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Leadline for toddler boy-va

I am diving into the division of leadline with my 16 month old son. We have the perfect pony. But I am looking for tips and help and maybe connect with other moms/trainers who have been doing this or are going through this. Like what is the proper attire for him to wear as well as myself? Can someone lead him while I assist him? I have horses and have ridden since I was 3 and had been so far the only person with the horsey bug until him. He always loves helping be brush and lead (with assistance of course) and when we got his pony he throws fits when he has to get off. I just want to go about this the correct way of course. How young are people starting their kids? Where are you getting the clothes and approved helments?

Aww I’m useless when it comes to this topic but will be following since I have a 5 month old baby boy! I hope he catches the horse bug too :slight_smile:

Lead line at shows? He has to sit by himself. At home, to start, obviously gave spotter. He shows English- then English attire. You should be well presented. Depending the show, depends what people where. Devon, Upperville moms go all out. Look at the pics. Schooling show, I wear kakis and a nice polo.

The first couple of times my youngest son did leadline, a friend walked alongside with her hand on his leg while I led the pony. He wore an outfit that approximated the appearance of proper attire: helmet, homemade “breeches” (my sister was a whiz with a sewing machine), white shirt, suit coat, tie, and faux tall boots (black shoes with “half chaps” made out of black vinyl, because I wasn’t buying real stuff for a 2 year old). My friend and I wore paddock boots, khaki pants, and polos the same color as his jacket.

This was at informal local 4-H/open shows, though. For bigger shows, I think people are usually a bit more serious about truly wearing proper attire.

My son did lead line at Menlo at 18 months. I had two helpers- one to lead and another side walker on the right side of the pony. I stayed with him on the left side but wasn’t going to risk him falling off the other side. I think until they are at least two you will need that. For clothes- my blog has a whole post abt it, but the ovation kids helmet looks great and dials down to a tiny size. The smallest breeches I found were 2T but Ralph Lauren has some leggings for girls that are like little breeches. You can get any little blazer, white shirt and tie from old navy or gap. I never found tiny gloves but I’m sure they’re out there. For boots I bought Primigi brand from amazon, they looked just like paddock boots.
Be prepared for meltdowns! I had his lovey and candy on hand to help him last through a terribly long class with over 20 kids. As for you- I think there’s nothing cuter than a mom in a sheath dress, wedges and a big hat but honestly at this little age you need to be comfortable. Now that my son is 3 and can stay on the horse by himself, I think I am ready to start worrying about how I look. Haha!

As far as pony tack…I have seen pictures of moms with the leather lead with chain. is that the norm? we will probably start small at some local shows. Braid mane and tail?

As far as pony tack…I have seen pictures of moms with the leather lead with chain. is that the norm? we will probably start small at some local shows. Braid mane and tail?[/QUOTE]

A Newmarket shank that attaches to both sides of the bit works well for lead line. You can get them either with twin shanks of chain or leather.

How long do the classes usually last that he needs to actually stay on our pony? We obviously have to work on him wanting to stay on the pony…but are their any tips? Do children who get off immediately not get pinned at all?


Do a leadline search. There are several threads.

Maryland Saddlery has a nice summary:

Answers to your questions depends upon the show and your location. I can attend local dressage shows where showing up in safe clothes is acceptable, local hunter shows where appropriate clothes are required with adorable ponies, and other shows, like Middleburg, where it is hugely competitive and the classes are quite large.

Where do you live? It will help us leadline folks advise you.


My biggest advice to doing leadline is to just enjoy it! Don’t put too much pressure on it or you’ll take the fun out of it…especially with a super young guy! I always love doing the leadline at Upperville. Although I did hand my duties over to my sons “uncle” (one of his favorite people!) this year so that I could enjoy it from the sidelines!

I found a toddler size clip on tie for my son on amazon. It is much shorter than the boys ties.