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  1. #1
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    Default What are your goals for your kids ( trainers or parents)

    My girls were at their lesson yesterday and I was talking with my best friend while my kids rode. Growing up I groomed for her while she rode and showed ponies on the A circuit, she had the top pony in Zone 2 for many years and the top green pony in the country as well. She is an AWESOME rider and did a lot of the training on her green ponies herself when we were kids.
    She was watching my 6 yr old ride and suggested I go buy a $30,000 pony so the kid could go out and win. She told me that the kids who are out there winning are only riding their ponies at the shows and the trainers are schooling them during the week.
    Now, I will NEVER have $30,000 to buy a pony, and I don't want my kid to sit around all week and just "show" on the weekend. I want both of my girls to learn to RIDE! Growing up my mother had the same idea, we had green horses we brought along and showed, we never stuck to one division, and we never chased a year end award, we rode in a division until we were doing well in it then we moved up. As a kid I WANTED that big ribbon at the end of the year, but did not have a lot of control over what we rode and showed in that was the trainers ( my mothers) decision.
    I am looking for peoples thoughts on setting goals for my own kids, I cannot spend a year doing leadline just because the kid will win a big ribbon at the end of the year, it would NOT be a measure of her success, she rides better than that. But mini stirrup or even SS will pose more challenges and probably fewer ribbons, BUT she will have more experience and progress further on the ponies she currently has. I want to produce GOOD riders but I know this has to remain fun for them and lets face it winning ribbons is FUN.
    So how do you intend to structure your students ( or childs) show season?
    Just to add BOTH of my girls do this because they love it, they WANT to show they would go every weekend if they could so no one is pressuring them to do this, I am really just looking for ways to help them become the BEST riders they can be and keep it fun and interesting, along with encouraging in their progress.
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  2. #2
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    Sep. 19, 2002
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    I don't have kids.

    But at the lower levels I would keep pushing them along as they are ready to move up. Who really needs a year in lead line? Why stagnate there? Move up to w-t & w-t-c classes. Get ring time. Move to the X's. So the kid might not get many ribbons or even year end ribbons, but so what? Maybe your child will move up a few notches in 1 summer. By following this 1 level a year system, the kid could be 12 YO before they are finally jumping around a 2' course. Which there is nothing wrong with that, but if you want to ride & train ponies, then I think you need to move along while you are small so you get better & have more time for the ponies before you outgrow them. Seriously, who looks back 20 years & says "I was the year end lead line champion"? I see a lot of kids who stagnate at those lower levels for years & don't hit the junior hunters or big eq then until they are 16 or 17 YO only to not have many chances then at it. Is getting a big year end ribbon at the lower levels worth giving up later years at the higher levels? That's what people need to decide.
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



  3. #3
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    Your friend is wrong about the kids who are winning in the ponies... they certainly do ride their ponies at home and work very hard.

    I'm with Giddy-up as for moving kids along.



  4. #4
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    Dec. 4, 2002
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    I'm a trainer, so my bread and butter is showing. Show ring goals are easy- I talk about them all the time with my clients. HOWEVER: I had a very interesting conversation with one of my clients not too long ago. She is a high achiever herself and is hard wired to think that way for her kid. She posed what she thought was a retorical question to me one day, "Don't you think kids do better in their riding when they have goals?" I think I shocked her when I said, "Not necessarily." I went on to explain that while I thought showing was fun and positive for many kids, there are many more out there that really aren't cut out for it. More than anything else, riding needs to be fun. F-U-N. If that means trail riding, fine.

    Now, my barn wouldn't be the place for that type of kid. I don't board horses that aren't in my training program. But showing isn't the be-all, end- all of riding that it has become. Parents, don't put so much pressure on your kids to "achieve" in the show ring that you lose sight of the point of the whole thing.

    My happiest clients are the ones who have those show goals, but really just have a ball out there riding and showing.



  5. #5
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    Oct. 3, 2007
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    My daughter competes now. She started out in the hunters but found her way to an event barn. There she discovered her passion. She has also joined Pony Club. She sets her own goals now and they are to form a partnership with her horse and move up the levels, both in eventing and pony club. Move up safely and at the right time without pushing her horse or herself. Her ultimate goal? Rolex and that perfect partnership that you need to get there.



  6. #6
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    Nov. 10, 2009
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    I want both of my girls to learn to RIDE! Growing up my mother had the same idea, we had green horses we brought along and showed, we never stuck to one division, and we never chased a year end award, we rode in a division until we were doing well in it then we moved up.


    My daughter is 16 and has been riding since she was 7. She has never had a made anything... everything she was ever on was a greenie to begin with. She has goals but I also have a say in this - riding shouldn't be about chasing points it should be about being the best you can be. My first and foremost thing about riding was to teach her responsibility and secondly that she have dedication. She had a pony that she had to help care for. Her first trainer did not bring grooms to show so at 7 & 8 my daughter had to groom her own pony and then ride. She made sure that pony was washed and cared for - she took responsibility for helping to train that pony in conjunction with her trainer. (said pony came to us a the ripe old age of 5 and pretty green) All the horses that came after were young, green, and required a lot of work. My daughter has shown the dedication that it takes to get the job done. Sure she likes ribbons as much as anyone else but she also likes to be the best she can be every time she goes into an arena so she works darn hard. She has goals for her riding, she not only trains a certain number of days per week on her horses but she has committed to a gym schedule as well to condition her body. My other requirement was that she be committed at school as well because rewards come with hard work both inside and outside of the ring. She has become a serious student as well as a serious rider. Year end awards are not the be-all end-all and a riders goals don't have to include those. Learning to communicate with your horse, being dedicated, having responsibility, dealing with bad days, dealing with good days - these are all good goals to have beyond those blue ribbons.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeB10 View Post
    I want both of my girls to learn to RIDE! Growing up my mother had the same idea, we had green horses we brought along and showed, we never stuck to one division, and we never chased a year end award, we rode in a division until we were doing well in it then we moved up.


    My daughter is 16 and has been riding since she was 7. She has never had a made anything... everything she was ever on was a greenie to begin with. She has goals but I also have a say in this - riding shouldn't be about chasing points it should be about being the best you can be. My first and foremost thing about riding was to teach her responsibility and secondly that she have dedication. She had a pony that she had to help care for. Her first trainer did not bring grooms to show so at 7 & 8 my daughter had to groom her own pony and then ride. She made sure that pony was washed and cared for - she took responsibility for helping to train that pony in conjunction with her trainer. (said pony came to us a the ripe old age of 5 and pretty green) All the horses that came after were young, green, and required a lot of work. My daughter has shown the dedication that it takes to get the job done. Sure she likes ribbons as much as anyone else but she also likes to be the best she can be every time she goes into an arena so she works darn hard. She has goals for her riding, she not only trains a certain number of days per week on her horses but she has committed to a gym schedule as well to condition her body. My other requirement was that she be committed at school as well because rewards come with hard work both inside and outside of the ring. She has become a serious student as well as a serious rider. Year end awards are not the be-all end-all and a riders goals don't have to include those. Learning to communicate with your horse, being dedicated, having responsibility, dealing with bad days, dealing with good days - these are all good goals to have beyond those blue ribbons.
    This is where I want my girls to end up, well rounded and capable, we do not have grooms LOL we have each other and some days we fight, but in the end our ponies are very well cared for by all of us, the girls can clean a pony, pick feet, wrap , polo, lead, load, and they do very well in school. So thanks for showing me that my way is not totally off course LOL!!!
    My youngest will say to me " its not about the ribbons, its about doing my very best each time I ride" and I totally encourage this train of thought , because like others on this board will tell you ( and me) there will always be someone with more money or a nicer horse!!
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  8. #8
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    Nov. 10, 2009
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    Yup.. there are lots of people with more money and nicer or faster horses so all you can really do is be the best you can be every time you walk into an arena. And being the best means being a good sport no matter what the circumstances - and that one can be a really hard lesson to learn!



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeB10 View Post
    Yup.. there are lots of people with more money and nicer or faster horses so all you can really do is be the best you can be every time you walk into an arena. And being the best means being a good sport no matter what the circumstances - and that one can be a really hard lesson to learn!
    Don't I know that !!! I am sure there will be a few tears along the way!!! And its so hard to teach kids that the REAL joy of this sport comes from the bond you have with your pony or horse , the way you feel when you walk in the barn , the way you feel when you finally get it "right" I think that takes maturity .Especially when other kids are winning more ribbons or taking home soccer trophies just for participation. Above the leadline level in this sport you rarely get publicly recognized for just "showing up" which is ok with me but harder for younger kids to understand when their friends are playing softball and getting a trophy at the end of each season just because their parents paid their registration fee.
    I do think that kids who ride mature more quickly BECAUSE of the responsibility they need to have. Riding a living breathing creature is much harder than chasing a ball around, there are more variables.
    Not that some soccer kids dont' put in just as much time and effort, its just in a different way.
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  10. #10
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    Feb. 8, 2003
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    Austin, TX
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    With me my mom made me do a season of Leadline at the local level at 6-years-old. I think it was a way to have me learn that even if I thought it was boring (as I was w-t-c at home) that we have long-term goals (i.e. a year-end award) and how to go about acheiving that. I think that just skipping around the different classes doesn't really give your child a chance to understand what they need to improve on between shows, or teach them perserverance if they are having trouble in a particular division. While chasing ribbons is not what you want to teach, I don't see how showing in one division all season (even if the child seems to have outgrown that division mid-season) is teaching that bad habit.

    I had to ride so many times between the shows to go to the show, pack the horse trailer (with help), etc. I think that my mom, by having me show within my ability, helped to cement in me the idea that you have to be schooling at home above the level you are showing, and to not overface yourself or your horse. Now that I am older, I show the horse at their level and where in their journey toward my goals for them they are. I don't chase ribbons. Life lessons start young. But that is just my $0.02.

    PS - when my daughter is old enough to ride and show she will do a season of leadline.
    ~ Kimberlee
    www.SpunkyDiva.com



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimberlee View Post
    With me my mom made me do a season of Leadline at the local level at 6-years-old. I think it was a way to have me learn that even if I thought it was boring (as I was w-t-c at home) that we have long-term goals (i.e. a year-end award) and how to go about acheiving that. I think that just skipping around the different classes doesn't really give your child a chance to understand what they need to improve on between shows, or teach them perserverance if they are having trouble in a particular division. While chasing ribbons is not what you want to teach, I don't see how showing in one division all season (even if the child seems to have outgrown that division mid-season) is teaching that bad habit.

    I had to ride so many times between the shows to go to the show, pack the horse trailer (with help), etc. I think that my mom, by having me show within my ability, helped to cement in me the idea that you have to be schooling at home above the level you are showing, and to not overface yourself or your horse. Now that I am older, I show the horse at their level and where in their journey toward my goals for them they are. I don't chase ribbons. Life lessons start young. But that is just my $0.02.

    PS - when my daughter is old enough to ride and show she will do a season of leadline.
    I do see your point of view as well. but if you look at the Equitation classes they are designed to MAKE you move up, you must move out of maiden afte 3 blue ribbons, you must move out of Novice after 5 or 8 blue ribbons ( can't remember exactly what the number is) so you could potentially move along through a division or 2 in once season if all you ride is the Eq ( which is all I did as a kid)so there are some divisions that are DESINGED to MAKE you move along, and if your child can w/t/c what are they getting out of a lead line class week after week? I do think lead line has its place , its a GREAT way for kids to learn the ropes and understand what is expected of them, and how a horse show works. but after a few weeks/months of that I think there are some kids who can and should move along.
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  12. #12
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    Oct. 3, 2007
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    OP - is there a pony club in your area? I really recommend it. Never thought I'd say that being a Pony Club dropout myself but times are different and it is hard for kids to get the full barn rat immersion that we did as kids.

    My daughter has never had a groom, other than me, and has always been expected to take care of her horse, her tack and to help the younger kids. However, joining pony club has really taken it up a notch. The horse knowledge that they have to pass to take their ratings is pretty intensive. They have to keep records of shoeing, feeding, shots and all daily care. They need to be knowledgeable about land conservation and who the local land owners are. It is really eye opening to some of them.

    The best thing is when you head off to a rally and you watch the girl that you are so accustomed to helping out handle to whole day soup to nuts all by herself. Well, not alone, with the help of her teammates. Gives them a great sense of accomplishment.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lcw579 View Post
    OP - is there a pony club in your area? I really recommend it. Never thought I'd say that being a Pony Club dropout myself but times are different and it is hard for kids to get the full barn rat immersion that we did as kids.

    My daughter has never had a groom, other than me, and has always been expected to take care of her horse, her tack and to help the younger kids. However, joining pony club has really taken it up a notch. The horse knowledge that they have to pass to take their ratings is pretty intensive. They have to keep records of shoeing, feeding, shots and all daily care. They need to be knowledgeable about land conservation and who the local land owners are. It is really eye opening to some of them.

    The best thing is when you head off to a rally and you watch the girl that you are so accustomed to helping out handle to whole day soup to nuts all by herself. Well, not alone, with the help of her teammates. Gives them a great sense of accomplishment.
    I have contacted Pony club several times and they have said Dd is too young to join she is only 6, we will join as soon as she is old enough.
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  14. #14
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    Jun. 23, 2004
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    I highly recommend pony club once she is old enough to join. I have a show background but some of the best horse men and women I know came up through the pony club ranks.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hellerkm View Post
    Especially when other kids are winning more ribbons or taking home soccer trophies just for participation. Above the leadline level in this sport you rarely get publicly recognized for just "showing up" which is ok with me but harder for younger kids to understand when their friends are playing softball and getting a trophy at the end of each season just because their parents paid their registration fee.
    Maybe this is an idea to combat that--perhaps have a "celebration night"? Like when your girls meet their riding goals or an accomplishment, plan a dinner out or ice cream? Something special they would like so it's a "treat". I know it's not the same as a year end prize or awards banquet their friends might have, but having a "celebration night" along the way might be more fun for them & something you guys can all share in recognizing in each other's accomplishments.
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



  16. #16
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    how about your older daughter? She is old enough I think.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruise Control View Post
    how about your older daughter? She is old enough I think.
    My older Dd is 13 so she is old enough, but that is not her type of "thing" she is quiet and sets her own goals, she is an amazing student and spends her time off of her horse learning new languages, or reading about things that interest her. she loves to ride and spends a great deal of time doing it but she has other passions as well. for my younger Dd riding is it, that is ALL she wants to do, other than school work which she also excels at. They have very different personalities and while my older DD loves horses and riding, she is the one who will ride and then go sit in the hayloft with a good book, where as my younger one will spend hours and hours and hours just sitting on the fence watching everyone else ride or walking through pastures talking to her ponies.
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giddy-up View Post
    Maybe this is an idea to combat that--perhaps have a "celebration night"? Like when your girls meet their riding goals or an accomplishment, plan a dinner out or ice cream? Something special they would like so it's a "treat". I know it's not the same as a year end prize or awards banquet their friends might have, but having a "celebration night" along the way might be more fun for them & something you guys can all share in recognizing in each other's accomplishments.
    I like this idea , I am not a huge fan of trophies just for participation, maybe a certificate or something like that but giving kids trophies just for being there seems pointless to me ( and maybe this is only because I have two BIG cases full of them from my boys, 4 boys x's 4 sports a year X's 5 or 6 years is a ton of plastic trophies to dust!!!)but celebrating their accomplishments with a special dinner and maybe a cool video recap of the year is a GREAT idea, that way they get to see how far they have come and can set new goals for the next season! Thanks!!!
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  19. #19
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    Feb. 18, 2002
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    I had very fancy but very green ponies as a little kid, and it was terrifying. If I could do anything over I'd have my parents get me a steady eddy (even if it didn't pass the vet) that could cart me around a course and swap it's leads. That would be ideal to start on, I think. You don't need to have the fanciest pony to win, yes it helps, but consistency over fences is the important part. I am 25 now, and still have bad habits in my riding that I know I would not have if I'd had an easier, less fancy pony. It was a battle to get my ponies over the jumps, and when I did I'd get jumped out of the tack.

    I really wish my parents had kept our small Millbrooks Serendipity and just sent her out on lease until I grew into her, because she was fabulous (one brother had out grown her, and the next in line didn't get along with her), and would have been the perfect pony to start jumping on - and fancy enough to win. Instead we sold her and bought multiple green ponies for my brother (who promptly quit riding) and I ended up with them trying to learn to canter on a pony that enjoyed trying to kill me (I swear, he had it out for me, he literally would run me into trees... any obstacle he thought he could run me into he would!).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "While girls schools are notoriously wild, the true party-hearty girl attends Hollins" ~The Preppy Handbook



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by diKecnadnuS View Post
    I had very fancy but very green ponies as a little kid, and it was terrifying. If I could do anything over I'd have my parents get me a steady eddy (even if it didn't pass the vet) that could cart me around a course and swap it's leads. That would be ideal to start on, I think. You don't need to have the fanciest pony to win, yes it helps, but consistency over fences is the important part. I am 25 now, and still have bad habits in my riding that I know I would not have if I'd had an easier, less fancy pony. It was a battle to get my ponies over the jumps, and when I did I'd get jumped out of the tack.

    I really wish my parents had kept our small Millbrooks Serendipity and just sent her out on lease until I grew into her, because she was fabulous (one brother had out grown her, and the next in line didn't get along with her), and would have been the perfect pony to start jumping on - and fancy enough to win. Instead we sold her and bought multiple green ponies for my brother (who promptly quit riding) and I ended up with them trying to learn to canter on a pony that enjoyed trying to kill me (I swear, he had it out for me, he literally would run me into trees... any obstacle he thought he could run me into he would!).
    Oh my that sounds dreadful!!! We have a total steady eddy for Sarah, she is our wonder pony!! And we also have a younger , more green ( although not as green as you are talking about ) pony for her too. I was told when I was looking for a first pony that the kids age and the ponies age added together should total at least 20 yrs old, I followed this formula and I am SOOOOOO glad I did!!! Our first pony has been a wonderful experience for Sarah and she loves her more than anything in the world!!!
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



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