Many young children develop an interest in horse riding at an early age. Hence, parents naturally worry whether their child is old enough to learn—especially the more dangerous aspects like jumps. The good news is that kids’ horse jumps make learning much safer for all ages with their smaller designs. The bad news is that there isn’t a clear-cut ideal age to start learning. Every child develops differently, so the answer varies case by case.
Riders typically use horse jump equipment after a few months of consistent training. However, the timing depends on how often they receive lessons and how quickly they pick up the prerequisite skills. Other people wait years before attempting jumps due to safety concerns; this especially applies to young children.
Rather than a specific age, parents and instructors should consider whether a rider has mastered these fundamentals before working their way up to kids’ horse jumps:
Walk, Trot, & Canter: Can the child confidently ride for an entire lesson at a walk, trot, and canter? Can they do it without stirrups?
Solid Seat: Has the child developed a solid seat? Do they understand what to do if they lose their seat?
Balanced Two Point: Does the child ride well when they only have two points of contact with the saddle? Can they stay properly balanced during two-point riding?