Jennifer Forsberg Meyer

Show Business

Participating in a horse show or other competitive event can be one of the most pleasurable things your child does with horses. Clearing a course of jumps, finessing a reining pattern, galloping a cloverleaf of barrels can be heady experiences, especially before an audience that includes friends and family. And, apart from the fun involved, showing can foster a host of desirable character traits and life skills in your child.

Safety First, Second, And Always

Horses are large, powerful creatures, and riding is a vigorous activity. Safety measures and common sense are the keys to protecting your child and enhancing her enjoyment. Riding a suitable mount under the guidance of a qualified instructor is the most important safeguard for your child. Common (Horse) Sense

Horsekeeping at Home

Keeping a horse at home is a major undertaking, but it can also be highly rewarding. Caring for a horse or pony at home is a serious responsibility. Good horsekeeping requires dedication and a lot of time and energy.

The Right Horse, the Right Instructor

Your child's first exposure to horses should come via lessons with a competent instructor, who will make sure she is matched to the right lesson mount. After a year or more of instruction--and perhaps some horse-sharing--your child may be ready to take the next step, into horse ownership. Assuming you're ready as well, your child's instructor can help to make sure that first horse or pony is a safe and appropriate one.

So Many Ways to Play

There are two primary riding styles. English originated in antiquity and came to America with the earliest colonists. Western is rooted in the ways of the Spanish vaqueros ("cowboys") who worked the vast cattle ranches of the early American West. Each style has its own unique attractions and gear.

Why Horses Are Great For Kids

Horses make wonderful childhood companions. Children are naturally attracted to them, and that makes horses a desirable alternative to TV-watching, Internet-surfing, or just "hanging out." Horseback riding also puts children in touch with nature, and can be enjoyed alone or in groups.

Horses: The Fitness Fix

This article looks at some of the reasons your child and other youngsters in our country may be less active than they should be, a key contributor to obesity. It also suggests a great way to get kids moving, using something your child will love: horses.

Girl on Grey. Courtesy Horse & Rider

Learn the Pony Club Way

The ideal of Pony Club, in essence, is a happy, comfortable child on a happy, comfortable horse. The organization's mission statement also targets "responsibility, moral judgment, leadership, and self-confidence" as qualities to be developed in members.