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Unrealistic Expectations

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  • #21
    Oh, I'm not saying imply whether he does or doesn't have the money, just give him raw numbers--lessons cost X, leasing/buying a more competitive horse/pony costs X, shows cost X. Whether he has the money or doesn't isn't even that important-if he wanted to go into debt to pay for it, that's not important, it's his problem. But he ought to know NUMBERS. If he decides he wants to spend it, mazel tov, if not, that's his decision. He needs to understand the money involved, the time involved (That's money too in its own way) and of course he needs to see if he and his wife committed the money and time, their daughter even WANTS that and is willing to commit to that level of expense.

    And of course, there is the possibility of focusing slowly on skills that would translate to jumpers faster and not going the eq and hunters until you're a legal adult route (i might have been more interested in just doing horses if I'd quit focusing on hunters and equitation and baby dressage and done something like games where there were more clear-cut paths to rewards), just with the understanding no matter which ring you're in, you won't progress as quickly without the time commitment.
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    • #22
      I had wondered that, too. Sounds more like a "part board with showing privileges" than a lease. With the part board limited to two lessons a week?

      Originally posted by alto View Post
      I'm a little confused, if they are free leasing the pony, why does she only ride twice a week?

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      • #23
        It sounds as if dad is living through kid vicariously, and since in his mind the jumpers are more exciting and get more attention, then that's where his little girl should be. I doube he understands the financial and time commitments involved, and the extra risk also.
        You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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        • #24
          Have you had a goal setting meeting with the parents and the child? It seems like there is a lack of communication between all parties. Mom and Dad don't seem to be on the same page in regards to the kid. Maybe the kid wants to do jumpers and has told her Dad this. Communication is the best tool here. Start asking questions, so that you can get the answers you need.

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          • #25
            And don't expect the mother to explain to the father why the jumpers aren't happening. He is not going to listen to her.

            He will listen to you, if you are friendly concise and pleasant. I said he'd listen, but you will be lucky if he understands.
            Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

            Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
              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.
              If the client already has money for training, purchase money for the horse is not the big deal people make it out to be.

              If you can afford good training, you can buy an inexpensive horse and train it up a while.Unless you are dead set on indoors or WEF, plenty of good minded horses with good trainers behind them can get a piece at the rated shows.

              Jsalem for example has posted several times that not all of her customers' horsees were big ticket individuals.

              I know several people who have gotten circuit championship ribbons at HITS/Thermal that were on horses purchased for between $1,500 and $15,000. They had cheap horses but good trainers.

              Conversely even the nicest horse can't train itself.
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              • #27
                Originally posted by mroades View Post
                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.
                SO true!!!
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                • #28
                  If Dad is dead set that Little Susie goes from SS to jumpers, I'd be prepared to tell him that they will need to find a different trainer to do it. It sounds like she's really not ready to be there, and that you're ready to cut them loose if that's really where he thinks she should be.
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                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    Lots of good ideas on here. I have sent an email telling them we need to find out what childs goals are and what she desires. Said I am confused since six months ago I was told this was just a hobby that they did not wish to be too entrenched in. At that time I said that was fine I could deal with that. This is the sweetest kid. Love her to pieces. The pony is in my barn and actually does do lessons with other kids throughout the week, but she has him for showing purposes this year. She loved this pony and wanted badly to ride him after watching best friend enjoy much success on him, so I thought a fabulous year with him might get her parents more interested in getting behind her riding. She only rides twice a week, because that is all her parents allow. Occassionally rides three xs a week when a show is approaching. I realize her dad is probably just confused, but I am a small barn and only have one student doing jumpers. She's been riding every chance she can get since she was five and rides everything she's allowed. She was 14 at the time we felt she was ready to move onto jumpers. Did it on an inexpensive horse we trained here and she's doing very well. Was brave and gutsy from the start though. The little girl in question can start to hyperventilate if she misses a distance. Not literally, but she does start to get sick to her stomach and need to walk the minute anything goes a bit amiss. We've gone slowly and she's done great and does well under pressure at shows, but honestly I don't think she herself is interested in riding jumpers. We will see what comes of conversation.

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                    • #30
                      My own daughter rode for 10 years before she had the slightest interest in jumpers.

                      She may not have any interest. She's too young, at any rate. If you only have one jumper in the barn, could be an easy out for you if you need an out.

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                      • #31
                        Explain that you are responsible for the safety of your students and that it would be negligent and unprofessional to put an unprepared child into a dangerous situation. Maybe he thinks she's being "robbed" because in his eyes she is doing everything right, but the judge is not pinning his kid. Hunter and eq stuff, even in SS, is hard to explain as far as judging is concerned... Some judging makes no sense to seasoned professionals!

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
                          Maybe he thinks she's being "robbed" because in his eyes she is doing everything right, but the judge is not pinning his kid. Hunter and eq stuff, even in SS, is hard to explain as far as judging is concerned... Some judging makes no sense to seasoned professionals!
                          OP said:

                          Originally posted by robinspaint View Post
                          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.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                            If he DOES want to see his daughter do jumpers (and I can't blame him, it would be more fun than hunters
                            Huh? That is your opinion. It may not be the little girl's opinion and it may not be a lot of other people's opinions. I, for one, do not like jumpers much at all. I prefer hunters and eq...always have.

                            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.
                            Ha! This will always get you...especially with the clients who say they never have money for anything...and then seem to buy what ever they want. You listen and believe the words, but it's the actions that are the proof in the pudding.
                            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                            • #34
                              My program is that kids learn to ride in the hunter/eq ring first, and then later get to the jumper ring. I explain to parents that they need to learn to find the distances and control the speed, etc. in the hunter/eq rings before they do the jumper rings in order to be safe--and that when they are ready they can move up, but not before they have learned what they need to learn in the hunter/eq rings. Has worked well for me, and I haven't had the problem with parents pushing kids to the jumper rings.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by PonyPenny View Post
                                It seems like there is a lack of communication between all parties. Mom and Dad don't seem to be on the same page in regards to the kid.
                                I was just going to post that you shouldn't assume that the parents have the same goal for the child.

                                In just the last couple years, my trainer has had three sets of parents that were on completely different pages with regard to their daughters' riding careers. In two of the cases, the father (who never attended a lesson) would show up at the horse shows and start "coaching" his daughter. Trainer put a stop to that.

                                There may be some dynamics in the marriage to which you are not privvy. Just be aware of that possibility and be sure that both of them are at your sit-down meeting. Don't rely on one parent to pass the message to the other one, because it probably won't happen.
                                Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

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                                • #36
                                  A sit down meeting once a year with ALL clients (and their parents) individually to discuss goals and limitations is priceless. Many BNTs do it and it's part of the reason many are so successful at retaining clients and keeping them happy. Going to cost you a few evenings or weekends and some coffee, soda and cookies but it makes the clients feel valued and on the same page as you goal wise.

                                  IMO that would solve this issue as well as head off anything similar in the future due to lack of clear communication about expectations and reality.

                                  Dad is your client and probably does not even realize you don't really "do" Jumpers or have anything suitable for his 2 time weekly rider. And who knows what the kid may have said to him.

                                  Something else that can get sticky with situations like this is the totally different approach between Mom and Dad, hopefully getting them to sit down together with the kid can help there...or get you involved in a marital spat or battle of the exes. Good luck.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                                  • #37
                                    I'm going to throw this out there because it doesn't seem like anyone else has yet.
                                    1) Riding in the hunters and eq gives you a strong foundation for the jumpers. It teaches you how to be quiet with your body, maintain a rhythm and how your body movements affect the way your horse is going to jump (which will ultimately mean rails and other problems)
                                    2) many of the top jumper riders LOOK AS IF THEY ARE ON HUNTERS over giant fences. example: beezie in the jump off this past weekend. She was deceptively fast, smooth and composed while going for the win. Don't even get me started on how Ludger, Mclain, Rodrigo etc do with horses that look TOUGH to ride.
                                    3) I know this has been said before, but there is a huge difference between short stirrup hunters and jumpers! A potentially dangerous one if not recognized. Dangerous for the girl's confidence and physically dangerous.

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                                    • #38
                                      I'll state again that a goal setting meeting with all the parties at one time needs to happen now. This is so you can stop wondering what is going on. Jumpers in itself is not dangerous. In Europe kids don't have hunters and eq. and they tend to survive fine. There is even a 2' Child/Adult Jumper at HITS shows. I have even seen cross-rails jumpers at some lower level shows.

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                                      • #39
                                        lots of great advice here...perhaps time to sit parents AND child down and talk with them? a lot of kids won't talk to their parents about what they do and don't want, and let themselves be pressured into doing things they don't want to do, just becuase they think it's more important for their parents to be happy than them. Ask them to plan for an extra 30 min to an hour at their next lesson so you can all sit down and talk about goals and why things are done the way they are. see if they agree to that, and go from there.
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                                        • #40
                                          The kid is 10. Probably doesn't know what she wants for supper tonight. Probably just wants to ride and have fun with her friends. Maybe a sit-down can make that clear to dad - 10 year olds don't have long term goals.

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