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Student who seems uninterested in listening

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  • Student who seems uninterested in listening

    I have a 12yr student who has been with me for a few years. Does a lot of sports during school year so goes down to once a week riding. The last two lessons she has just ignored directions and has to be told to ask the pony don't just kick him. When she gets tired or bored she reverts to wanting to just not care about her position. I finally just asked if she even wanted to ride, she said she didn't know but wants to show. I know being stuck inside is boring, but without proper muscle,balance, and conditioning jumping is just not safe.

    How to go about either getting her to decide if she is going to want to ride, and how to make her realize she can't just be an unbalanced passenger because it isn't safe or faur to the pony. Tried telling her everyone is working on the same things, but it just doesn't seem to matter.

  • #2
    Tell her what you just said. She has to be balanced and in control in order to ride safely and keep the pony safe. If she can't do that, no showing. Period. If she is blatantly refusing to follow directions or put any effort into a lesson you end the lesson. Tell her you don't want to waste her time on something she obviously isn't caring about. She's 12, she should understand that idea of effort, especially if she plays other sports.

    Tell her parents too. No use in wasting your time on a child who isn't trying.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's called hormone brain. Tell her to come back when she's about 14 and a half.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by peachy View Post
        It's called hormone brain. Tell her to come back when she's about 14 and a half.
        Or 24 and a half.....lol


        Seriously, tell her showing only hqppens if she is riding well enough which requires making an effort

        Comment


        • #5
          I had a few just like that. I went directly to the parent and said that Susie has lost interest in learning how to ride properly. At this time I feel these lessons are a waste of your money. When Susie decides she really wants to do this and set a goal for the show ring we can reschedule.

          I have no patients with kids like that. At age 12 she should know what she wants.
          "An ordinary trainer cannot hear a Horse speak, a Good trainer can, a Great trainer can hear them whisper and a Top Trainer can HEAR them Think." John O'Leary

          Comment


          • #6
            First, I think you have to decide if she's worth the trouble to keep as a student.

            If she is, and you know her goal is to jump, can you give her tangible goals? My trainer was great with this! You weren't allowed to do x, y, & z until you could do a, b, & c. For example, she can start trotting single (baby) Xs once she can post trot all the way around the arena or a short dressage pattern without stirrups AND get the pony to listen for a whole lesson with a supportive leg and no kicking.

            This way she can see an "end" in sight. It's hard for kids (or anyone really) to work toward a goal that will come "eventually." It's much easier when you can measure how far away you are from that.
            Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

            Comment


            • #7
              Wonders12's trainer is right. I do the same thing. People need concrete goals. It helps them focus and gives them something they can actually measure themselves against. If she really wants to show/jump/whatever, set that as the end goal (temporarily anyway) and then set a few shorter term goals such as position, follow directions, or whatever. You also should set a timeline for the accomplishment of these goals so she can track her progress. Communicate the goals with the student and her parents so everyone is on board and on the same boat.

              HTH

              Comment


              • #8
                From the OP -I know being stuck inside is boring, but without proper muscle,balance, and conditioning jumping is just not saf So they only ride out side if they can jump.? The kid is 12 sounds like she's involved in a lot of stuff - maybe her friends are doing something else fun while she's at some riding lesson / maybe she's conflicted. Some posts say she's 12 she should know what she wants but at 12 what she thinks she wants might change every other day.. I agree w/ the raging hormones post - it's a tough age for many kids. They start to want to feel more independent but can't be. She wants to show but does't want to put that much work into it... have a talk w/ her about her lack of enthusiasm to see if you can get some spark back into it.. or maybe she wants or needs to take a break. Some kids require more patience than others don't give up on her- yet

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Couture TB View Post
                  The last two lessons she has just ignored directions and has to be told to ask the pony don't just kick him.
                  If she is really ignoring your directions, then I would have her get off the pony right then and there, and explain that she won't be riding, for her safety and for the welfare of the pony, until she follows directions. Having a child "ignore" you is unacceptable.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Maybe she is bored with the lessons. Try incorporating some new or more challenging exercises into the lesson.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      From the OP -I know being stuck inside is boring, but without proper muscle,balance, and conditioning jumping is just not saf So they only ride out side if they can jump.?
                      She's in Wisconsin in the winter. I'm betting the riding inside is weather related--i.e., icy footing outside.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        With her experience with other sports, she may have the same expectations of riding; you go to soccer practice for a couple of weeks, then boom you're playing in a game, so she may need to be reminded that riding doesn't work the same way. Especially just once a week with no great way to practice at home, I imagine you guys must be having to repeat several things every week. With other sports, you practice multiple days a week so the progress is so much more immediate, and she may be thinking riding should be working out the same way?

                        If I have a rider who isn't engaging or listening, I have them hop off and go take a little breather, and ask them to take a moment to think about if they really want to be riding today. Most of the time, they come back with more devoted when they realize I will actually take them off the horse if they don't put in some effort! I also tell them "it is a privelage to ride any horse, and your pony doesn't deserve to have someone on his back who isn't willing to work as hard as he is". Maybe tell her that the riders who compete in the Olympics have to ride ALL day and have been for years upon years to be where they are. It's a tough, tough sport!

                        Take a moment to discuss her goals and like others have said, create a map to get there. Remind her that everyone would understand if she decided to take a break from riding for a little while, too, that it should be something she is excited about and commited to.

                        Definitely chat with the parent's, too, they may have some insight into the matter; maybe she has something else going on in her life that she is struggling with.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sorry, double post and I can't seem to make it go away.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There is really something about this generation of kids. They are so busy doing OK at everything that none are great at anything. I've actually stop showing at this point because I got sick of working harder than the kids that were showing. Now if you want to show you have to sign a contract that says you will buy or lease your horse, you will ride 5-6 times a week and three of those rides will be in lessons. If you aren't willing to do this, then I am not willing to waste my time.
                            If she doesn't you, tell her she is being disrespectful and she can leave the lesson and go back to the barn. Explain to her parents that you will not tolerate a kid in class who endangers herself, her pony and others.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There is really something about this generation of kids. They are so busy doing OK at everything that none are great at anything. I've actually stop showing at this point because I got sick of working harder than the kids that were showing. Now if you want to show you have to sign a contract that says you will buy or lease your horse, you will ride 5-6 times a week and three of those rides will be in lessons. If you aren't willing to do this, then I am not willing to waste my time.
                              If she doesn't you, tell her she is being disrespectful and she can leave the lesson and go back to the barn. Explain to her parents that you will not tolerate a kid in class who endangers herself, her pony and others.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Eastendjumper beat me to the comparison to other sports. You join a lacrosse league and after 4 practices you are competing. Riding is very different. I have had trainers that had no issue with asking a student to dismount if they were not going to listen to direction.
                                The student needs to be told (and you need to stick to your guns) that there will be NO competing until the child starts showing more respect for the pony and to you, and for that matter to her parents who are footing the bill. A novice on a pony needs to take direction for the sake of the pony and the rider and all others in the ring. At a show that last category could include any number of other riders and ponies!

                                My guess is that child has "competition" centered parents and have pushed that theme on the child. Maybe she has some friends who ride and show their own horses or ponies and since she's a once a weeker, she doesn't realize how much effort they put into their riding?
                                F O.B
                                Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Snowfox View Post
                                  There is really something about this generation of kids. They are so busy doing OK at everything that none are great at anything. I've actually stop showing at this point because I got sick of working harder than the kids that were showing. Now if you want to show you have to sign a contract that says you will buy or lease your horse, you will ride 5-6 times a week and three of those rides will be in lessons. If you aren't willing to do this, then I am not willing to waste my time.
                                  You can't make sweeping generalizations about generations. To say no kids of an entire generation are great at anything? All you have to do is look around you to see how truly talented some of the young people of today are. Reed Kessler, Tori Colvin, the US woman's gymnastics team...to name a few (albeit very high and mighty!) examples.

                                  When I was 12, I sounded exactly like the OP in my tennis lessons. You know why? Because it wasn't my thing. I'm 21 now, have been riding for 15 years, and have always been extremely passionate and driven about it.

                                  Maybe riding isn't her sport, and thats fine. What is not fine, is her ignoring her instructor. It can create a dangerous situation and I 100% agree with Skydy about making her get off and ending the lesson.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by skydy View Post
                                    If she is really ignoring your directions, then I would have her get off the pony right then and there, and explain that she won't be riding, for her safety and for the welfare of the pony, until she follows directions. Having a child "ignore" you is unacceptable.

                                    Agree.

                                    Make it clear.
                                    After you have said something three times (like, grab mane) say,
                                    "Halt. Grab the mane. I want to see that you actually understand the words. Do you have any questions? OK, now, on the way in to the next jump I want to see you GRABBING. THE MANE. If you do not, the lesson is over."

                                    Period end of story.

                                    If I have said a thousand times "You need more horse!" and I am cluck cluck clucking from my chair and they still have the exact same canter, I holler, "Why am I clucking and not you?! I want to see you doing CARTWHEELS to get that horse to go!"
                                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Wait. You say that she has been with you "for a few years" and that her lessons drop down to once a week during the school year due to her doing other sports. Which means that she lessons at least twice a week the rest of the year.

                                      You know this child. You would know if she's ignoring you because she's angry at you, personally; or if something happened at the barn; or if this is something unrelated to the riding. Which it may well be.

                                      She knows about position. She know not to kick the pony. You've taught her for years? She knows this. Something is so wrong in her life that she suddenly doesn't care. ( I'm assuming from your post that this is a new behavior in the last two lessons) You can't let her take out her troubles on the pony, of course; but, maybe take another shot at getting her to tell you what's wrong, before taking more drastic action.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The OP says this has happened for the last 2 lessons and has been teaching the kid for a few years - so now I'm wondering if this is something new w/ this kid. Maybe there's something else going on w/ her? How is her family situation? Maybe she has a sick relative/friend that is distracting her - maybe something at school. If for the mos part she's a good kid - before writing her off if you have a fairly decent relationship w/ her and/or parents have a chat w/ them to see what's going on...

                                        Comment

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