Re: [RC] [RC] Very young riders in AERC rides - SandyDSA
Juniors endurance riders will someday be our adult endurance riders. Why do we want to tell them they can't do it because they are to young?
There is a difference between a "junior rider" and a child, yes even a TODDLER! Frankly, most adults who think they have to "explain" anything to a 5 year old need to have a reality check. I have never met a 5 year old who could either make nor understand a logical decision. They simply are not of a cognizant age. So that leaves it to said adult to make choices that affect the child's life - or death. There very idea of a 5 year old who cannot even effect leg contact with his or her mount coming up behind my horse at a trot and possibly rear-ending my horse is a consideration. While it may seem a simple matter of a parent's choice - that choice affects everyone from those who share the trail to ride management, including anyone who may have to go fetch the child and-or horse should they become incapable of continuing.
I like to think that decisions made regarding my child (daughters now 15 and 17 - EEK!) ARE best made my myself and their dad - but decisions that have a direct affect on others, well, we do make those decisions differently out of courtesy and common sense toward others. My now-15 year old ride her first LD at 8 years old - an easy ride, on my seasoned old mare, equipped with a pony line should it be needed. She has graduated to finally riding her very first unsponsored 50 last weekend, even pulling at 38 miles because she it seemed that my 6 year old mare was not stabilizing well enough at HER first ride! I am proud of her - she has grown in both independence and ability - has a bit of an ATTITUDE :) but is so capable. A 5 year old? I think not. Sorry, but Pony Club comes to mind there.
And yes Auds, I am proud of you!