Leadline Class

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Well-Known Member
Jul 6, 2007
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Elwood, Utah
I can't find my rulebook anywhere (go figure), so maybe someone can help me. My son just turned a year old and he'll be almost 14 months by the time our first show comes along. He sits on the saddle well and holds on great. I've had him on the back of minis forever! Anyways, my question is I can't get the stirrups high enough for his feet since he's so small. Is it mandatory for him to have his feet in stirrups??? Here's a pic of him not too long ago..

Please don't take this the wrong way as he is totally adorable but he should never ever ever be on a horse without a helmet on. Not even if you are standing just a few feet away.

I am a bit anal about this I know but I know of a family who had a horrible tragedy with a toddler and the parent was standing just out of photo range but still could not move fast enough when the normally calm horse spooked.
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[SIZE=12pt]As a leadline mom, I COMPLETELY agree on the helmet issue. I'll try to find you a link for a western one
These might help with the stirrups. http://www.lildudestirrups.com/ I don't think he HAS to have his feet in them, but it's more secure (as long as they are child safety stirrups). He is ABSOLUTELY adorable by the way!! [/SIZE]
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We have a helmet. I was right there by him for the pic, but that was before we could find a small enough helmet for him. Thanks for the concern. I watch him like a hawk and my mini is very good.

Thanks for the input. I'll check into those little dude stirrups for him.
Well someone finally got us beat. My youngest leadliner was 18 months at his first show.

Would you just LOOK at that smiling face! We have a born rider here for sure.

Another retired lead line mom here and yes please do grab those faker stirrups Laura recommends for your child and a helmut. You can get a western hat with a built in helmut also. Get him some little dress jeans and a dress shirt and tie, and some little roper boots with the round toe and off you go. Try to match his outfit.

To answer your question, yes his feet must be in the stirrups. And he is to hold the reins properly. The entire thing about leadlining is basically an equitation class to show the judge that your child has been properly schooled (no matter his age) to sit down on the saddle and sit up nicely, rein the horse in both directions, stop and back him. He should also be taught to respond to the judge should the judge ask him a simple question, such as "What is your horse's name, What's your name, What's your number, How old are you, How old is your horse, What kind of horse is that" etc. and your leadliner should be able to respond. We got caught with our pants down at our first show when Dan was asked at 18 months what kind of horse he was riding. For the life of him, he could not say "Appaloosa" and something about an apple and poo poo came flying out. Mommys are not supposed to really help. Mommys are simply a guide to lead the horse and a safety net. Just get him out there for practice daily and teach him. He'll learn fast.

Now please grab that most beautiful precious child and give him a huge hug and tell him its from his

cheerleader on the mountain. He's going to be GREAT!

PS: remove the back straps

This is a yes


This is a no

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Yep, I'm planning on removing the back straps. He might have a hard time answering questions about his horse since the only thing he knows about him is he is a "horsey." He doesn't say much of anything yet besides horsey. Got the helmet, saddle, bridle, reins, breast collar, saddle pad, wranglers, boots, shirt. Think I got most of it.
I do have a chap and vest set, but even at the smallest size, its too big.
So this year is just for fun since he's so young.

Thanks for the advice! I'll round up some stirups.

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