ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: children

Re: children

K S Swigart (katswig@deltanet.com)
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 17:13:52 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 16 Apr 1997, Sullys Maze wrote:

> Now parents out there, here is the question. Is it right for small
> children to be participating in this sport, when they don't want
> too, or taken on these excessive distances? Having raised kids, I
> seriously doubt that ANY 4 or 5 year old kid would enjoy ANY
> activity for 24 hours, especially something grueling like a 100 mile
> ride. Why are parents doing this!? To me, that verges on child
> abuse! Why are there AERC restrictions prohibiting overiding young
> HORSES, but nothing protecting junior riders, from their parents
> egos or ignorance?

And this "restriction" would be worded how???

I can see, maybe, educating parents in the gruelling aspect of endurance
riding and encourage them to ask their children if they really want to do
this (and respect their decision if they say no). And I can see, maybe,
not having awards that encourage parents to "force" their children to
participate when they don't want to (but I'm not sure exactly how this
would be done...and there is only one award anyway).

However, I cannot see any benefit to the AERC undertaking to "protect"
children from their parents....

...and as calous as this may sound...it is not your or the AERC's
responsibility to raise other people's children. This may be an
interesting topic for discussion/education, but to suggest that the AERC
should prohibit unhappy children in endurance riding is indeed "opening a
can of worms." Who gets to gauge whether the children are having fun or
not? Leave this to the parents...and the children, after all...they do
actually have to get on the horse and ride it.

Maybe this "daughter of a high mileage family" was just having a bad day
because she was missing her favorite TV program because she had to come to
this stupid ride. I do recall my parents forcing me to "have fun at
family events" even though I wasn't really keen on participating myself.
And I do recall a weekend outing to London that was miserable for all of
us because my sister was peeved that she wasn't going to get to watch _The
Partridge Family_ You want to involve the AERC in this kind of family

> I also remember some discusison here months ago about the youngest
> ages kids had completed rides. I seem to remember some 4 and 5 year
> old kids completing 100 mile rides!!

I don't remember this discussion, but that is beside the point.

I, too, cannot imagine a 4-5 y.o (child) having fun participating in the
same activity for 24 hrs...and I can't imagine any adult riding with
such a child having fun either, but who am I to say that such children and
such adults don't exist?

There are many people who can't imagine a horse having any fund doing that
either, but they have not met my horse, only their own.

And my parents can't imagine ME having fun doing this, but their response
is "...to each his own, but I think you're crazy!"

Parents may not be the best at gauging what their children find fun, but I
am willing to submit that you, me, and the AERC are no better.

Orange County, Calif.

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