Horses used to be your livelihood on the farm. It was good training for kids, because they often had to take care of them after a long day's work. If your horses weren't healthy, neither was your farm. My Dad was eight years old when he was given charge of his first horse. He is a hard worker and an amazing father! Lessons of responsibility, pride in workmanship, and thoroughness are rarely taught to young people today.....but they should be.