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    Re: [RC] [RC] Very young riders in AERC rides - Barbara McCrary

    I don't think of a 5-year old as a toddler.  Methinks you are underestimating what a 5-year old can think and do.  Children who have challenging early childhood experiences grow up to be mature and extremely capable adults.  At least that is the way it worked in our family; for several generations on both sides of it, actually.
    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 8:43 AM
    Subject: Re: [RC] [RC] Very young riders in AERC rides

    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!


    Re: [RC] [RC] Very young riders in AERC rides, SandyDSA