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How to Introduce Your Child to Horses

How to introduce your child to horses: A guide for Parents/Guardians

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For many children, horses are huge fascinating creatures that seem larger than life. With the growing interest in Western lifestyles in the media and celebrities donning cowboy hats, boots and spurs, who wouldn’t want to give horseback riding a try? I say this as someone whose parents indulged her horse crazy requests at a young age and also as someone who routinely introduces kids to horses, you only need to remember two things:

  • Be safe
  • Have fun

If your little one is drawn to horses, you might be about to saddle up for a journey filled with joy, learning, and adventure. But how do you begin? With a little help from Cowgirl Camryn and her crew, your child can not only explore the world of horses but also become a part of a community that celebrates this lifestyle through engaging stories, laughter, and learning. Here’s how to get started.

Saddle Up with Stories

Once a child sees an example of what they want to try, they are filled with confidence and possibility. “I can do/be/try that too!” Lean into this interest by exposing your child to stories, videos and education about horses and the culture that surrounds them. You can even start your adventure with the vibrant pages of Cowgirl Camryn books. 

These books are a gateway into the world of horses and animal husbandry, designed to spark curiosity and love for horses, animals, and the environment. As Cowgirl Camryn and her friends embark on their adventures, your child will learn about the care, compassion, and herd spirit that the barnyard besties inspire. These stories lay the foundation for a lifelong appreciation of these animals.

Abriana is seated holding Encore while a group of young kids gather around

Take the Reins and Explore

With the foundation laid by Cowgirl Camryn’s stories and the Barnyard Besties herd, the next step is to encourage horse experiences IRL (in real life). Start with small positive experiences with horses of all sizes. This can begin with pony rides at local fairs/ events then evolve into riding lessons at local horseback riding schools. There are even non-profit organizations whose mission is to introduce kids to the world of horses. Whether it’s visiting a local farm, taking riding lessons, or attending horse shows, these experiences can bring the stories to life and give kids a place to connect their imagination with their experiences.

Remember I said there are two things you need to keep in mind? 1. Be safe 2. Have fun. You can’t have the later without the former. When you visit a barn/event and want to get your kid on a horse, you should keep your eye out for a few key things:

  • Helmet Safety: Your child’s safety is of the utmost importance. Horses are unpredictable and even in the most well planned environments, accidents can happen. If there are no helmets provided, I suggest only allowing on the ground activities. 
  • Respect: Good horse experience providers make you feel welcome and show a huge appreciation for their horses. If you witness aggressive (or micro-aggressive) behavior from the horse professionals directed AT YOU or at the horses, take your money elsewhere.
  • There’s Levels to This: When you join a barn family, you should expect for your kiddo to have to work up to the privilege of riding. There are so many lessons to learn on the ground that are important for your child to understand before their rear even hits the saddle. Some riding places won’t accept children under 4 years old. Don’t take it personal. The kiddos need to be able to be aware of their bodies and have the ability to follow simple instructions to keep everyone safe. 

For younger kids (under 13), there is the likelihood that when they get to ride, they will be on a lunge line until they can direct the horse on their own. These levels create a reward structure and incentivize learning, working hard, and deepen their understanding of what’s required when working with horses.

Comment below if you have specific questions about introducing your kiddos to horses or how to get into horses as an adult. Many adults have had less than positive experiences with horses, so it is natural to have reservations. We want to empower you all to have courage, try new things and be safe while doing so.

Join the Barnyard Besties and introduce your little ones to the wonderful world of animals

Become a Barnyard Bestie

Joining the Barnyard Besties as a parent/guardian isn’t just about signing up for another email list; it’s about becoming part of a community that treasures the values creating positive experiences for learning, play and connection. As Barnyard Besties, your child will have access to farm funnies, new book releases, and educational resources that make learning about people, animals and the environment engaging and fun.

These materials are crafted to deepen your child’s understanding of horses, covering topics from horse care and behavior to the history and role of horses in society. Through interactive and age-appropriate content, your child will not only learn about horses but also develop valuable skills in empathy, responsibility, and environmental stewardship. This community is a treasure trove for young animal lovers and their adults, offering a supportive and enriching environment for exploration and growth.

Looking for additional resources as the Cowgirl Camryn corral continues to grow? Here are some additional resources that dive into equestrian life more deeply:

Sisters With Horses – kid-friendly content about horses

Black Equestrian Network – a growing network of horse-related businesses and organizations that are Black-owned

4H Horse Club(s) – This is NC-specific, but check your state! This is a great way to get kids into horses, agriculture, and animals in general

 

Time to Hit the Trails

 

Introducing your child to the world of horses through mainstream media, Cowgirl Camryn’s corral, and other fun experiences should feel fun, not a chore. Many adults have hesitations based on their past experiences. That’s okay! I’m here to be a resource for you to ask questions, share your experience, and connect with Barnyard Besties around you. 

 

 

So, why wait? Connect with your local horse friends and have some fun!

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Abriana smiling while holding the three Cowgirl Camryn books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Howdy Barnyard Bestie!

I’m Abriana, the creator of Cowgirl Camryn, your resident cheerleader, and lover of all things leopard print.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! I crafted it with you in mind. As you explore the Cowgirl Camryn Corral, I encourage you to join our email list to stay in the know about all things Cowgirl Camryn!

I will send information right to your inbox about new products, new blog posts, and new opportunities to meet the herd in person. 

One more scroll and you’ll see where you can join below!