What could be more adorable than watching a small child taking care of and riding her own pony? This little girl takes excellent care of her pony. She combs his mane, cleans his hooves, and gives him all the love he needs. Even though she is still tiny, she has already learned to put the saddle on the pony alone and even ride the pony independently.
Children who learn to be responsible from an early age, especially with animals, grow up to be very caring and trustworthy adults. And this girl’s parents offer her an excellent education at such an early age.
For generations, ponies have been purposefully bred as riding animals for smaller children. Good breeders select them for beauty, conformation, movement, athleticism, and also, most importantly, temperament. Ponies are the right size for children learning to ride and jump. Little hands and legs are more likely to influence an appropriately sized mount than a too large horse.
Best practices are that children be at least three years old, but some reputable programs accept children age two and up. The maximum size of riders usually correlates to the size of the pony, but standards range from under 80 pounds (36 kg) to about 100 pounds (45 kg).
And when a child feels safe, like this little girl in our video, they can learn essential lessons even at an early age. Also, quality ponies make good riders. If a child is sitting on adequately sized, quality mounts from an early age, they will learn what a good ride feels like, develop an eye for pace and distance, and have an easier time moving up.
Ponies are the place to start young equestrians. Find a professional who will appropriately mount a young rider on the pony best suited to their abilities and goals. A successful riding experience is only as good as the team and the animal, so choose wisely!