<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: Re: [RC] Youth

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    Re: [RC] Youth - Heidi Smith

    > The point I was making was specifically addressing the folks who seem to
    > think that there is no middle ground--either the small child is doing
    > endurance rides or it is sitting in front of the video screen with a pile
    > of junk food.
    For most kids, there is a middle ground.  But there are those who need more
    of an outlet.  I was one of those kids, and although we'd never heard of
    endurance, we at least had an outlet in added responsibility and the earned
    privileges of being to ride various places alone if we could master the
    horse skills and the demonstrate the ability to close the wire cowboy gates
    unassisted.  The point that some of the rest of us have been trying to make,
    which also seems to go unheeded, is that those of us who did that sort of
    riding put in as many or more hours in the saddle as do kids who endurance
    ride, and were not harmed by that activity in any way.  Thousands of ranch
    kids put in those sorts of hours in the saddle, day in and day out, and grow
    up perfectly normally.  (The main injuries we see are head injuries due to
    lack of helmets--no big surprise there...)  But not all kids who ride have
    the outlets that ranch kids do.  Endurance provides one outlet for those
    kids.  But then I suppose the do-gooders would accuse my very caring parents
    (who were exceedingly diligent in assessing our skill levels before allowing
    us more "solo" privileges, etc., and who wrung their hands with worry but
    who understood that you have to let individual children develop at their own
    rates) of child abuse for allowing us to be who we were, and assisting us in
    developing sufficient skills to minimize risks, even though we were young.
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    Re: [RC] Youth, EgyptianMirage
    RE: [RC] Youth, CMNewell