Dear American Girl,
I really want to take horseback riding classes, but my parents won’t let me. They know someone who was seriously injured by a horse, so they’re too nervous to let me try. But I LOVE horses, and it’s my dream to take lessons. What should I do?
Here's your advice:
Talk to your parents about how important this is to you. Make sure they know that this is your dream. If they still don’t allow you to do it, maybe you can ask again when you’re older.
-Isabella, age 10, Florida
Maybe you can compromise. Would they allow you to take lessons on a pony? They might be more comfortable with that.
-Cecilia, age 10, Ohio
What if you promise to always wear a helmet and be safe? They’re probably anxious because horses can be somewhat unpredictable. However, if you’re extra safe and take the rules very seriously, maybe they will allow you to take lessons.
-Josie, age 10, Nebraska
If your parents have made up their minds, this is probably something you’ll have to accept. Maybe you can find other ways to be around horses. Ask your parents if you can volunteer to brush the horses or take care of ponies. I know it seems really unfair, but your parents just want you to be safe.
-Sarah, age 11, California
I think you should show your parents that you are responsible and mature. You could also make a list of all the reasons horseback riding is important to you. If they still won’t budge, I think you should respect their wishes.
-An American Girl fan
You could ask a parent to take you to a horse stable so you can both learn more about horses. Maybe once you all have heard from an expert, you can make a decision that’s right for you.
-Breanna, age 11, Michigan
Let your parents know that you understand why they’re anxious about horses. Maybe you and your parents can chat with a riding instructor about safety and he or she could assign you a very tame, calm horse. Give them time to think, and accept their answer.
-Olivia, age 11, California
Remind yourself that your parents are being strict because they love you. They’re worried about you getting hurt. Give it some time and then ask again. If they still say no, maybe you can do jobs at a stable so you can still be around horses. You could groom them and feed them.
-Kayte, age 13, Idaho
Talk to your parents about how you’re feeling. Explain how you feel in a calm way and remember to respect them. Even if you make a really great case for why you should be able to ride, the final decision is theirs. Good luck.
-An American Girl fan
Talk to your parents about the things you’ll gain from horseback riding lessons. Show them that you’re responsible, and do your best to compromise. If you throw a tantrum and are disrespectful, they probably won’t let you take lessons.
-Nina, age 12, Massachusetts
Will they allow you to take lessons when you’re older? If you’re responsible and follow the rules, maybe they will eventually allow you to take lessons.
-Esther, age 12, Pennsylvania
Your parents might feel better about you taking lessons if they have an opportunity to talk to the instructor first. I’m sure they have lots of questions.
-Caitlyn, age 12, Connecticut
Hold a family meeting and use that time to explain how you’re feeling. Mention that you’re going to wear a helmet and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to take a lesson. If your parents still won’t budge, give them some time. Maybe they will feel different when you’re older.
-Kate, age 11, Germany
I love horses, too. My parents are also nervous about riding lessons. However, after explaining how I felt, they came around. They said that if I can get straight A’s, I can take lessons. Maybe you and your parents can come up with a similar deal.
-Mya, age 13, Utah