June 2016 - Ruthanna’s Rules for Newbie Parents

Ruthanna Bridges of Bridges Equestrian School of Horsemanship & Training has these rules for families seeking a safe and suitable riding program for their children.

Bridges Equestrian Pony Club Riding Center C1 Maddy Carpenter (13) and Precious the Pony at an exhibition for the Laguna Beach Horse Lovers. BEPCRC Members presented mounted and unmounted skills to a group of over 50 Laguna Beach residents interested in learning more about local horse programs.

1. When comparing programs, beware of super low prices. That typically means low overhead, indicating the proprietor is putting very little investment into their business and the sport itself.

2. Make sure the program has enough horses so they will always have a suitable mount for your child. If they only have three or four horses, one of those may not be appropriate for your child.

3. Are they affiliated with anybody that’s watching over them? U.S. Pony Club or the USHJA, for example. Don’t sign away your common sense when you sign the check! If something doesn’t look or feel right, ask the instructor about it. They should be able to explain without be defensive.

4. Helmets! I bang the drum about this one. Does everyone in the program, including the trainer, always wear a helmet? If the trainer doesn’t take their own safely seriously, then you have children who look up to them saying, ‘Oh, I can’t wait until I’m good enough to ride without a helmet!’ And boots with a heel, too!