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Taking an infant horseback riding


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  #1  
December 7th, 2010, 06:28 PM
DramaFreeMama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm surprised on how many people are mixed on this issue, so i thought it would be a good debate.

Is taking an infant horseback riding no big deal or should it be considered child endangerment?
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  #2  
December 8th, 2010, 04:07 AM
Linzie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Depends on how you are riding and how well you can ride. I plan on taking Xander out for a ride when I visit my aunt in a few weeks. Taking the baby for a few laps around the paddock on your trusted horse at a safe pace for your experience level is a-ok with me. I don't think anyone would go jump a Cross-Country course while holding their baby, so I don't really have a problem with it.
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  #3  
December 8th, 2010, 05:55 AM
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I'll just reiterate what I said in our DDC. I don't think it's a "big huge OMG I can't believe she did that" kind of deal.
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  #4  
December 8th, 2010, 07:03 AM
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For me to take my infant horse back riding would be incredibly irresponsible and dangerous, to say the least. I've ridden a horse one time when I was five, with my uncle. I have no idea what I'm doing, and I have the opposite of skill and coordination.

However, someone who actually has skill, experience, and the necessary know-how to ride a horse safely - I don't think it's a big deal. We all drive cars with our children in them, and it's not considered irresponsible. It WOULD be irresponsible if we didn't know how to steer, or which pedal was which.
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  #5  
December 8th, 2010, 07:07 AM
LucilleTwo's Avatar Andrea, mama to L & E
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I wouldn't because no matter how tame the horse, it's still an animal and can be unpredictable. Why is there a need to take an infant on a horse? He or she isn't getting any kind of enjoyment out of it. They don't know the difference. Besides, you should always wear a riding helmet so there is no way to protect the baby's head if you fall off. Would you take them on a bike? On a skateboard? I hope not.

Working in trauma I've seen some bad accidents from spooked horses. Those riders never expected it.
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  #6  
December 8th, 2010, 07:10 AM
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I've never taken any of my kids while they were infants. Horses can make sudden moves. Yea I've been riding for years and years and I ride bareback instead of with a saddle, and one of my horses can be trusted with a young child alone...But with an infant it's different because of their head and neck control. That's why when we put them in cars, they're in special seats that would protect their neck in an impact. If the horse startles and flinches away from something, that could whiplash an infant even if it wouldn't cause any harm to a 2 or 3 y/o.
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  #7  
December 8th, 2010, 07:19 AM
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If they were in a proper sling or carrier and just trotting along, I don't see an issue. I wouldn't do it, but I'd let you do it since you've been riding for forever. I probably put my baby more at a risk of getting hurt when I carry her down the stairs to be honest.

Now, taking an infant riding and going really fast and jumping hurdles probably wouldn't be responsible for anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodle_Jr. View Post
I wouldn't because no matter how tame the horse, it's still an animal and can be unpredictable. Why is there a need to take an infant on a horse? He or she isn't getting any kind of enjoyment out of it. They don't know the difference. Besides, you should always wear a riding helmet so there is no way to protect the baby's head if you fall off. Would you take them on a bike? On a skateboard? I hope not.

Working in trauma I've seen some bad accidents from spooked horses. Those riders never expected it.
People take babies on bikes all the time or at least around here they do.
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  #8  
December 8th, 2010, 07:24 AM
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I was working under the assumption that the baby was being worn with proper support in place, not just being carried. There are obviously certain precautions one should take to make it a responsible decision, just like while driving a car.

I agree that I don't see a reason to take an infant horse back riding, but is there a reason to take an infant anywhere really? For the infant I mean. Anywhere we take an infant it's someplace we want or need to go or do, not where the infant wants or needs to go or do.
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  #9  
December 8th, 2010, 07:32 AM
LucilleTwo's Avatar Andrea, mama to L & E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe'sMommy View Post
If they were in a proper sling or carrier and just trotting along, I don't see an issue. I wouldn't do it, but I'd let you do it since you've been riding for forever. I probably put my baby more at a risk of getting hurt when I carry her down the stairs to be honest.

Now, taking an infant riding and going really fast and jumping hurdles probably wouldn't be responsible for anyone.



People take babies on bikes all the time or at least around here they do.
Babies aren't supposed to wear helmets until at least 1 year old because their necks can't support the extra weight of the helmet. They should also be pulled in one of those chariot type attachments that goes on the back of the bike.

AAP - TIPP: About Bicycle Helmets

Quote:
Are there helmets for infants?
Yes. Many infant-sized helmets are of the soft-shell variety. They are light, an important consideration for small children whose necks may not be strong enough to comfortably hold a hard-shell helmet. Babies younger than 1 year have relatively weak neck structure. Neither helmets nor bike traveling is recommended for them.
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  #10  
December 8th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Well lots of the time we take babies out it's because they just go with us where we go. Sure Ivy gets nothing out of going to Wally World with me, but I can't just get a sitter every time I need to leave the house because Ivy doesn't get anything out of going to WalMart with me.

Ironically though, I ride my horses when I'm pregnant. I guess I feel safer about that because if I do fall off, at least the baby is cushioned in a water balloon. lol
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  #11  
December 8th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodle_Jr. View Post
Babies aren't supposed to wear helmets until at least 1 year old because their necks can't support the extra weight of the helmet. They should also be pulled in one of those chariot type attachments that goes on the back of the bike.

AAP - TIPP: About Bicycle Helmets
I see them in the backpack that you wear on your back. Even if you put them in the chariot attachment if you wreck or you fall you can still injure them. You could fall on them (edit: if you're using the side cart kind) or the chariot could tip, any number of things.
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Last edited by Chloe'sMommy; December 8th, 2010 at 07:39 AM.
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  #12  
December 8th, 2010, 07:44 AM
LucilleTwo's Avatar Andrea, mama to L & E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keskes View Post
I was working under the assumption that the baby was being worn with proper support in place, not just being carried. There are obviously certain precautions one should take to make it a responsible decision, just like while driving a car.

I agree that I don't see a reason to take an infant horse back riding, but is there a reason to take an infant anywhere really? For the infant I mean. Anywhere we take an infant it's someplace we want or need to go or do, not where the infant wants or needs to go or do.
Take the infant with you, but leave them with someone else as you are riding the horse. There are plenty of opportunities to engage the infant in that type of situation without risking their life. Talk to them about all the different sights, sounds, smells, textures. Make funny horse noises. Pretend you are a horse and clop around with them. Whatever your imagination can think of.

Of course there are reasons to take infants with you everywhere. Everything is a learning opportunity but we don't have to put them in danger to teach them about the world.
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  #13  
December 8th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodle_Jr. View Post
Take the infant with you, but leave them with someone else as you are riding the horse. There are plenty of opportunities to engage the infant in that type of situation without risking their life. Talk to them about all the different sights, sounds, smells, textures. Make funny horse noises. Pretend you are a horse and clop around with them. Whatever your imagination can think of.

Of course there are reasons to take infants with you everywhere. Everything is a learning opportunity but we don't have to put them in danger to teach them about the world.
We risk our lives just by walking out the door and getting into a car, by getting on a bike, by eating food, walking down the street, everything. As long as proper precautions are taken like stated above, I don't think it should be an issue or considered child endangerment (as stated in the OP).
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  #14  
December 8th, 2010, 07:56 AM
LucilleTwo's Avatar Andrea, mama to L & E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe'sMommy View Post
I see them in the backpack that you wear on your back. Even if you put them in the chariot attachment if you wreck or you fall you can still injure them. You could fall on them (edit: if you're using the side cart kind) or the chariot could tip, any number of things.
Many of the chariot style trailers have a hitch designed so that if the bike tips over, the trailer stays upright. Many are also designed with 5point harnesses and roll bars. There are risks for everything and we can go back and forth all day but it is our responsibility as parents to look at the risks and what we value as important in our kids safety. If a parent is comfortable wearing the kid on their back, go for it, but if a parent has done their research than they would know that it is the least safest riding option.

It's also illegal in some places to use those backpacks while bike riding.

Infant / Baby / Kid; Bicycle, Trailer, Backpack, Child Carrier, Helmet & Bike Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe'sMommy View Post
We risk our lives just by walking out the door and getting into a car, by getting on a bike, by eating food, walking down the street, everything. As long as proper precautions are taken like stated above, I don't think it should be an issue or considered child endangerment (as stated in the OP).
What proper precautions are there for putting an infant on a horse? The only one I know if is NOT putting them on the horse.

I just want to add that because of my job, I see people at the worst point of their lives because they or others didn't bother to take safety into consideration. I've seen what happens when you fall off of a quad and it rolls onto your head. What happens when you are riding a snowmobile and you drive it straight into a fence. I've seen what happens when people are thrown through windshields, trampled by horses, and on and on. Maybe my views of safety are skewed but I can't change that.


I have nothing else to say about this because I think I've been pretty clear on my stance.
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  #15  
December 8th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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I was watching 16 and pregnant last night and the mom took her infant on a horse with her and she was wearing her in a carrier. Personally its not something I would do.
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  #16  
December 8th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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WHat about women who are pregnant and horseback riding?
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  #17  
December 8th, 2010, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodle_Jr. View Post
Many of the chariot style trailers have a hitch designed so that if the bike tips over, the trailer stays upright. Many are also designed with 5point harnesses and roll bars. There are risks for everything and we can go back and forth all day but it is our responsibility as parents to look at the risks and what we value as important in our kids safety. If a parent is comfortable wearing the kid on their back, go for it, but if a parent has done their research than they would know that it is the least safest riding option.

It's also illegal in some places to use those backpacks while bike riding.

Infant / Baby / Kid; Bicycle, Trailer, Backpack, Child Carrier, Helmet & Bike Safety



What proper precautions are there for putting an infant on a horse? The only one I know if is NOT putting them on the horse.


I just want to add that because of my job, I see people at the worst point of their lives because they or others didn't bother to take safety into consideration. I've seen what happens when you fall off of a quad and it rolls onto your head. What happens when you are riding a snowmobile and you drive it straight into a fence. I've seen what happens when people are thrown through windshields, trampled by horses, and on and on. Maybe my views of safety are skewed but I can't change that.


I have nothing else to say about this because I think I've been pretty clear on my stance.
Proper slings and carriers would be a precaution. That would be good enough for me anyways if I was an experienced rider. When we put infants in cars we put them in proper seats to ensure safety when we take them places. When we put them on a bike they are in carriers or chariots like you mentioned.
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  #18  
December 8th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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I guess I just don't see why it's such a big deal. Things can happen anywhere. Should we not have quads because they may tip over? Should we not drive cars because we could get into an accident? If you are aware of the risks and take as many precautions as you can, why not? I don't see it as being child endangerment or irresponsible.
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  #19  
December 8th, 2010, 09:21 AM
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I don't really like the car/horse comparison. Unless you are using a horse to go somewhere essential, like to get groceries, it's not a great comparison.Driving a car is a calculated risk based on the risk-benefit analysis. Most people need to drive. Most people don't need to ride a horse.
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  #20  
December 8th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tersh View Post
I don't really like the car/horse comparison. Unless you are using a horse to go somewhere essential, like to get groceries, it's not a great comparison.Driving a car is a calculated risk based on the risk-benefit analysis. Most people need to drive. Most people don't need to ride a horse.
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?
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