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  1. #1
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    Default Unrealistic Expectations

    Left shaking my head after father of a 10 year old ss rider of mine told me he could get behind her riding more if she were in the jumper ring. This is a timid twice weekly riding kid that doesn't own her own horse and has been riding for two years. She's been successful in the show ring, but we have to go slow as she gets intimidated easily. Her father never comes to her lessons, so guess he is unaware of this. Another client told me this father pulled them aside at last show and said he was concerned that I wasn't steering her toward the jumper ring. Is it really that hard for non horse folks to see that jumping from ss to jumpers at 10 as a twice weekly rider isn't realistic and would be a gradual progression of learning. Nor is the jumper ring the ultimate goal for everyone. Just venting!



  2. #2
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    Curious if you asked the parent why he would be more enthusiastic about the jumpers...?

    It might just be that he thinks it would be more fun to watch, but it just as easily might be a very astute understanding that an objectively judged discipline might suit the family's budget more than the eq or hunters where $$$$ is such a huge factor.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  3. #3
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    When he approached me we were at a show and I couldn't talk much with him and none of his daughter's over fences classes had been placed yet. I think he thought she was doing poorly and wanted to show in something more cut and dry as to who the winner is. She was division champ when placings were announced. He also said he didn't understand why it mattered how she used her hands and legs and what her position on the horse was like when it seeemed to matter so little at the upper levels in the jumper ring. Would have loved to have been able to talk to him more, but that was pretty much all I saw of him at the show and was busy. They are free leasing a very fancy A circuit pony that brings home the championship almost everytime out and not sure they realize what an amazingly lucky situation they are in. Her best friend at the barn just had to purchase a horse and deals with paying board, so they must know it's not always this cheap. I would think he'd be thanking his lucky stars that his horse crazy daughter has such a wonderful opportunity, but other parent said he sounded fairly disappointed and I picked up on that too. Maybe just a sour puss. I never see this guy unless we are at a show and he doesn't talk to me much. So was surprised that one of the few times he does this is what he had to say.



  4. #4
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    Sounds like an over-competitive sort. All you can do is guide her at the right pace and try to educate her dad along the way. Maybe tell him that good fundamentals are important for all disciplines. I had plenty of parents that chastised their kids for not winning at my farm. I often felt like saying "perhaps you should take some lessons". LOL Some parents will put too much pressure on their kids and their kids will fail. Not much you can do about it except do the right thing by her when she's with you. Good luck. Your positive reinforcement will stick with her.
    You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!


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  5. #5
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    Default

    He may not understand the time and $$ it takes to get to that level, particularly if he doesn't attend the child's lessons. I'd chalk up the jumpers thing to lack of experience with the horse world as well. Frankly hunters looks boring and easy to outsiders, and it's hard to follow the placings compared to the exciting, objectively scored jumper ring. And riding a keyed up jumper at a gallop looks like a cinch until you do it
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue



  6. #6
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    No, he doesn't understand. Yes, it is YOUR job to explain it to him. He's got the check book.


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  7. #7
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    Agreed. Going to talk to mother at next lesson, just really surprised at how little he seemed to understand. I actually had a discussion with the mom about six months ago about their goals when her daughter seemed a little sad to see friend moving up while she is going into second ss year. Friend rides more and her family purchased a horse. Her mother told me this is just a hobby and nothing they wish to be that entrenched in. Told her no problem, I could deal with that, but she would not progress as quickly as kids that ride more, an obvious no brainer there. Now dad is telling other clients I am somehow failing them due not moving her toward jumper ring. I know he's totally clueless, but not what I expected to hear after setting kid up with fabulous pony at no cost. Guess I've heard it all now. I shouldn't be surprised and will just continue giving child best I can with what parents are willing to do. She's a great kid, having a great time. I'd like this so much better without the parents!


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  8. #8
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    I my 30 years of teaching....I have found that the ones you bend over the hardest for are the ones that appreciate it the least. There are always exceptions of course, but it is usually that way.
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm


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  9. #9
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    I would just explain to him in financial terms what that would require, with examples of what a rider of comparable age spends to do pony/small hunters and jumpers. If they don't want to spend the money on more lessons/buying a horse, he will have to accept that. If he DOES want to see his daughter do jumpers (and I can't blame him, it would be more fun than hunters and it's a little more clear-cut in how you win) he'll have to accept it's going to take more money and time.

    And of course, the MOM doesn't want her spending more time and money on it, the DAD wants something more exciting...what does the daughter want? Is she happy with how she's progressing? Would she actually like to ride more and be challenged more? If the latter getting Dad on board with the cost might help her out.



  10. #10
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    It's hard on the kids when their friends are progressing but they don't have their own horse and can't move up. We're seeing exactly that with one of DD's friends right now. But in this case, it sounds like they've got a honey of a deal with a free lease on a nice pony, so no excuses there. I agree with finding out what the kid wants to do - but she may be feeling the pressure to be more competitive than she's able or ready to be by an over-competitive family.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.


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  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by robinspaint View Post
    Agreed. Going to talk to mother at next lesson, just really surprised at how little he seemed to understand. I actually had a discussion with the mom about six months ago about their goals when her daughter seemed a little sad to see friend moving up while she is going into second ss year. Friend rides more and her family purchased a horse. Her mother told me this is just a hobby and nothing they wish to be that entrenched in. Told her no problem, I could deal with that, but she would not progress as quickly as kids that ride more, an obvious no brainer there. Now dad is telling other clients I am somehow failing them due not moving her toward jumper ring. I know he's totally clueless, but not what I expected to hear after setting kid up with fabulous pony at no cost. Guess I've heard it all now. I shouldn't be surprised and will just continue giving child best I can with what parents are willing to do. She's a great kid, having a great time. I'd like this so much better without the parents!
    Keep doing what you are doing.... he'd be really pissed if you over faced his daughter in the jumper ring and got her hurt.

    Agree to maybe have a sit down with the child and parents to set some goals. Be realistic with them if they can't take it and move on or whatever, you know you did what was right.

    Sorry you have to deal with that but I often say to trainers "you have a lot of patience!" And they too deal with unrealistic people not only parents...... Good luck
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!


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  12. #12
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    Why are you surprised that he doesn't seem to understand? I think sometimes we forget what we look like to the outside world...especially the hunters and equitation. If you step back and look at it with an outsider, non-horse person eye, you can see why it seems rather silly and pointless, especially if you don't take the time (as an outsider) to try and understand (thankful right this moment that my parents TRIED to understand when I was a kid!). He goes to a show and looks at the ring his kid is in, and scratches his head and doesn't get it. He goes over to the jumper ring, which is MUCH easier to understand (you knock them down, you get penalties. Super easy to get), and thinks "now if she did THIS, I would know how to cheer her on!" He doesn't know how to cheer her on in the hunter/eq ring....because he doesn't get what is supposed to be good (and, let's be honest, sometimes those of us IN the horse world are left scratching our heads when classes are pinned!).

    So, I would cut him a little slack, really. Yes, talk to them about goals, finances, and why the fundamentals are important (bonus points if you can find out what sport he likes to watch/participate in and compare the fundamentals of THAT game to the fundamentals of the horse "game"). But give the guy a break.

    (Also, just because he doesn't come to lessons doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't care. When I was a kid, my older brother often dropped me off at the barn for lessons, or I caught a ride with friends that were in my lessons. Why? Not because my parents didn't care, but they had to WORK!)


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  13. #13
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    Feb. 21, 2011
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    Default

    There are a lot of people out there that don't understand horses at all. Parents, friends, husbands (mine included!). We have all heard the comments, "Well how hard can it be, you just sit there and the horse does all the work."

    I think you need to talk to these parents about their goals for her daughter, perhaps including her in part of the conversation. At 10 she is a bit young to be heavily involved in the finances; however it wouldn't hurt her to know in a general sense what a huge financial commitment riding is. This father needs to understand that riding and progressing through the levels is a process; it's not something that happens overnight. He may literally believe that jumpers would be easier, a la "she can add in the lines, miss lead changes, and have poor equitation" because none of that "matters" in jumpers. Of course we know that the jumper ring is way more complex than that, but he doesn't and you really have to keep that in mind. I think the problem here is that he is uneducated, not necessarily a jerk. If you take the time to sit down with them and explain everything thoroughly and he still goes around making comments, then you have a bit of a different situation on your hands. But I would try not to jump to conclusions until you've had a serious conversation, which you admit you haven't done thus far. That should help.

    There is nothing wrong with the father/ daughter setting goals of the jumper ring if that is what they'd both ultimately like (even if she is champion frequently now). They just need to understand the plan to get there (time, money, etc.).

    I am an educator and speak from experience that parents can be VERY tough! Best of luck with this situation!



  14. #14
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    Explain it to him like golf. It's just whack the ball and get it in the hole with the fewest times whacking it, right? Oh, there's technique? Oh
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


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  15. #15
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    I'm going to suggest that you do NOT reduce the situation to financial terms with dad. You will risk offending him if you do. "What does she know about my finances? Does she somehow have access to my savings account and know what's in it? I've never owed her a dime. How dare she?"

    Keep it related to time in the saddle. You don't have to tell him he has to spend on x, y and z in order for his daughter to succeed.

    Ask me how I know. I was in the market for a horse for my daughter. We were looking at a couple that the coach had in on consignment. It got back to me that the assistant said, "Oh, they can't afford THAT one." My husband hit the roof and said those things. We bought THAT one and promptly moved him to another barn.

    I was equally offended. So my reason for moving was, "I'm sorry, I don't think we can afford you anymore." Small world, the horse world. The trainer who showed up with the trailer was one known to her. A nicer, more expensive barn.

    Don't presume to know anything about your clients' solvency. You don't.


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  16. #16
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    Jan. 7, 2001
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    Dad needs to understand that there is a considerable commitment on the part of the RIDER if they are to move up. If child is a timid rider it hardly seems the jumper ring is the place for her right now.

    It seems that both mom and dad should be involved in a sit down, preferably at the barn after watching a lesson. Let Mom and Dad see the child ride at home and see what you are working on with her. Be clear that others that have advanced at either a; bolder riders or b; putting in more time or c; (yes, I hate to say it) spending more money. Explain that before being asked to try jumpers that a foundation of correct riding at modest levels is important. Child is still in that foundational stage.

    After clearing things up with mom and dad, have the child join the conversation. The child has to want it. If she's happy being a casual rider then the ball is in the parents' court. Pushing a child to something they aren't interested in is one thing, but this isn't like piano lessons. The piano teacher might be a big mean ogre but the piano isn't going to buck you off and break your collarbone. Riding has enough of an element of risk for for a scared rider the risks can be greater.

    It sounds like you have a nice setup for her right now but Dad doesn't seem to appreciate it. I know that for the non horsey it can seem like a stange situation. If you don't know how hard it can be to ride, you can't understand why your timid 10yo can't trot into the jumpers (even at a low level) and compete, after all no one cares there if you miss a lead change or blow a distance, except possibly your horse who you are screwing over by riding him badly to fences and teaching him bad habits. Possibly Dad has seen some of the crazy riding that often happens in the lowest levels of jumpers and thinks "heck, my kid is better than that!" Maybe the OP needs to mention to Dad that some of those kids are actually embarrassing themselves and their trainers.
    F O.B
    Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
    Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


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  17. #17
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    Oct. 28, 2007
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    Talk is cheap and some what ineffective.
    Get dad up on one of your horses and sit the trot.

    If he is the competitive type and does want to go for jumping the oxer in the ring, well you have another client.
    If he heads home for a long sit in a warm bath, well he might have obtained some understanding.

    Well, not that I'd actually do this, but it is the first thought that popped into my mind.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    Explain it to him like golf. It's just whack the ball and get it in the hole with the fewest times whacking it, right? Oh, there's technique? Oh

    LOL that's what I do when I say I have a lesson or my horse is in training they will ask - "haven't you been riding long enough to know how to ride?" "Why do you still need lessons?"

    I say Tiger Woods still has a coach right? And explain horse things using sports people can relate to.
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumshoe View Post
    I'm going to suggest that you do NOT reduce the situation to financial terms with dad. You will risk offending him if you do. "What does she know about my finances? Does she somehow have access to my savings account and know what's in it? I've never owed her a dime. How dare she?"

    Keep it related to time in the saddle. You don't have to tell him he has to spend on x, y and z in order for his daughter to succeed.

    Ask me how I know. I was in the market for a horse for my daughter. We were looking at a couple that the coach had in on consignment. It got back to me that the assistant said, "Oh, they can't afford THAT one." My husband hit the roof and said those things. We bought THAT one and promptly moved him to another barn.

    I was equally offended. So my reason for moving was, "I'm sorry, I don't think we can afford you anymore." Small world, the horse world. The trainer who showed up with the trailer was one known to her. A nicer, more expensive barn.

    Don't presume to know anything about your clients' solvency. You don't.

    True for sure...

    I still would explain the costs to expect for showing/leasing/buying etc but not talk about if they can or cannot afford it; that's up to them totally.

    I have always appreciated when a barn has a price sheet and a list of what is expected that goes out to "all" clients.
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinspaint View Post
    They are free leasing a very fancy A circuit pony
    I'm a little confused, if they are free leasing the pony, why does she only ride twice a week?



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