Age and Size Suggestions:
||Age 4 months to 24 mo.
||10" Little Bit, 13.5" Austin / Winston
||Age 18 mo. - 36 mo.
||18.5" Saddle Seat Height Clyde/Marlo
||35x12x24 carton 20lb
||Age 36 mo. - 66 mo.
||23.5" Saddle Seat Height Dale/Margo
||41x13x31 carton 26lb
This may help you. The height of the saddle seat from the floor is a good starting point. Measure your child’s inseam and compare the saddle seat height. You can determine if the child will be able to put his/her leg into the stirrup, then over the saddle. The stirrup strap length is adjustable. It is higher than the floor, similar to a bicycle peddle and bicycle seat. If your rider is under 18 months, this is not a skill they can master.
The saddle seat height can be more than the inseam measurement. The stirrup strap lengths are adjustable, allowing you to adjust the saddle fit to your child. Stirrups are around 7.5" from the floor on medium size horses, like Flica (18.5" saddle seat) and around 9" from the floor on large horses like Catalena (23.5" saddle seat). Austin / Winston (Small size) are the best pony's for children under 18 months. Little Bit is the best rocker for 4 to 13 months. Generally (Medium size) like Marlo, is 1.5 yrs - 3 yrs, (Large Size) like Dale, is 3 yrs - 5 years.
Decide if they are going to use the stirrups, as a step to get on the horse, or a leg-swing over the saddle from the ground. The saddle seat height is an important factor and affects whether or not a child can safely get on and off the horse by themselves. Dismounting with the stirrups is more difficult than mounting. All Medium and Small horses have wooden hand grips for safety and security for young riders.
If you are buying a larger horse for a smaller child, ridding will require more adult supervision. All children should be supervised while riding. Young children can start rocking, forget to hold on, turn loose and fall off.
Like learning to walk, speak and ride a bike, each child is unique in their own development schedule. After the child is walking, they will begin to master stirrup mounting. Rocking comes easy at a younger age, dismounting is more complicated. Children need more adult supervision if the child is not familiar with stirrup-step-up or have not fully grown into the leg-swing over from ground level.