Why is it so Hard to Find a Kid Safe Horse?

When my daughter was 6 years old she became interested in horse showing. She had shown my older hunter thoroughbred at some of the local kid’s shows but she wanted to do what Mom was doing (or trying to do). So I talked with my husband and we decided that we would buy her a walk/trot horse to show at some of the smaller “A rated” shows that we attended. We figured that somebody had to have an appropriately priced older show horse that has slowed down enough to truck a little kid around the ring. Piece of cake, right? WRONG! I never in my wildest dreams thought it would be so incredibly hard to find a nice, safe kids horse.

I can understand why Oklahoma caliber horses cost so much. What I don’t understand is why it is so difficult to find an average horse, not necessarily the most talented or athletic, that is kind enough to work with a kid on its back. I am sure they’re out there, but my riding instructor has the same problem finding good saddle seat lesson horses. Are we asking too much of our kids to be able to ride this type of horse, or do the horses not get enough training in basics to be able to handle this job later in life? Maybe this isn’t anything new, but I’m wondering if others have run into the same problem?

3 Responses to Why is it so Hard to Find a Kid Safe Horse?

  1. Gold Creek says:

    Hi..those kind of horses are out there, a good source for them is dreamhorse.com. I wonder sometimes if the showring training is aimed so strongly for brillance that getting them broke is sometimes a second thought….


  2. kad says:

    Sure those horses are out there – but more often than not they are untouchable for one reason or another. These horses are certainly few and far between. It’s takes a special minded horse to carry a child through all that lies ahead of them as they grow in there equestian (& personal) life.
    I have for the past several years spent the better part of my free time looking for “child-safe horses”. Unfortunately for most, child safe really isn’t safe at all. When I am faced with trying a horse for my lesson program I have very strict criteria that they must me – and believe me – most don’t even begin to pass the initial tests. Horses are presented to me weekly as my next best school horse and I would find it very difficult to put an experienced adult on the horse let alone a child.
    To those that have “that perfect horse” for sale ask yourself the most important question; if you had a child would you put them on this horse??????? If, the answer is not absolutely yes, please, please make that fact clear to a perspective buyer. By doing this you are bettering yourself as a seller and possibly avoiding a terrible outcome for both horse & rider.

  3. Black Eye Beth says:

    Very well put, kad. The other thing is that, although you horse may have been a perfect angel at your barn for all these years, being moved to a different environment could blow it’s mind. Sellers might want to be kind to prospective buyers of child safe horses and, if possible, let them try the horse out for a week or two or let them bring the horse back if it doesn’t work. Nobody wants a child to get hurt. I know this from experience. I thought my horse would make a great lesson horse but when I took it over to be tried out at the barn where it would have been used, it freaked out. She packed kids around all day at the barn she had been stabled at for awhile. I would have felt terrible if a kids had been hurt. Just something to consider. For more of my experiences on this check out Blackeyebeth.com later today.

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