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Horses/Convincing Parents to Let me Ride Again


Hi Shelley,

Sorry in advance if I posted this in the wrong category, if I have please just let me know.

I am 13, I used to ride twice a week every week from about the ages of 6 to 9. I loved it and it really helped with my tight calf muscles. One day I had a fall, though not a bad one as it only resulted in a few bruises, but I lost my confidence. My parents weren't very keen to let me go back but I did for two more lessons until they told me I had to stop.

4 years later, after careful consideration, I have defided to go back, but my parents are reluctant. They say it's not a sport and a waste of time and money and want me to go to netball and kickboxing instead. However, the lessons are only 45 minutes of my weekend with plenty of time left for family and schoolwork and I can pay for a year's worth of lessons myself. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can convince them or at least approach the subject without them dismissing it completely?

Thanks in advance,

Kind regards and best wishes,

- Anon.

Dear Anthea,
Well- the first thing I would suggest you consider your parents' position in order for you to have a meaningful conversation with them about the situation. You do not provide very much information about your fall- you indicate that you were not seriously injured, but I have to wonder if this, and perhaps not the fitness angle, is the root cause of your parents' reluctance. The nature of your accident will have a great deal to do with the depth of your parents' concerns. A child is the most precious aspect of a parents' life- so I am sure you can appreciate that their concerns are legitimate. You would be wrong to try and convince them that riding is not a dangerous sport- it most definitely is.
As for the "riding is not a sport"- well try the fact that riding is an Olympic sport and neither netball nor kickboxing are. So- I suppose if one wants to be pedantic and one considers that the Olympics are the pinnacle of elite sport- riding wins. Sitting on a horse isn't fitness- but RIDING a horse both requires and develops fitness. Emphasize that you want to take a regime of lessons and training- not just toodle around a path. A good instructor will have students enter into an unmounted exercise program that strengthen core and increases cardio.
 Working with horses has kept many young people away from the temptations of drugs and drinking and encourages youth to connect with like-minded animal-loving people who share their passion for horses. As the director of our high school equestrian program- I can tell you that not one of my students has the inclination or the time to get into trouble when they have a horse to care for.
Ask your parents very seriously to arrange a time to have this conversation and let them know that you are serious about returning to riding. Give them time to think about it. Above all- be patient and don't get angry. As frustrating as it may be- their concerns are based in love- not a desire to make you unhappy.
I hope this helps.


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Shelley Evans


I would be happy to respond to enquiries in the following disciplines: dressage, working western, hunter, halter (open and IAHA), hack and pleasure. I can also offer assistance with schooling and equitation issues.


Twenty years Class A show circuit including multiple championships.


Inside International

BA, MEd, Teaching Certificate (PDP), CEF Western Level I Coach, provincialy approved Hack, Equitation and Western Judge.

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