The history is that a rider at my barn got dumped from her young horse during a lesson while some horses in the turnouts next to the arena were playing.
So, instantly there was a new rule (not sure why after this particular incident, as people do fall off from time to time, but that's what happened): if there's a lesson going on, we can neither turn out our horses nor longe them without asking first.
Do you guys think this is reasonable? Today I get out to the barn to longe my mare, and was asked to wait 20 minutes until the end of a lesson. As a mother of two who also works, that meant my mare didn't get longed because I had my schedule worked out to the minute and didn't have the 20 minutes to stand around waiting. My mare is pretty flippin obedient and chill, by the way, so antics in the roundpen were highly unlikely. The horse being ridden was not a green-bean, either. I noticed the turnouts were also empty, so clearly the scene was cleared for this one person to have a lesson.
I understand for really young, green horses being ridden by a timid rider maybe (and I think most people would be courteous and not add to the volatility of that situation, rule or no rule, anyway), or if the horse who was going to be longed is a nutcase, but neither was the case today.
Thoughts? Am I just being a PITA for being irritated?
I think it's a pretty ridiculous rule. I am sorry the person fell off, but how is this rule going to work in practice? The whole farm has to be battened down for every lesson? No one can turn their horse out except from 10 pm to 6 am? The instructor will get 4 lessons a day in because people have to be taken serially and nothing can be done in parallel with a lesson?
Also, instructor is missing a teaching opportunity I think. What's going to happen when a horse from this farm goes to a show and can't handle everything going on? Or rider doesn't know how to ride through distractions?
I think that's crazy. Horses need their turnout time, as well as it being important for horses to learn to work with distractions and riders to learn to get and keep their horses attention. As for lunging, I think that depends on the size of the arena. There are definitely some out there that are too small to safely ride and lunge at the same time.
Sounds like a dumb rule to me. You can't go changing barn rules and interfering with others' routines because you bought a young horse! And a timid rider, geez (slaps palm to forehead) That's ridiculous. And anyone buying or riding a young/green horse over an older packer should be fully aware and accepting of just what they're getting themselves into.
Eliminating all potential distractions isn't going to do rider or horse any favors. I've had to ride hot, sensitive horses around lunging horses with whips swinging and cracking. Sure, I couldn't work on perfecting my shoulder-in or whatever, but I could work on getting my horse to listen and focus on me. And I could work on relaxing while riding an electric horse and work on focusing my own attention on my horse (and not the whip). I am less concerned with what a rider/trainer can do under perfect situations compared to what a rider/horse can consistently do in any situation.
I would also consider it unacceptable for my horse to miss their turnout on the weekends because of lessons. Trainer could throw out more hay on the weekends throughout the day perhaps?
Silly rule. I sometimes "kick" kids out of the ring during a lesson but usually as long as they are not interferring with my lesson I don't care if they are in there. The rider has to learn to ride around other horses in a safe manner.
My ring is in the middle of the turnout and I expect the rider to deal with it if the geldings decide it is a good day for tag.
I'd also be annoyed. I think that's pretty unreasonable at a facility where lots of people are boarding and working with their horses.
I get that a green bean might be upset if there's a loose horse tearing around outside, but the owner of the green horse should have to find a quiet time to work.
And isn't that the point of training? Sometimes crap happens, and you have to deal with it. We can't ride in a hermetically sealed bubble.
The ring at our barn is in the middle of the turnouts. I have certainly had a few interesting moments when the herd goes thundering past at feeding time. Yes, I could have been dumped, but I had to learn to stick it out. And now the mare and I can usually continue our work despite the antics of 7 halter-bred fruit-loop Arabians in the next pasture over. And the Dutch Warmblood on the other side who thinks he's an Arabian.
SO GLAD I'm not just being a whiner for thinking this is silly. And mind you all, the roundpen where I was going to longe is something like 30 meters from the arena!
Now this is a case-by-case rule, so it's not all the time, but then it's still a crapshoot when you go out there whether you'll be "allowed" to longe or turn out your horse. We don't all have time to ride every time we go out (which is always allowed), but if we want to let our horses stretch their legs, at least longing in the roundpen, then WTH?
Last edited by esdressage; Feb. 23, 2012 at 09:20 PM.
If the t.o. is right next to the arena, and they might yee-haw when let loose, perhaps. Otherwise, no. A lunge horse should be under CONTROL, so that should make no difference. Perhaps you can ask when this greenie is scheduled, and then ride before????Why not do all your warm up in hand then, or exercises in walk. Great for the horse, and allows them to be on the aids and ready for the rest of the work.
That said, they are only requesting that you ask first, not that you cannot t.o. or lunge per se.
I've been dumped on many occasions because of turn-out horses running around, and horses being lunged goofing off.
Afterwards, I would blissfully think of how nice it would be if horses weren't turned out when I was riding, but of course I knew that it would be a pipe dream, and that my horse would never get desensitized to the craziness that can happen at a barn. And that would be a bit difficult when you ride at a boarding stable with 35+ horses.
I think that the one person with the problem should schedule her riding around everyone else, not the other way around.
Responing to the couple of posts mentioning working around the greenie, or vice-versa, this was not even the same person on the greenbean who got dumped in the first case. This was a mature 2nd level horse out there today who I think they just didn't want distracted (?). The rule applies no matter who is lessoning at the time, so it's really impossible to even avoid.
The other funny thing is that the arena at this facility is right on a road, so while my 17-year-old horse couldn't jog around the round pen today, a motorcycle gang or trucker with flapping tarps might very well have gone by. Huh…
Sounds normal to me. It really depends on the barn and how they make their money - who their average client is. If they are and " up down barn" well, that's what one has to put up with.
It was that way at one of my barns. I benefited from it and later was so happy when it was someone's turn to be the green rider on the green horse, that everyone had to pass at no more than a trot and no" tail gaiting" and no cantering until they had settled in.
So.... the plan is to limit lunging outside the lesson arena.... and then to limit TO too?
What brain trust thought that this would work for any length of time?
Best of luck to you, OP.
In the meantime, while you are waiting for Barn Management to see the error of its ways, I think you can reasonably ask for a posted and firm schedule of lessons. After all, you need to work around those.
Once in competition I had to ride my dressage test in a ring that virtually shared a fence with the show jumping, it was that close. I was working on round circles and even tempo, while my horse was watching the show jumping. Have to prepare for that kind of thing at home - especially on Sir Spooksalot!
Another time Sir Spooks could see the UL cross-country while coming down the long side in dressage. Spooks was saying 'hey! why are we doing this dumb test! we could be out there galloping like that horse! let's gallop now!'
Yet another time dear Spooky ... well, you get the idea. The problem is not each of these individual distractions. The problem is how Spooks *and I* react badly to them ... the solution is how Spooks *and I* have learned what we do when a horrible terrible visual or sound invades our serene bubble. We have to figure that out, and practice practice practice, at home. Not to do so is to sacrifice a lot of entry fees, time and trouble going to distracting shows.
If I owned and were lessoning on a young or difficult horse, I would want the thing to be set off in lessons so that I could have the help in dealing with matters constructively and positively so that my horse learned and matured from the experience. I'd rather have it all go ping in that controlled setting than at a show where I've spent the money on entries, etc. Because you certainly can't control whether a bicycle race goes by the arena mid-test, or whether a horse gets loose and runs through the arena, or whether it's so windy a jump blows over halfway through your stadium round. All of which have happened to me.
Last edited by delusions of grandeur; Feb. 23, 2012 at 10:43 PM.
mbm - the property is small, so there's nowhere to lunge or TO that is out of sight, or even at any huge distance, from the arena. And no, people don't usually do unsafe things. It's a barn largely of respectful, mellow AA ladies. At one point we had a couple of super greenies just being started, and the trainer just rode them at the very early morning, first thing, and we all knew to expect that and gave her space. No rules required, just simple respect and common sense. That, to me, makes much more sense than this.
Originally Posted by mvp
I think you can reasonably ask for a posted and firm schedule of lessons. After all, you need to work around those.
I've just sent a note requesting that. I think if there is a rule making lunging and TO subject to approval during lessons, then there should also be a lesson schedule posted well in advance so boarders who aren't at leisure to hang around waiting can at least avoid lesson times altogether.
I don't see where lunging elsewhere would be a problem, but I WOULD be all for a rule that says "once riders are mounted for a lesson, all horses out stay out and all horses in stay in until riders dismount." Much safer for the riders.