Many riding facilities will not take children under age 8. This is because the child doesn't always have the attention span or physical coordination to participate in a one-hour lesson and many facilities do not have the horses or man-power to focus one-on-one with smaller children. At Stonehouse Equestrian, we have a program designed to give the younger ones a Head Start. Our PeeWee program is designed to give younger kids the basics of riding and teach them to be safe and comfortable around horses and ponies.
For $25.00 per session, they will receive a 15 minute* private riding lesson where they will learn to control a pony at the walk, to include the halt and steering through an obstacle course. They will also be taught a series of exercises to improve their balance, coordination and confidence on the pony. Once their balance has developed sufficiently, they will learn to trot with the instructor leading the horse. The emphasis is safety and fun for the child yet still teaching them to ride.
*Lessons are typically 15 - 20 minutes. Lessons are completed when that day's goals are reached, tasks completed or if attention wanders too much. This is why we don't set an exact time period for each session.
This isn't just a pony ride at the fair; this is an actual riding lesson specifically geared toward the younger child to give them a Head Start on their riding skills and to allow them to be comfortable around and on a pony. Children who start in a head start riding program are often ready to move up to "traditional" lessons at a younger age and progress more quickly. We have several students age 6 and 7 who are riding independently in 1 hour lessons because of our program!
Our "Pee Wee" Program is also great for kids up to age 12 with attention deficit issues. It allows them to enjoy learning to ride without the focus requirements of a formal lesson.
Above: AnnaMarita, age 7, grooming her pony for her lesson.
Alex, age 6, practicing riding backwards to develop balance.
Jamie, age 8 and a PeeWee graduate, riding bareback unassisted.
Riley, age 6, finishes bridling her horse.