is most likely to follow.
RULE NUMBER ONE:
Don’t buy a young horse.
RULE NUMBER TWO:
Buy an older horse.
These rules are clear, and simple; unless your mission is to cure your child’s desire for a horse, and if that is the case, then reversing these two rules might be the way you will choose to make sure that your child will not wish to stick with that desire to be an equestrian, cowboy, or cowgirl. If you don’t want to parent a horseback rider, then go ahead and buy that kid an untrained foal. That experience alone will likely be so un-nerving and frustrating, that your wish will come true, and you can bypass those “horse years” pretty quickly.
But there are bigger issues to concern yourself with in this decision, then breaking your child’s heart of wanting to have a horse. And that issue is summed up in one simple word: SAFETY. It’s just plain not a safe and wise idea to mix a young untrained horse, and a young untrained kid. That is the recipe for disaster, and one which could be dangerous to your child.
Too many people employ the puppy or kitty scenario when purchasing that first horse for their young child – and by young, we’re talking probably any child younger than about 14 or so. It’s one thing to get a puppy or a kitty for a young child to “grow up with” – not always a great idea at that, but it can be done with some odds at a successful, or some level of successful outcome with a small pet.
Allowing a young, growing horse, and a young growing child, to experiment with each other, is not such a great idea, and especially not a safe one. In this scenario, neither child nor horse is liable to learn anything good from the other, and likely nothing useable on down the road toward maturity.
What you want in a first horse for a child, is a teacher; and like with all teachers your child will encounter, you want a good teacher. Therefore, what you want in the description of a first horse, is an older horse – one that has been there and done that; a horse that you can allow to babysit your child through the process of learning how wonderful a horse can be, and how lucky a person can be to have a horse in their life.
So, shop for a horse with history and miles. You don’t necessarily have to go around and “kick the tires on all four corners”, but hey, if you did accidently kick your kid’s first horse in a leg, you wouldn’t want him to kick back. Sometimes the best horse is one that has already shown his worth in teaching other kids already – a senior horse who already has “teacher” on his resume’. These horses are worth their weight in hours spent teaching a child to love, learn, nurture, have patience and understanding, and to grow up as a responsible caretaker of life.
“Horse Families” start picking out potential horse teachers for their kids before their babies are ready to sit the saddle, sometimes before the kids are even born. They begin to take notice of the good horses that younger kids are riding, and watch for when those kids might start to “out-grow” these beginner models, and be ready to move up to a more challenging vintage of equine partner. Horse families will begin to talk to the parents who own these starter horses and begin to find out when that horse might be available again in the marketplace.
Planning, anticipating, watching for the successful older horse kid teacher, can be an art form. In horse communities, the good horse teachers will pass hands and family addresses a number of times in their “golden” years – giving back to the next generation what they learned from patient trainers and ethical horse nurtures from their younger years – because that is where the younger horse belongs – in the hands of a well-educated, mature, understanding set of experienced horse owner hands….. hands that were taught early in life by an older horse, to be respectful of all things equine, and all things living.
Shop For A Golden Years Horse to Teach Your Child !