First Pony Ride? How Old Do Kids Need To Be?

Parents often ask us what the minimum age is for their kids to have their first pony ride. This might be at a birthday party or having a hand led pony ride in the forest. Their 3 year old may be pretty keen to get on the furry beasts but is this too young? We can answer this question easily: with appropriate guidance, no age is too young!

No age is too young for a first pony ride!
No age is too young for a first pony ride!

Is their first pony ride by themselves or being hand led?

Most riding schools and equestrian centres will need kids to be a minimum age of 6 or 7 years old to ride their ponies. This is due to insurance restrictions, and takes into account that the kids will be riding by themselves with no adult holding them. It is reasonable to acknowledge there is a certain amount of risk with this scenario. However if the pony is being hand led by an experienced handler, and an adult is walking alongside the pony to hold the little one if need be, the risk is very minimal. Together with assurance that the pony has a very quiet temperament and has many years experience in giving rides to little kids, well… what are you waiting for?!

First pony ride.
First encounter with a pony

Do you need convincing?

We’ve put together some short pieces of information about the benefits for kids in their interactions with animals and how this can positively impact their physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. The benefits are extensive. See our posts on Pony Rides In The Forest and 7 Valuable Reasons For Owning A Horse for more detail.

Some benefits of riding ponies

In summary, interactions with ponies can:

  • Boost confidence and independence
  • Teach respect and compassion
  • Be a stimulating physical exercise
  • Help improve balance and posture
  • Positively affect mental wellbeing
  • Teach life lessons, such as responsibility and committment
  • Encourage creativity and problem solving
  • Have beneficial social impacts

All these things help our kids grow into well balanced adults.

Shetland ponies are a good size for a first ride on a pony.
Shetland Ponies are a good size for a first ride on a pony.

What to wear on your first pony ride

We have a variety of different sized helmets, from extra small to extra large. This ensures any age and any size kids can join in the fun. It’s a good idea to wear comfortable clothes with shoes or boots when riding ponies. However, the ponies are used to having all kinds of riders, even superman, cowboys, fairies, and bees!

This birthday girl is turning 4!
Even tutu’s are fine to wear for your first pony ride!

What if they aren’t sure they want to get on?

Sometimes our little customers might be very shy and not sure they really want to leave mum or dads arms and sit on the pony. We supply small sized brushes for grooming the ponies, and this can help boost kid’s confidence by being up close to a large animal. We also supply carrots that can be fed to the ponies, and this is always a favourite activity.

Is your first pony ride overdue?

Maybe you aren’t a little kid anymore, and feel like you have missed out. We can cater for big kids too! Our bigger ponies can give rides to kids up to 12 years old.

And don’t forget to bring your cameras and smiles to capture some happy memories!

Book your pony ride online. Or call Janet on 0417 330 948.

Find out more about Melbourne’s Pony Parties and Pony Rides in the Forest

Growing up with ponies (part 1) Growing up with ponies (part 2) Miniature Party Pony Shares Yoga Secrets

Poem for Peanuts

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