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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2008



    Please realize, your daughter is not you. Her situation is not yours, most notably, you had one generation hovering and 'tormenting' you, she has 2 generations on her case. Even if you and grandma feel she "has what it takes," SHE DOES NOT KNOW THAT. And unfortunately, she is not a computer and you cannot 'download' the software into her brain. In this situation, with your experience of "I know how it will turn out in the end" I don't know how much help you can be in assisting your daughter in processing her own experience NOW.

    She is in a very powerless situation with two generations of horsewoman riding her case, at a time when it is difficult to deal with life's changes in general. If you wait too long, she may find her own Ally outside of this dynamic, and you may or may not be so thrilled with whom she choses. (and then, you will really be stuck.) Better to help her find someone or some situation in which she fees respected, supported, valued and capable than to wait until she seeks out a situation on her own.

    Maybe she would prefer NOT riding for trophies and ribbons (which will ease the financial burden) and just learning to ride. You have to opportunity here to teach her that NO ONE is stuck in their circumstances. THEY CAN find other options. THEY SHOULD try to find a situation that works for them, and not let other people shove them into a corner.

    Think LIFE LESSONS, not riding lessons.

    I had to give some of 'my parents' a talk the other day about their behavior at horse shows. It is not an easy situation all around, but I try very, very, very hard to make sure that the children are not the ones bearing the brunt of the adults anxieties, miss understandings, or inabilities to communicate. Horsemanship is hard enough !! without adding other issues to it.

    I have had parents turn and walk away when I told them I would not allow anyone to turn up the volume on personal conflict, EVEN THEM. "You will not argue with your child at a horse show, lesson, barn. etc. Neither will I." Parents do not like that.

    BUT If someone is struggling in a lesson, it is probably the instructors fault. By taking responsibility on myself for making things work, I allow everyone else to be 'off the hook.' I have not explained the lesson, I have not prepared the rider for the horse/pony behaving badly in a show environment. I have not explained to the parents that subjective horse judging is tough to deal with. Etc. Etc. It is the horse professionals job to handle these things. And while they may crucify their child for forgetting to half halt before the stretchy circle on a training level test, SOMEHOW, if I pipe up, everything is okay. Unfortunately, I do find myself in the position of having to defend Students from Parents.

    Punch line...... I don't have any kids myself. Maybe that's why the parents don't bothering arguing with me THEY THINK I JUST CAN'T POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2004
    On the edge of insanity


    Since switching trainers is not an option, is it possible that on days she doesn't have a lesson you could "help" her with what they work on? I know you were worried about confusing her so I don't mean in a lesson environment. Are you riding now too? Could you ride together and give her pointers as you go by? Maybe a casual remark might make the light go on?

    What about what someone else said about group lessons with other kids?

    Oh and You Have 8 Kids? Are you crazy!!!!!! I have one and I'm going crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!
    To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Lucama, NC


    Although I stick by my opinion that a green pony is probably not the best choice for this child, if you are insisting that she stay with this pony AND not get another trianer, perhaps you could do the following. Is there an older, mature student at the barn that could become your daughter's "mentor", not really instructing her, but helping her to understand what she is being told, and who respects your mother and can help your daughter to learn to respect and listen to ehr without shutting down? In addition can you AT LEAST take her and do a clinic with another trainer from time to time? When I was younger (in my 20's) I ran my parents farm and taught. One of my "Students" was my youngest sister, a difficult stuation as she got into her teens. One evening I was giving her a lesson and she wasn't getting it. She got frustrated, jumped off the horse, threw the reins at me and stomped off. I decided to work the hrose through the problem, got on and did so. This was at night so I was in the outdoor under lights, and obviously couldnt see anything outside of the arena. After that night, something in my sister "clicked" and things began to go much more smoothly between us and she did wonderfully that year winning a lot. It turns out, as she told me MANY years later, she was sitting up on the hill in the dark that night, crying and watching me ride her hrose through the issue. She decided that if I could do it, she could too and that MAYBE I was right about a few things! Maybe you could correograph an "ah-ha" moment like that with you mother somehow

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2007
    Boerne, Texas


    She is twelve, she is going to everything PERSONALLY! Mine is now 29, yea, but those years are tough. I also teach them in school. I agree with a previous poster. If at all possible get her another trainer, maybe trade instruction, help, time something with another. My daughter has an amazing relationship with her grandparents that all cherish. I wish that for all children. Don't let this ruin it.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007


    Maybe your daughter could take a summer break from Gramma and take lessons at another barn? It might make her feel like she has her own place to ride without family watching her every move. She could relax a little, show off a little, and make some new friends. Once summer is over, she might be ready to come back to Gramma and be proud to show what she's accomplished "on her own".

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2006


    Time to fire grandma and get the kid a new trainer.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2004
    Six-burgh baby!


    Ok. Does she REALLY want to ride with her cousins and does she REALLY want to go to pony finals or is she just wanting to do that stuff because she doesn't want to be left out and she thinks she should want it?

    What time are her lessons that not being a morning person could be affecting them? If that's really an issue then an afternoon or evening lesson would probably be better. What does she do all day that you are worried she'd be too tired at the end of the day? Kids play hard. That's for sure. If she's involved in other sports and works hard at them then yeah, the days she does those probably wouldn't be the best days for lessons. If it's just your average every day kid stuff and she says she's too tired for a lesson (or just doesn't perform well and the perception is she's tired) then I'm thinking she isn't as into riding as she may want you to think she is....or at least she's really frustrated and down about her riding so she'd rather not participate. I'd take that as a very big sign that something needs to change-and that something is not her.

    I'm gonna lay a lot of fault here with Grandma. I know there are different types of people out there and we all grow by learning to deal with them. However, this kid, regardless of relation, is recognized as having skills but obviously the instructor is not getting the best out of the rider. Even if the rider is learning and doing great things, she doesn't know it and is feeling more frustrated than accomplished. She's way too young to recognize her accomplishments are part of the frustrating times. It's up to the instructor to ensure hard work and frustration are covered up by fun and an obvious reward is received.

    XenophonKnows is spot on! Your daughter is not you. You may know what will happen but your daughter doesn't and even if she is told, she isn't going to believe it or maybe she isn't ready to. My mom was a straight A student her whole life-including college. She had to work very hard for those A's. I coulda been a straight A student but I didn't want to do the work. I am plenty smart but B's came without much effort and I was happy to stick with those. That wasn't good enough for my mom and we had many arguments over it. Our relationship is forced in many ways because she couldn't accept that I wasn't her even though, like you said, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Your daughter is still her own person and has her own ways. She may not be able to handle the type of instruction her grandmother is giving and if her grandmother isn't willing to back off and make the rides suit the rider then this is a no win situation.

    My trainer won't teach her own daughter. Well, she does now but her daughter is in her 20's. Her daughter is super passive and comes with the same great natural ability her mother has. Neither one of them have a temper or an inclination to get forceful. However, my trainer felt it best to have other people teach her so there were no misunderstandings and no strain on their relationship. If her dtr wanted to show-she showed. If she didn't-she didn't. There were no grey areas - it was all up to her dtr.

    My trainer is awesome. She is constantly seeking different ways to do things and encourages all her students to clinic and absorb as much info as possible from as many sources as possible (preferably ones she likes but that's understandable). She figures someone else may say the same thing to you but say it differently so it suddenly makes sense. She's also agreed to pass students off to other trainers as her style didn't mix with that particular rider or horse even. Sometimes, regardless of the good things, 2 ppl just aren't meant to have that kind of relationship. I would think the grandma/granddaughter relationship would be much more important than the trainer/rider relationship so I'd ditch the one that isn't working

    I really think you need to pull yourself out of the equation and look at this from the outside. Your daughter is unhappy. Either you need to tell your mom to handle your daughter differently or you need to make a decision on behalf of your daughter and send her somewhere neutral. No matter what you think she can accomplish if she sticks with this situation, it's not working and she may quit before she accomplishes anything. If she needs to freak out before she learns-then grandma needs to bite her tongue and let that happen. If she needs to think through what she was taught so she can learn, in her mind, to make her body apply it - then grandma needs to allow for that. When grandma says "do x, y, z" does she allow granddaughter to ask "who, what, when, where, and why"? If not, she needs to. I've pulled up and said "omg what am I doing". We usually have a good laugh over the lack of connecting A and B then we discuss it and I go try again.

    The bottom line is she's 12. She wants and needs to have fun. She can work hard and buckle down but she needs support, understanding, and flexibility from the adults in her life. She'd have way better luck on a broke pony but there is no reason she can't do well with the greenie-it's just not gonna happen over night and doesn't sound like it's going to happen if things continue without some discussions and changes.
    Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec. 26, 2008


    I have said from the get go that I refuse to teach my children! I ride with my oldest son, we have fun. He takes his lessons once a week, and at 5 years old his lessons are not very serious they have LOTS of fun and games and work on safety.

    If he wants to get serious later in life then I will find a serious instructor who will push him to help him get better. If at anytime any of my children don't want to ride, that's ok with me. As long as it's not "I had one bad lesson and now I don't want to go back"

    I do agree with everyone who has said to take out the family end if you can. It's hard. You want to please them so much that it's heart breaking when you feel like you aren't good enough.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2009


    Never teach your wife to drive, never teach your kid to ride....

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun. 6, 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by flea View Post
    She is twelve, she is going to everything PERSONALLY!

    This is what I told my mother... and yes I was older than 12 by the time I got it - 'I just want you to sympathize with me' (share the feelings of/ understand the sentiments of) - 'you don't have to solve my problems.. just acknowledge them'. She is a bit young to figure that part out - but you are not. You don't have to, and should not, take sides...give her room to learn both riding and life...acknowledge, don't solve.
    * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
    Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
    NO! What was the question?

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May. 7, 2009


    So, since switching where we ride is not an option, we are switching HOW she gets her info. My mom sits on the mounting block and feeds me the info, I then relay it to Meg, yesterday went so much better! Of course at the end of the ride Meg states " you yell more than grandma does" NO kidding I think I TOLD you that you did NOT want me to teach you! So today she plans to ride with her cousins in the ring while my mom teaches them all. She watched my mom school both of her cousins and the two girls who board with us yesterday and I guess she figured I was going to be harder on her than grandma is. My mom and I have also decided it might be best if she got on and worked on her own for a bit first , then she tends to say " I am having issues with A,B and C" how do I fix that. At least then we are not picking on every little thing, we can fix the issues she is concerned about first then move onto the things we see and she obviously does not see/feel because she is up there and not on the ground.
    I do agree with most of you, moms ( or grandmoms) are NOT always the best option for teaching their own kids, I knew this years ago when I was riding. But for us this is the only option at this time, she is happy, and she loves her new pony. She loves riding with her friends and cousins, so we just need to find the best way to get her the info without causing her to shut down.
    My older niece comes in from FL in July for the rest of the summer and my mom suggested letting her teach meg for a bit to see if that helps. So we will do that as well.
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006


    Does your daughter display these frustrations about any other teachers? Could she be embarassed by Grandma in front of others? Does she have a lot of extra pressure in this situation because she is the grandaughter with a lot of potential on a potentially NICE pony? Maybe she shouldn't have a greenie right at this time. Does she have a passion for riding?

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2002
    Former Long Islander now in the middle of the Great Lakes


    "Do I tell her to suck it up and learn?"

    I am going to go out on a limb here , your Kid is playing Grandma against Mom. While you were able to handle your Mom's way of bring you up and training you , You aren't your Mom, and their was a constancy to your everyday life and your riding world. I can almost guarantee you aren't bringing up your Daughter in the same no nonsense tough it out way you were brought up. So the conflict isn't that your Mom is too tough , it's that you are to lenient . Parents today have a tendency toward giving into to their children’s wants and wishes and making life easier in general , but life isn't easy and when push comes to shove if you make it too easy the real world , (your Mother) is a rude awakening, Ask yourself honestly if your child could handle the real world of harsh criticism from say a GM or Anne K. If not she may not be the rider you think she is , it takes more then raw talent , it also takes a toughness that can handle harsh criticism even loud harsh criticism , if she can't take it , and you give in to finding her a trainer who matches her personality you are just feeding into her calling the shots .. it may be easier for you but you aren't doing her any favors , if she really wants to go somewhere with her riding and not just be a cute pony rider with a BNT then tell her by all means to suck it up. She really may not be that serious and may just want to be part of the family group..

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Star View Post
    Never teach your wife to drive, never teach your kid to ride....
    Oh ! So true!!!

    It's only now that Dear Child has entered middle years that Mom knows anything, and then only sometimes.
    Of course,DC can't tell Mom anything either. Only sometimes!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2005


    I really, really think you should get the kid another trainer (one who is completely unrelated by birth or marriage ). I grew up with 2 kids - one of whom was the daughter of a very big name hunter trainer, the other the daughter of a world champion event rider - both of whom were actively competing and at the top of their respective disciplines when we were about 12 and throughout our teenage years. Neither one gave lessons to their kid - EVER!! Wouldn't have even considered it. The fact that you and your own mother are successful in the sport is a ton of pressure in and of itself. You could relieve that pressure to some degree by letting your daughter work with other professionals.

    If this isn't even a remote possibility, then stop giving her lessons, period. Let her come to you, or to your mother, if and when she herself wants help with a particular problem. Give her only the assistance that she specifically asks for. My guess is that she will feel less pressure, begin to have more fun, and probably come to you and your mother more and more often, of her own free will, for the help that she can't get anywhere else. If she asks for help, and you offer it, and she has an attitude about it - stop immediately. Tell her that if she wants advice, she'll have to take it like a professional adult, or not at all. Just don't engage - don't let her control you with anger, tears and tantrums. I think that's a part of all of this, as well, at her age, and she may learn a lot if you are willing to step away, and say "enough! we will not be treated disrespectfully - you are on your own for real when you act that way."
    Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    down the road from bar.ka



    Many, if not most, top trainers across the board have other trainers work with their kids on a regular basis. They may have to work with them at home as there is nobody else but they regularly seek others at shows and attend clinics specifically so they do not have to be the child's sole trainer/instructor.

    There is a reason for this-family dynamics and coaching techniques are mutually exclusive. There is NO WAY a family member can be 100% objective with a close relative. NO WAY they can avoid getting more frustrated because they know too much about the kid and usually put unrealistic expectations on them because they are a trainers kid. Like a cop's kid is expected to voluntarily toe the line and a preachers kid expected to be a beacon of morality.

    Add the fact a "normal" grandmother's role is one of somewhat distant but loving support, not a drill sargeant and the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters and there is no way this is a good idea. It will not work, going to create additional tension in the home after a bad day.

    IMO a Green Pony was a mistake for this child and the "trainer's kid" expectations plus Grandmas approach to training her grandchild doom this arrangement to fail.

    Can this child be allowed to just have and love a Pony without lessons and show expectations that may be transfererred from the Pros in the family instead of her real wishes? Can she have a Mom and Grandma that just say "good job" and offer a shoulder to cry on?
    Keep a trainer seperate from the family?

    Sorry to be blunt here but I see this over and over. The child will say what they think will please the driving adults, not what they really want and think.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2003


    I kind of agree with Mike MCS. Not that you're too lenient...but maybe you've set up an 'us against grandma' dynamic because you had a hard time with her growing up. If this was any other trainer, you wouldn't have this past to commiserate with your daughter over. That commiseration is going to lead to frustration.

    By all means, let your daughter vent, but don't try to explain grandma or try to make it better. Give her the option: if she wants to ride/show, she's going to have to learn how to learn from grandma. If not, she can stop taking lessons and stop showing, etc. Help her with coping strategies: if she tells you she didn't understand what Grandma was instructing her or why, ask her if she asked grandma to clarify (stress that she must do this is a respectful manner...especially at this age). Don't try to fix it for her...instead give her ways to fix it herself.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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