I think this issue may be similar to skiing for
I've been skiing since 10 years old (33 years ago,
only missed on season because of a car accident in all that time). My
brother has been skiing as long. For a long time, the entire family (5
kids and Dad, plus my Uncle and his 3 kids) went skiing. We still ski
today. I've taught an ex-wife and my kids to ski (marriage advice:
Pay for lessons and professional instructors for your spouse). My two kids
have been skiing since they were 3 or so.
My youngest nephew started when he was 1 (Ok, he
turned 2 the next weekend). By age 5 he could go anywhere he wanted and
ski in control and do well. All the kids spent their time skiing the Bear
Mountain Section at Killington as much as possible. (Expert section at the
ski resort). They could go down Outer Limits, Devils Fiddle, or
Superstar without a problem (Canyon Quad came along later).
I don't recommend those trails for most kids.
However, given enough time and experience, anyone can do them regardless of
age. By the time my nephew was 5, he had enough skiing time to be pretty
much an expert and old hand at it.
I'm going to suggest the 5 year old doing a 100
mile ride is a similar thing. Most 5 year olds can't and shouldn't do
it. (Hell, I know enough to know I can't and shouldn't do it even
at 43). However, there are some who I'm sure were "born in the
saddle" and have ridden before they walked. I've seen youngsters team
penning (OK, maybe he was 8). There are some 5 year olds who can
ride, and can ride a 100 miles.
Before a blanket rule is made, I hope everyone will
consider that every situation is different, and if rules are made, they should
take that into account.
PS: I suggest a rule something along the lines
of: If the Ride manager feels a participant under age X (you guys work out
the number) is not capable of handling a horse properly for the ride, then that
rider is eliminated or not allowed to ride.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 9:35
Subject: RE: [RC] Very young riders in
While I do not disagree with Joe's position I offer the facts that the
main proponents are Cliff Lewis who took this son Tommy on a 100 mile ride
when he was five years old and his picture graced the pages of the endurance
publications. The latest is Tommy's son, Cliff's grandson, repeating the
adventure. This is a family with a deep background in the history of endurance
competition in the US. It is a family with an ingrained deep experience
in horse riding. It is a family that is well known.
doubt you will ever get a negative experience from any of the family no matter
Morris Endurance Enterprises
In a message dated 10/23/2002 6:21:00 PM Pacific
Standard Time, reallykk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
Good for you, Joe. Although I'm sure everyone won't
agree, I am behind you
I agree and would
like to also thank Joe for saying it so well in his letter. When the
last round of stories came out on RC about a 5 year old doing a 100 miler I
was otherwise occuppied (but still appalled) and was tired of hashing this
argument out on Ridecamp. I say GO