Horseback Riding Lessons
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Horseback Riding Lessons for Kids: What To Know Before Getting in the Saddle

Horseback riding lessons for kids may be on your list of experiences to gift your kids for the holidays.  I know in our neverending quest to find non-toy gifts lessons are a top option.  Or, perhaps you are just getting ideas for activities to begin in the New Year. 

Either way, we have a great guest post from an expert on the subject of riding and kids. Nicky Ellis is an editor at Horses & Foals and a mom of three and she is chiming in today to help us determine if horseback riding lessons for kids should be on our Christmas list and why!


The bond between man and horse goes back thousands of years. Their domestication has helped society from purposes of transportation, agriculture, war, and more. As we have moved into an era of motors horses are beloved for recreation and sport. Research has long shown the benefits of horseback riding for individuals with physical and mental disabilities.  Recent studies show that horseback riding can improve learning in children.

In our digital age, where children are perennially glued to screens and lead more sedentary lifestyles, horseback riding lessons for kids is a breath of fresh air. Horses have a kind and gentle temperament and are generally very friendly with other animals and humans alike. 

Fun Exercise for Kids

When your child is riding on a horseback, it may appear as if the horse is putting in all the hard work. However, this is not true. Children utilize various sets of muscles to maintain balance. It is a great form of isometric exercise for them. This keeps children fit and obesity at bay.

Enhances Learning & Memory

Extensive research about the relationship between human and horse shows that when a horse is being ridden they emanate certain vibrations. These vibrations are vital in activating the sympathetic nervous system in the human brain.

Simply put, horseback riding impacts memory, focus, and learning skills such as problem-solving. The focus required to successfully ride on horseback extends into children’s academics and their scholastic accomplishments are improved.

Children who take up horseback riding are likely to do well in school as they are better geared to take on academic projects and assignments. Horseback riding also improve cognitive ability.

Horseback riding enhances children’s mind-body connection by requiring them to be physically and mentally alert as they need to maintain balance and position as well as ensuring the horse stays on stays on track.

Special Needs Create Special Relationships

Owing to their status as prey animals, horses are always vigilant. This trait makes them sensitive to the emotional needs of their rider. They mirror the feelings of the rider. Animal Therapy, as the name suggests, entails being near different animals and communicating with them to help manage and improve mental health or physical challenges. Equine Assisted Therapy helps to promote psychological, educational, physical and social growth. 

Teaching Children Responsibility

When children take lessons for horseback riding they are also taught how to care for the horse. How to keep the horse clean and healthy. This ingrains a feeling of responsibility in children. They also develop other positive attributes such as putting others before themselves, kindness, respect, discipline, and patience. Caring for a horse helps children become compassionate and kind.

Introducing Riding Lessons to Your Child

Many children will take to the idea of horseback riding lessons or come up with it on their own, particularly if your children have grown up around pets. If it is not their idea or they have no experience with horses it would be a great idea to pique your child’s interest in learning horseback riding by reading stories or watching films that involve horses.

Some children will find it intimidating being around an animal that is twice their size. But once they learn how to care for and ride a horse through guidance and training, you are sure to see a surge in the level of their confidence. You can shower them with compliments and words of encouragement to ensure they stay engaged.

Finding a Facility

Before you enroll your child in horseback riding lessons, you must exercise due diligence to find a safe and experienced facility. Visit the venue where the lessons are conducted preferably during lesson time.

Verify that the instructors are experienced. Licensing is not required in the U.S. but you should feel comfortable that the instructor is a professional. Inquire into that experience, how long they have been training, and how many clients they have. Watch how they interact with students.

Ensure the horses are properly trained, well-fed, and looked after. Finally, take a good look at the quality of equipment used and that safety guidelines are being well followed.

Horseback Riding Lesson Facilities in Houston

We have no affiliation with the following locations merely passing along word-of-mouth recommendations. Facilities with an asterisk (*) were specifically recommended by homeschoolers.

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