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  1. #1

    Default The Disinterested Child

    This may sound like a rant, but it really is not. I am dishearten by one of my students and don't know how to quite proceed in this situation. This student of mine had a horse purchased for them by the parents and the interest level which was initially very high(first few months) and has quickly dwindled to maybe coming out and riding about once or twice a week or not at all, usually in a lesson. This horse was bought the parents... and they did not consult me. The horse had her "issues" i.e. poor foundation and very out of shape. The student struggled with this horse and the parents hired me to school the horse to help my student. My student has "taken the reins" one year later, so to speak, but has over the last months has become quickly distracted with their "adolescent social agenda". LOL. I spoke to the student about being fair to their horse, not wanting to regress, and the realities of what caring/ being responsible for a horse is all about...all in a very nice and compassionate tone. They agreed, but yet nothing has changed (many months later). I also, of course spoke to the parents as well, one backed up everything I was thinking and saying, the other parent, not so much, and more a long the lines of making excuses for said student. I have tried to be understanding and patient towards this problem like "maybe you should work on this or that during the week"" I know your horse would really enjoy going on a trail ride..." yadda yadda
    I understand kids want to be kids, but I can't keep saying to myself what about the horse? What to do?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2003
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    Baldwin, MD
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    Default

    Maybe suggest to the parents that they allow the horse to be leased (or half leased) out to another, more interested child? That may serve two purposes: one, it might kick the uninterested kid in the butt (no teenager wants to share THEIR horse with someone else, so get her "drive to ride" going), or two, may be what the kid wants and would give the horse a job with another, more deserving kid who wants to work for it.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2009
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    Colorado
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    I really like Lauren's suggestion.

    Do you have other students in a similar age group (I'm guessing 16-ish, old enough to drive but still in high school)? It would be a bit of work, but if you do, maybe organize a pizza/movie night at the barn and help her find a social crowd at the barn. I would have killed to make friend with some other barn kids at that age, and my horse would have gotten a lot more trail experience if I'd had a friend to go with,



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
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    NYC=center of the universe
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    I like the lease suggestion.
    Have you asked her how interested she really is and whether/how much she wants to continue to ride? Maybe it's no longer her thing. And that's OK as long as the horse doesn't suffer for it.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2012
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    5

    Default

    Thanks you guys for all of the advice! Suggested the lease idea, even selling the horse, however got the response of a big fat "no way" and "oh we could never sell the horse!" (Sigh). As for asking how interested the girl is she says she interested and wants to improve, however her actions speak louder than words. We have little parties for the kids at the barn all the time and they're all around the same age... 13 to 16ish. A lot of the other kids have made close friends at the barn and have tried to include her as well but from what they've told me she doesn't ever want to ride with them or is too "busy" with her non-horsey friends. It's one of those things that kills me inside because all of my childhood friends that I'm still close with were all from the barn not really high school, but I know that's the same for everyone. A part of me just wants to tell her that she's going to regret these opportunities, but I get that it's hard to make that point to teenagers. Thanks all for the help and suggestions! I appreciate it!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
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    Alberta
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    Default

    Kid dreams of having a horse. Horse is going to love her and it will be like in the stories. Horse doesn't work out that way and needs someone else to fix horse. Kid still likes horse, but kid can't get over the fact that the dream is broken, and that she wasn't enough for horse. To her, it may look like the dream was realized by the other kids, and she may have trouble with that on a deeper level which is why she distances herself from the other kids. Meanwhile coach keeps telling her that horse needs this or that, or would do better with this or that, but kid is afraid of failing again.

    I would work on building kid's ego a bit. finding opportunities to notice and point out things that the horse does better for kid. Maybe kid would like to take horse to a trick training clinic or somesuch, so she can learn something unique from the other kids and even her coach, and feel empowered because she was able to teach her horse something?

    Just sounds to me like a kid that is afraid of trying, because she is afraid of failing at something that is actually important to her. Kids suck at admiting something is important.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2012
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    Totally agree CHT! Have her currently in western gaming lessons! Something I am completely clueless about! LOL!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartChestnut View Post
    I understand kids want to be kids, but I can't keep saying to myself what about the horse? What to do?
    Does horse have adequate turn-out and care? If yes, stop worrying about it, it doesn't care if it "regresses". Kid might take months or years to get interest back in horse, or might never get it back. Guilting her about riding horse won't work, esp once she finds any kind of online advice like people give right here routinely (that being, a horse doesn't care about being ridden, being in a program, progressing in work etc) and starts disregarding what you say entirely.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    ^^^This. The horse's board is being paid, training is being paid, care is being paid. The horse could give a fig if he is ever ridden. The horse is not suffering.

    Like the OP, I was a horse loving kid. However, not all kids maintain an interest in horses, soccer, piano (you fill in the blank.) And you know, it is not really our business to judge or impose our preferences on others. I'm sorry, but for most people riding is a discretionary recreational activity.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

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