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Taking an infant horseback riding


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  #21  
December 8th, 2010, 11:04 AM
Tersh's Avatar DD nurses her baby too!
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Originally Posted by Keskes View Post
Well, for me, I live within walking distance of Walmart. It's about a mile from my house. And it's a super Walmart. I could get everything I need to survive from Walmart. I have no need for a car for my survival, and no need to put a baby in a car for said survival. However, sometimes I want to go out to eat, or I want to go to a movie, or I want to go shopping someplace besides Walmart. None of these things are necessary, and I am doing them for fun. In which case, I'm risking my children's safety, and their lives, in order to have fun (no one really likes to think of it that way, but realistically, that's exactly what we're doing). So how is it different to wear them while you ride a horse or a bike to have fun?
Because I still see travelling in a car as a basic need (even if it's not in a certain circumstance, but you NEED to take your children to the doctor's, right? You will need to take them to extra-cirricular activities, school, etc.) I realize you can avoid driving altogether. You can't however, avoid all risk. Horseback riding is a hobby. That risk can be avoided.

And, I will personally brand you with the title "super mom" if you can take your three children under the age of 5 to a movie.
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  #22  
December 8th, 2010, 11:12 AM
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oh please. I take them to the sitter and THEN go to the movie! We tried Toy Story 3 when it first came out. Never. Again.

So.. what if someone uses horses as their main form of transportation?
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  #23  
December 8th, 2010, 11:17 AM
foxfire_ga79
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Originally Posted by beyaztavsan View Post
WHat about women who are pregnant and horseback riding?
I ride pregnant. I've even fallen off once. The baby is pretty darn cushioned in the uterus.

A sling or carrier wouldn't provide enough head and neck support for an infant. Sorry, they just don't.
And the people who rely on horses for their transportation (I usually call them Amish) usually have a buggy or a carriage. And usually don't go anywhere just for fun. lol
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  #24  
December 8th, 2010, 11:25 AM
Tersh's Avatar DD nurses her baby too!
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Originally Posted by Keskes View Post
oh please. I take them to the sitter and THEN go to the movie! We tried Toy Story 3 when it first came out. Never. Again.

So.. what if someone uses horses as their main form of transportation?
I already said I'd be ok with it if it was an essential form of transportation for that person.

Overall, I do think we are too focussed on risk/danger in this society. However, I am a very cautious person, so for me, I would never, ever do something like that. I also can't see what situation you would be in where that would be enjoyable. Like going to a movie, I think horseback riding would be much more fun without the baby. I also have trouble putting my trust into an animal. When you are behind the wheel, you have a modicum of control. I don't feel like you have much control carrying a baby on a horse. No five point harness. No metal container to protect you in a crash.
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  #25  
December 8th, 2010, 11:42 AM
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And another thing. Horseback riding is all about balance. The horse balances the rider, the rider balances the horse. How else could you explain riding bareback? But even with a saddle, the saddle doesn't hold you on. Balance balance balance.
Having a baby strapped to you in a sling or carrier changes your center of balance. If the baby is on your back, that means the baby is sticking out behind the seat of the saddle, which the saddle is not balanced for. Now you AND the saddle are out of balance. With those two things out of balance, the horse will be out of balance. An unbalanced horse is an uncomfortable horse, and an uncomfortable horse is less likely to be on his best behavior. And even if the horse would behave perfectly because it's such a wonderful horse, why would you deliberately make your horse uncomfortable? That's not fair at all.
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  #26  
December 8th, 2010, 12:03 PM
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Don't people sometimes ride two to a horse? All I know about riding horses I've learned from watching movies like The Princess Bride. So obviously way more than you, Rebecca, because The Princess Bride is the Bible of Horseback riding.

In any case, I don't think it's a GOOD idea, but I don't think it's child endangerment, which is what the OP asked. It doesn't make me scream "OMFG WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?!?!"
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  #27  
December 8th, 2010, 12:07 PM
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I'm with Rebecca. I have horses and I love riding but I would never chance getting on a horse with a newborn. The car comparison is apples and oranges unless you compare holding the infant and going off roading. Infants lack the muscle/bone development to make horseback riding a reasonable risk. A slow walk on the back of a horse can be bumpy and unsteady to a rider, nevermind an infant with no neck muscle control. If the horse gets spooked or even stumbles, it could have severe consequences.
Like Rebecca said, horseback riding is all about balance. There is a technique necessary to riding. You learn to balance because you learn how to sync your movement with that if the horse. If you watch an experienced rider on the back of a horse going full speed, you won't see the bouncing around. It seems as if they barely move because their rhythm is synced with the horses and their balance is shifting in time with the horses movement. If you see an inexperienced rider however, who lacks the grasp of technique, it looks as though they are bouncing all over, always on the verge of falling. An infant would be the second example. There are no valid precautions available to safely ride with a newborn.
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  #28  
December 8th, 2010, 12:09 PM
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hehe

I don't think it is a good idea, but I dont care if someone trained does it.
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  #29  
December 8th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Riding two at a time is different. Way different. The second rider isn't attached to the back of the first rider, pulling them backward.
And, it's not ideal. Horses should only carry %25 of their own weight on their back, including the saddle. My QH's are about 950lbs but let's round it up to 1000lbs to make the math easier. That means that total, my QH's should only carry 250lbs on their back. A saddle can weigh up to 20lbs. A grown man, let's put Cary Elwes in the range of 180lbs. Something tells me Princess Buttercup weighed more than 50lbs.
Obviously in the movie they were using a heavier horse, probably some kind of warmblood. It didn't appear thick enough to be a full draft. But carrying that much weight on their spine isn't good for a horse. Especially not running.

Come to think of it though, a 5 gaited horse like a Tennessee Walker or a Paso Fino would be a smoother ride. But I still wouldn't risk any horse's sudden movements.
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  #30  
December 8th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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I think that the same safety guidelines for bicycles should apply to horses. I also think the USA doesn't agree with other countries as to what those guidelines are.
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  #31  
December 8th, 2010, 04:04 PM
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I think it is irresponsible to say the least. I wouldn't go so far as to call it child endangerment but I would pretty shocked if I saw somebody taking their infant on a horse.

I don't even see how a carrier or sling could be considered a proper restraint or could be compared at all to a car seat or chariot. A car seat is made to keep an infant safe in a car, a chariot is made to keep a child safe behind a bike but carrier isn't MADE to keep an infant safe on a horse. It is made for you to walk around with your child in.

Let's just say your child is in a carrier on your back on the horse. What happens when the horse gets spooked, and stands up (sorry I don't know what it is called). You're going to fall backwards off of the horse, so how do you plan to protect your child from being crushed by the entire weight of your body? If you're child is strapped to the front of you, what happens if the horse tramples you? A horse is an unpredictable animal, no matter how well it usually behaves and intentionally putting your child into that situation when there isn't any type of need for it is highly dangerous and irresponsible.
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  #32  
December 8th, 2010, 05:56 PM
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Comparing riding a horse with a baby and riding in a car is probably the most redidulous argument I've ever heard. Car = carseat. If the baby is in a carrier there is hardly any neck support, not to mention the rider trying to support baby and ride the horse safely. Nevermind the whole balance thing that a previous mentioned poster said. Balance is everything, and you would have to be nervous on a horse with a newborn, and the horse could sense that.

Not even going into detail about what would happen if something spooked the horse (which obviously is not a concern when you're riding in a car ). Like a loud noise, a sudden movement elsewhere or who knows what else. your first instinct would be to grab the baby and hold on, not to recover from the startle. It's plain stupid and yes, I think it's child endangerment. No matter how experience you are of a rider, it is still dangerous. Lots of things are dangerous, I get it... but this is just a unnecessary risk, IMO.
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  #33  
December 8th, 2010, 06:06 PM
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I think that it is definitely irresponsible parenting, and I will even go as far as to say it is child endangerment. I think it is exactly like driving an infant in a car - if the baby is forward facing in the front seat. Sure, 99% of the time you would be just fine, but that one time where you break too hard, or get in a fender bender and the air bags deploy, it wouldn't be ok. Same with a horse. No matter how well you know a horse, it is an animal and animals can be unpredictable. And let's just assume that the ride goes how you are anticipating it to go in every possible way, no bucks, no scares. That baby is still getting jostled around on that horse. Infants have very little neck muscle strength and head control, so they can't compensate for the bumpy ride. As someone else pointed out, they aren't even supposed to go on a bicycle or wear a helmet until at LEAST a year. Did you know that for a jogging stroller a child is supposed to be a minimum of 8 months? A jogging stroller is NOTHING compared to a bouncy horse.

To the poster who said she was going to do it - and anyone else who thinks it is fine - what is the benefit of doing it? Is it fun for the parent? Does the baby think it is fun? I could not possibly fathom a benefit that outweighs the risk involved here. Please, try to convince me of a scenario where it would be worth it.
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  #34  
December 8th, 2010, 07:02 PM
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I've been riding horses for years, and I would never think to take an infant on with me. What if I got thrown? I've gotten thrown before and it sucks ***, forget crushing the infant that's on my back in the process. Cars have airbags, brakes, don't get spooked by flying pieces of paper, and allow for securing the child in a way that will protect them upon impact. Horses have none of that. I wouldn't ride while pregnant either, though I'm less against that than I am infants on horses.
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  #35  
December 8th, 2010, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by George Costanza View Post
I think that it is definitely irresponsible parenting, and I will even go as far as to say it is child endangerment. I think it is exactly like driving an infant in a car - if the baby is forward facing in the front seat. Sure, 99% of the time you would be just fine, but that one time where you break too hard, or get in a fender bender and the air bags deploy, it wouldn't be ok. Same with a horse. No matter how well you know a horse, it is an animal and animals can be unpredictable. And let's just assume that the ride goes how you are anticipating it to go in every possible way, no bucks, no scares. That baby is still getting jostled around on that horse. Infants have very little neck muscle strength and head control, so they can't compensate for the bumpy ride. As someone else pointed out, they aren't even supposed to go on a bicycle or wear a helmet until at LEAST a year. Did you know that for a jogging stroller a child is supposed to be a minimum of 8 months? A jogging stroller is NOTHING compared to a bouncy horse.

To the poster who said she was going to do it - and anyone else who thinks it is fine - what is the benefit of doing it? Is it fun for the parent? Does the baby think it is fun? I could not possibly fathom a benefit that outweighs the risk involved here. Please, try to convince me of a scenario where it would be worth it.
I am curious about this as well. What is the point of risking your childs life for something they won't think is fun?

I got into it with a girl in my PR who's husband broke her DD's leg by climbing up a slide with his infant child in his arms. This is the same scenario to me. Everybody knows a slide is slippery and everybody knows it take effort and balance to climb up one. You place an infant in one of your arms and you not only lose your balance, but the entire use of your arm. You might not fall but if you do, the consequences are not worth the few minutes of fun that you (general) had, since your infant child likely got no satisfaction from it.
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  #36  
December 8th, 2010, 07:27 PM
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My family is big on horses and it's kind of a tradition to take the little ones for few laps around the pen with a lead snapped to a halter under the bridle and someone at the horses head. We're not talking a trail ride or riding down the road, or even going faster than a slow walk. It's about 20 ft away from the barn with an acre of cleared land on every side with the whole family around. I wouldn't take my baby out where we normally go, through the woods and down the road, loping and jumping over fallen trees and acting like wild Indians. THAT would be highly irresponsible and possibly child endangerment. But our "induction" ceremony? To say it would be child endangerment is laughable.

I don't know how much enjoyment Xander will get out of it. Given his level of enjoyment over anything right now, he may enjoy it pretty well. New sights, new smells, new sounds, and new feels. What's the point in it? It's always been done. It's a tradition. I've been on and around horses since as long as I can remember, and when a new member of the family is around 7-8mo we take em for a ride. It starts the attraction and you can see the wonder in their little faces when you introduce them to a horse for the first time. It's a fun thing we do.

I don't think you should go alone if you take your baby for a ride, or ride out of sight from the barn/house, or ride before they can sit up on their own. If someone is being smart about it, I have no qualms with it.
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  #37  
December 8th, 2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Costanza View Post
I think that it is definitely irresponsible parenting, and I will even go as far as to say it is child endangerment. I think it is exactly like driving an infant in a car - if the baby is forward facing in the front seat. Sure, 99% of the time you would be just fine, but that one time where you break too hard, or get in a fender bender and the air bags deploy, it wouldn't be ok. Same with a horse. No matter how well you know a horse, it is an animal and animals can be unpredictable. And let's just assume that the ride goes how you are anticipating it to go in every possible way, no bucks, no scares. That baby is still getting jostled around on that horse. Infants have very little neck muscle strength and head control, so they can't compensate for the bumpy ride. As someone else pointed out, they aren't even supposed to go on a bicycle or wear a helmet until at LEAST a year. Did you know that for a jogging stroller a child is supposed to be a minimum of 8 months? A jogging stroller is NOTHING compared to a bouncy horse.

To the poster who said she was going to do it - and anyone else who thinks it is fine - what is the benefit of doing it? Is it fun for the parent? Does the baby think it is fun? I could not possibly fathom a benefit that outweighs the risk involved here. Please, try to convince me of a scenario where it would be worth it.
I agree the most with this.

From what i read, horse ridng accidents are more common and more fatal than motorcycle accidents. And that's just to adults. If child endangerment is defined by "a parent knowing acting in a manner that creates a substantial risk to a child or minor's physical, mental or emotional health or safety.", then i think this falls into that category. The risk of injury from a horse riding accident to me is a substantial risk.
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  #38  
December 9th, 2010, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mama_reese View Post
Not even going into detail about what would happen if something spooked the horse (which obviously is not a concern when you're riding in a car ).
I can't tell if that's sarcastic or serious, so I'll pretend it's serious and hope I'm right. I think the driver of the car getting "spooked" and jerking the wheel or slamming on the brakes is probably just as likely as a horse getting spooked.

In any case, I still don't think it's child endangerment if the horse is being lead at a walk. I will amend my opinion and concede that it's irresponsible, and reiterate that it's an unnecessary risk unless you're escaping danger via horseback or it's your only form of long distance transportation.
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  #39  
December 9th, 2010, 08:12 AM
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Do you guys (that are adamantly against this) think the same for those horse and pony rides that are given for little kids? Chloe was maybe 8 or 9 months old when she was put on a horse and held on there and walked around in a circle.
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  #40  
December 9th, 2010, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Chloe'sMommy View Post
Do you guys (that are adamantly against this) think the same for those horse and pony rides that are given for little kids? Chloe was maybe 8 or 9 months old when she was put on a horse and held on there and walked around in a circle.
It depends. If the horse is being constrained by straps or something similar (which is what i have seen at the fair) and the child is being held the whole time then i think the risk decreases substantially enough where it wouldn't be irresponsible . If the horse starts to get unruly, the child can be quickly grabbed off the horse and taken to safety. Plus, i'm sure even at these horse rides, they don't allow children that are too young to even hold their own head up.

I think that could be compared to holding an infant while walking a motorcycle. It's not till you are driving it with the infant that it that it actually becomes extremely dangerous.
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