Equipment for Children - a note
Harry McMillan www.peak-photo.co.uk
As a general observation, children may not benefit from hand-me-downs of protective riding equipment. It’s very important that equipment is in good condition and fits the individual correctly. Poorly fitted hats and body protectors may not provide much protection and can cause problems of their own. Balance, position and movement are very important to riding; ‘a good seat’. Loose garments are more likely to snag.
Although just about everyone agrees that children should wear protective hats at all times when riding there is more uncertainty and disagreement regarding body protectors. Body protectors often appear more cumbersome on children than on adults, they are probably harder to fit and children grow.
Children must of course wear body protectors when riding cross country (see Pony Club rules). At other times it seems reasonable to make a decision based on individual circumstances and preferences. Parents and instructors should discuss these in the context of what sort of lesson or activity is planned, bearing in mind the points about good fit and a good ‘seat’.