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  1. #1
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    May. 7, 2009
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    Default Help, rider /trainer confusion

    I will apologize first because this will be long.
    My daughter is 12, she recently got a new large green pony. Pony is safe and sane but GREEN. She has ridden only occasionally over the past 2 years ( bad experience with a green horse) she loves her new pony.
    The issue we are having is; I have ridden for over 20 years and was trained by my mom. My mom is a great trainer, she loves what she does and she wants the kids to ride well. Flat work is KEY in making up a young horse/pony, and she knows this. My mom can be harsh or IMO direct, I have spent the past 35 yrs riding with her so I know and understand her , my daughter gets VERY upset by her tactics. She tends to "shut down" when my mom starts barking instructions. I have spoken with my mom about this and she is trying, today she explained things very clearly and spoke in a more quiet tone. But pony was being a brat today and Meg did not have a great ride. This is par for the course with a green pony, but add the tension between her and grandma and it was ugly after the ride( Meg was upset and frustrated saying grandma does not explain what she wants me to do and then when I do what she says she changes it!)
    I don't know what to do, my mom is the trainer on our farm, and I think if I add my instruction to the mix Meg will be even more confused. Do I tell her to suck it up and learn? that is what I had to do,and it has taken me quite far LOL! Yes she is strict and can be abrasive but she knows her stuff! How so I convince Meg that grandma IS the right person for the job and if she would just not take everything so personally and LISTEN things will move along much faster???
    thanks any help or ideas appreciated!
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  2. #2
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    May. 1, 2006
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    PNW
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    Default

    Would you be able to take over the teaching of your daughter? And add in an occasional lesson from grandma so she can still play a part in the learning.



  3. #3
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    Mar. 9, 2006
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    Lucama, NC
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    My first impression of your post was WHY is this young rider back on a green pony if she had a bad experience on a green horse and has ridden only "occasionally" in the past two years??!! Even taking grandma as trainer out of the equation, this is a recipe for frustration for your daughter. Why not find a nice, well mannered pony that is well schooled in the basics that your daughter can learn from. Then I think she will not have to deal with the "greeness" of the pony PLUS what appears to her to be conflicting instructions from your mother. SHe is already getting frustrated with the pony's greenness from your post and then adding grandma "barking instructions" to the mix just is going to get you no where with her. I think a better schooled pony is necessary for the sitaution with grandma to work. She needs to be able to be told "Do A, B and C and you will get D" which will happen on a schooled pony, but when she is told "Do A, B and C and D" DOESN'T work, and then grandma strats telling ehr to do X, Y and Z which the child is incapable of doing at her level of confidence and riding skills, she is naturally going to question Grandma's ability as an instructor cause SURELY her pony she LOVES isn't wrong. Do you see what I am getting at??



  4. #4
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    Sorry to say this, but neither one of you might be the best teacher for your child. IE you may be better off sending her to an outside trainer and removing any family dynamic.

    The barn where I ride now has an outstanding junior whose parents make their living showing and training, and she rides for them in junior divisions but takes her lessons from instructors at our barn. The mom said to me that sometimes you can't teach your own kids, and that the daughter is much happier and much more willing to accept instruction, at the lesson barn.

    ETA, using their steady school horses to figure it all out, too.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  5. #5
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    Dec. 27, 1999
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    Midland, NC, USA
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    I took over as trainer for a sensitive teenager whose mom ran a successful lesson barn. Mom was no-nonsense and could be tough and it was NOT working. Kid would end up in tears at horse shows, etc. etc. Funny thing was I could be tough when needed, and from me (an outsider) she took it just fine.

    *shrug*

    Jennifer



  6. #6
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    Jul. 10, 2008
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    If you didn't have the family thing going on my advice would be - if your daughter isn't enjoying her lessons then stop the lessons or find another barn where she has more fun. Some instructors are excellent with young ones while some others tend to make them cry and there are lots in between.

    Kids tend to hero worship their trainers. If they feel picked on somethings not right and they've probably lost their confidence (even if the trainer hasn't lost their confidence in them).

    Does Grandma teach any other kids your daughters age? If so then have your daughter observe the other lessons so she can realize that she isn't getting picked on. Otherwise I'd say find another trainer for your daughter till she gains more confidence and chooses Grandma as her trainer. Maybe there is a summer day camp you can send daughter and pony to in your area - she can get some outside instruction and have fun with other kids too.



  7. #7
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    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    My Mom, who I love dearly and who is an excellent instructor, knew from the get-go that it was bad juju to be my instructor. Anytime I got instruction from her as a child, it went downhill rapidly. Sometimes family members aren't the right thing when it comes to teaching. I recommend getting an outside instructor, and eliminating that part of the relationship. If your daughter finds another type of instructor, she may enjoy riding more.
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  8. #8
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    Feb. 21, 2007
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    midwest
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    You can change trainers but you can't change Grandmothers and I would not risk that relationship. It will come down to you siding with your daughter or your mother. Neither is good. Don't end up with a daughter who hates to ride and hates her Grandmother.



  9. #9
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    May. 7, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawneeAcres View Post
    My first impression of your post was WHY is this young rider back on a green pony if she had a bad experience on a green horse and has ridden only "occasionally" in the past two years??!! Even taking grandma as trainer out of the equation, this is a recipe for frustration for your daughter. Why not find a nice, well mannered pony that is well schooled in the basics that your daughter can learn from. Then I think she will not have to deal with the "greeness" of the pony PLUS what appears to her to be conflicting instructions from your mother. SHe is already getting frustrated with the pony's greenness from your post and then adding grandma "barking instructions" to the mix just is going to get you no where with her. I think a better schooled pony is necessary for the sitaution with grandma to work. She needs to be able to be told "Do A, B and C and you will get D" which will happen on a schooled pony, but when she is told "Do A, B and C and D" DOESN'T work, and then grandma strats telling ehr to do X, Y and Z which the child is incapable of doing at her level of confidence and riding skills, she is naturally going to question Grandma's ability as an instructor cause SURELY her pony she LOVES isn't wrong. Do you see what I am getting at??
    she is on a green pony because she does possess the skills to do the job, she has ridden green horses and been successful. she has an aweseom leg, great balance, and is a smart intelligent kid. her spony has progressed in a steady manner over teh past month with a few frustrating "green" days along the way. I personally think it is more of a "teen age attitude" issue than anything else. she is her mothers daughter and while I had no other trainer options, I had a lot of the same issues with my mom at this age! I think the suggestion to use another trainer is a good one, but we just don't have that option, money is tight and we have a perfectly good trainer right here, I just wish Meg would stop taking everything my mom says so personally, how do I get her to understand it is NOT
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    If you didn't have the family thing going on my advice would be - if your daughter isn't enjoying her lessons then stop the lessons or find another barn where she has more fun. Some instructors are excellent with young ones while some others tend to make them cry and there are lots in between.

    Kids tend to hero worship their trainers. If they feel picked on somethings not right and they've probably lost their confidence (even if the trainer hasn't lost their confidence in them).

    Does Grandma teach any other kids your daughters age? If so then have your daughter observe the other lessons so she can realize that she isn't getting picked on. Otherwise I'd say find another trainer for your daughter till she gains more confidence and chooses Grandma as her trainer. Maybe there is a summer day camp you can send daughter and pony to in your area - she can get some outside instruction and have fun with other kids too.
    both of my nieces who are very close in age to my daughter and are her best friends ride with my mom. Its a family dynamic thing, they are both more vocal than my daughter and will speak up, my daughter will just listen and TRY but when things go bad she stews!! She will then tell me in the car on the way home that she did not "understand" what was said. as I try to explain what my mom was telling her she then argues that "that is NOT what grandma told me to do and now your confusing me too!"
    this is NOT a dumb kid she is a straight A honors student I really think it has more to do with teenage attitude than anything else. WE are going to try getting more sleep at night , and starting each ride with a "plan" as in what do you want to accomplish today and how can grandma and I help you do that? her training skills are good so really she should be able to tell US what the issues are and then let us guide her. I think a more hands off approach instead of constant "nagging" might work better, she is a good rider and can figure out many things on her own if she is allowed to do that, problem is my mom is NOT very hands off LOL!
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
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    Default

    The fact that you stated that she "gets VERY upset" but your Mother's instruction makes it pretty clear to me that she is probably pretty unhappy and the situation really isn't working. I don't think being upset and confused constitutes "teenage attitude". Many people just don't do well with certain types of instructors. Just look at a GM thread where half the people say they could NEVER ride with him due to his certain style, and half the people would love to and feel that they would excel. It has nothing to do with your Mother not being "a perfectly good trainer", I've no doubt she is but riding is supposed to be fun and if your daughter is unhappy than you need to make a change. If money is an issue that perhaps your daughter could muck stalls/work around the barn in exchange for some lessons somewhere else. I also feel that she probably do better on a more experienced pony. Anyways, I really would consider another trainer. Often family teaching family is just a bad mix. And if your daughter continues to feel frustrated by and unhappy with her lessons perhaps she won't want to ride anymore. I stopped riding for a few years as a child due to a very similar situation.
    CRAYOLA POSSE - Olive Green
    Champions aren't born. They are built little by little, day by day, with patience and love for the art. -Nick Skelton



  12. #12
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    Mar. 24, 2008
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    188

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    It is difficult for parents to train their children after they reach a certain age. I am a professional with two girls who ride. Both of my daughters ride with another professional at a different barn. They will take instruction and criticism much better from him than from "mom." Also, they will try much harder for someone else. Now that my kids are older, they will show my sale horses for me and will take instruction much better from me than before.

    Having had many green ponies that my daughters have had to ride and bring along, I think that when the ponies are being difficult, the kids feel like they aren't good riders. Set small goals and don't over do it.



  13. #13
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    Apr. 29, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by hellerkm View Post
    ... is a smart intelligent kid.

    ... just wish Meg would stop taking everything my mom says so personally, how do I get her to understand it is NOT
    As another mother of a smart, intelligent daughter who is gifted, an assessment revealed that the tears come before the breakthroughs (ummm, no kidding). So rather than getting your daughter to stop having meltdowns, you need to understand that this may be part of her make-up and to stop stressing about it. Once my daughter gets through the 'this is too hard' tears, then comes the 'oh this is so easy' part. As a parent, this makes me want to tear my hair out. However, now that I understand this is a 'process', there is a big difference because I don't take it personally. So, I wait out the wailing, and voila, Oh wow Mom, what's the big deal. Yeesh.

    Good luck!



  14. #14
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    Dec. 28, 2004
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    Six-burgh baby!
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    I've got lots of thougts. Let's see, she's 12. Pre-teen. Hormones are probably starting to kick in. She may be dealing with that a-ok in all other areas of her life but something about horses will bring out the "best" in hormonal child

    Maybe she's really nervous but can't express it that way? When I get nervous the first person I pick a fight with is my mom/family. I don't really just say "I'm nervous", I will argue over stupid things and get frustrated by instruction to do things (my family is not horsie but my mom is at every horse show and sometimes oversteps her bounds in my mind because of the nerves). Even as an adult with nearly 25 years of riding under my belt I get this way. It's how I handle stress/nerves. As an adult of course I can now say "if you start doing that I'm going to start arguing with you because I'm nervous and don't need my mind on anything else right now". Took me a lot of years to get there though so if your daughter is like me - hang tight

    If she's not nervous, then I agree 110% with ShawneeAcres - she needs a mount that knows what A, B, and C are while she learns how to create A, B, and C. Let's face it, the most talented rider in the world can have trouble with green horses. It takes a long time to learn enough to work well with a greenie. That doesn't mean she can't ride the greenie well, just that in a training situation she's not necessarily the right rider. A broke mount will teach her how to get the job done so she knows how to get it from a green mount.

    Now, from a different angle, what are the intentions with this pony? Does your daughter want to show? At what level? Does she want to go there with this particular ride? Could you mom just give her enough instruction to make their rides safe and fun without worrying about all the little details? Is there anyone else who can ride the pony for training sessions so when your daughter has lessons they only work on the things the pony knows so your daughter feels successful? It's all about feelilng like you accomplished something and I'm sure your daughter wants to please both of you. It's up to you, as the adults, to ensure she's given the right tasks to achieve that.

    I always believe everyone has their own mission. If their mission is to get to the moon but they whimper about the hard work it takes to get there, then they need to be reminded of their mission or advised to get a new one. Maybe your daughter doesn't really want to work on training the pony but rather wants to get around well enough? Have you talked to her-rationally and calmly-about her plans/desires with the pony? Maybe the 3 of you need to have a light hearted chat about what is expcted (from all 3) so everyone understands each other.

    One last thing. Group lessons. Are they an option? If so, maybe having some lessons in a group where Gram treats everyone the same will make it easier on your daughter to see she's not being picked on because she's the granddaughter? Maybe they could do fun stuff like switch horses mid-lesson and stuff like that. I don't know what kind of program is going on there so maybe that won't work but if it can, there is always an option of making a hard lesson fun
    Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!
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  15. #15
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    Aug. 10, 2004
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    I taught my step daughter for years and successfully too. We sat down(literally had a "meeting" with each other) in the very beginning to discuss how this would work. She was oh about 8 yrs old. I spelled out the rules. When we were at the barn, especially when she was riding/taking a lesson I was not "mom" I was the trainer bottom line. I have found in my teaching that 12 ish is the hardest age to teach. Everything is changing for them, everything is confusing. Like someone else said, you need to realize too that's it's not personal.
    I would suggest too that the three of you sit down and have a meeting. Talk about the rules, talk about the goals with her as a rider and her pony. Maybe you'll need to have routine meetings to keep the communication open.
    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!



  16. #16
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    May. 7, 2009
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    her goal is to take her to pony finals , pony is NICE and should be able to win a division and go. She does want to show and ride with her cousins ( who are riding made horses because they do the jumpers, meg wants to do hunters) I agree with the poster who said she freaks BEFORE she learns, I am this way and I don't think the apple fell far from the tree ( all the more reason my mom should be GOOD at teaching her LOL) after we got home today she wanted to hash out the details of what happened today. she likes to think things through in her own way sometimes my mom is quick to judge, most of this comes from the fact that she KNOWS meg is capable of getting the job done.
    Hormones play a big part as well, along with this past week we needed to implement a "schedule" for getting to the barn at a certain time each morning due to my changing work requirements. so it is now something we do at a certain time each day instead of being a relaxed laid back, "what time do you want to ride" I think the fact that pony had a bad day and she feels our of control in that area as well as now needing to do this at a certain time in a certain place kind of thing adds to the problem. she is NOT a morning person, wonder if I should try nighttime rides??? I worry she will be even more tired then? ugh just not an easy solution to any of this. I lived through this as a kid and now its even harder to watch MY kid go through the same issues. I guess I just feel bad for her. Although I know in the end she will be so proud of her accomplishment and what she has learned I feel I need to just keep helping her stick it out, cause I know the end result is excellent!
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=hellerkm;4163611... I feel I need to just keep helping her stick it out, cause I know the end result is excellent![/QUOTE]

    Welcome to parenting.

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  18. #18
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    I'm of the opinion that your daughter really really needs to lesson outside the family dynamic. I'm not poo-pooing your moms knowledge and teaching base at all. Your mom could be the best trainer in the world and your daughter the best pony jock. I'd still have the same opinion.

    I've tried to teach family members. It just doesn't work. I realise I am sounding "short" on the subject and I don't mean to be, but I get the sense that you already know examples of why one would want to seperate family from teaching, as well as examples of BNTs who do just that, why, and why it works better.

    Good luck. I hope your mom who sounds like a wealth of knowledge wont be offended if you choose to move child to another trainer. I'm sure your mom would much rather have a gdaughter who can just love her as her Gma, who supports her riding as a spectator, quiet helper, family member, and # 1 fan club member. Those are much harder to come by than anything else and irreplaceable.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Shine View Post
    Welcome to parenting.

    Don't forget to enjoy the sunsets.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...8&id=705386256
    I know I have 8 kids oldest is now 20 its been a rough ride to say the least!
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  20. #20
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    Jul. 30, 2008
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    I think you should teach her because some poeple learn differently and you wouldn't want her to burn out on riding because of some tough instruction.



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