How To Prepare for Your Child's Pony Ride

There’s nothing quite like the memory of your first pony ride. Shelby Ranch is the perfect place to introduce your little one to a 4-legged equine friend. The goal in riding our ponies is a safe introduction to horses.


What To Wear For Pony Rides

For your own safety, closed-toe shoes are required to ride a pony. No one wants to get their toes stepped on.. Closed toe shoes are also safer, more reliable, and more comfortable in stirrups. And no, Crocs are not closed-toe shoes on our ranch.


Long pants are also required and will keep your thighs from chafing against the horse’s saddle and protect you from insects. Shorts, skirts, and dresses are not acceptable horse-riding attire.


Lastly, every rider must wear the riding helmet which we provide. If you bring your own horseback riding helmet, it must be current and ASTM/SEI-certified.


What Your Horse Companion Will Wear

Just as your child will wear the appropriate attire, so will our ponies. They’re saddled up in western tack to ensure you have a safe ride. Western saddles have a horn that the child can hang onto.


How We Guide Horse-Riding for Kids

We will gauge how comfortable your child is around their steed.


Our ponies have been trained over many years, but a child may not necessarily get to ride the one they pick out depending on the bond or lack-thereof. It might be good to mention this to potential pony riders before arriving to the ranch so everyone has realistic expectations.


Once we see a genuine interest to try pony rides, a staff member, parent or guardian will help the child mount the horse and sit in their saddle. We’ll show the child what they can hold onto, and may eventually move to handling the reins (still led by a staff member).


A staff member, parent or guardian must lead the pony at all times.



What To Expect of Shelby Ranch Staff

We’re a very friendly bunch and we take safety in high regard, this also means that while we will be gentle giving instructions, we are also firm about appropriate behaviour while horse riding. Pony rides can be such a blast and open up a whole new love for some children, and it’s helpful if they’re prepared to listen closely to instruction.


A pony ride typically lasts for about 30 minutes and this is a good start to horse-riding for kids, especially if they’re bodies aren’t necessarily used to such an activity.


Tips For Being Around Horses & Success When Visiting the Ranch

  • Never walk around the back of a horse

  • Eat a snack before riding, we’re all happier when we’re not hungry

  • Arrive hydrated and carry extra water

  • Bring insect repellent and sunscreen (depending on the season)

  • When approaching an animal, speak in a gentle tone


We are so excited to have you at Shelby’s Ranch, you can book your pony ride here.


 

Contact (902) 957 7433 for more about Shelby Ranch’s other offerings,

including horseback trail rides, wagon rides,

our all-inclusive ranch adventure, the petting farm, or stay at the ranch.

We also book out special events and come to you!







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