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Overfaced....building confidence.

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  • Overfaced....building confidence.

    One of my younger riders has a little Morgan that we just popped over a couple of crossrails a few weeks ago. Yesterday she let one of the other riders at the barn ride him, a 14 year old who owns her own horse. The 14 year old points him at a fence. It is nothing major, just a straight pole about 12 inches off the ground - but not a crossrail.

    This is where I walked in, I witnessed this little Morgan jump the rail as if it were a 3 foot jump. Then as I start waking up, she tries him at it again and of course he starts refusing and running out. He runs out repeatedly and she circles him back, he runs out again, etc., etc., etc.

    I make the comment that the horse was overfaced, she pushed him too early at a fence he wasn't ready for and now the horse is basically scared and unconfident. I suggested that she walk him up to the jump and let him step over it, but not to let him continue to run out and circle him back. Let him rebuild confidence rather than reinforcing the fact that he can repeatedly run out. I told her that she was not helping the runout situation by letting him circle, she was only reinforcing to the horse that he could run out over and over again.

    This is where the 14 year old became argumentative, as 14 year olds seem to do when told that they are going about something the wrong way. She got mouthy with me and I pointed my finger at her and told her she had better never address me in that manner ever again.

    I rode hunters for 15 years, granted it was quite a while ago and I now ride saddle seat, but I need some backup. The 14 year old apparently is holding quite a grudge. She owns another horse in the barn and I don't want to lose them as a customer. The girl is usually quite pleasant and I really like her family.

    Neither the Morgan nor the 14 year old's horse are in training, but I try to help the riders along. Just looking for some reassurance that I am not completely out of the loop here. We don't really plan for the Morgan to show hunter or over fences, the owner just wanted to see if he would do it and I think the 14 year old's ride yesterday shattered the horse's confidence.
    Last edited by Amwrider; Jul. 24, 2009, 01:58 AM.
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch

  • #2
    BRAT!!
    Yes, as they are wont to be...... but that doesn't give them license.

    You're RIGHT. That's about the best "back up" you could have.

    When you get the chance, you need to tell the Morgan's rider (not the 14 yr old) that "Wow, your horse sure jumps good!" and then explain that sometimes when they jump that good and that hard, they scare themselves.
    You have to slow their brain down for them and go back to the beginning.

    As Jeff Goldblum's character said in Jurassic Park: "You got so busy seeing if you COULD do it, that you never stopped to ask yourself if you SHOULD."

    I've seen this happend dozens and dozens of times with various trainers and talented young horses.
    Let's see how high they'll jump!!!
    Great. And then see how freaked out they can get about it later.

    Meanwhile, hold your based-on-experience knowledge in your pocket and wait for that ripe opportunity when the 14 yr old again does something like this that results in a less-than OK outcome.
    And it will........... oh, yes, it will.
    KD

    Comment


    • #3
      what happened to manners and respecting your elders

      Comment


      • #4
        'Ya know, when somebody else's kid is involved and there is no formal request for your input you could get into a dust up with Mom or end up causing a rift in the barn.

        While you were right to speak up at the time, that kid is under no obligation to listen and is at the age notorious for not. Tell the owner. Other then that, nothing you can do and I'm not even sure you should do anything other then make sure the owner kid knows your thoughts.

        Now, I really don't think this kid did any lasting damage over a 12" "fence" and have a real suspicion this kids bad riding caused more trouble then a step over pole-yanking and snatching and being off balance will get them discouraged pretty quick. But if it ruined them, all the horses owned by kids screwing around would be ruined and that's about half the nation's horse population.

        Like I said, tell the owner kid your thoughts. Other then that, no back up from me because it's not your horse, not your kid and you are not being asked or paid to supervise. It's bad riding, maybe create a schooling issue but it's not abuse. Just a kid messing around-with permission from the owner.

        Harsh...well, as a boarding barn veteran of 45 years, YOU are going to be the one that gets the barn buttinski tag here. Whole thing could go south with you on the outs with the rest of them and YOU will be the one the BO chats with if the parents get into it in defense of their crappy riding child.

        I cannot stand a "helpful" fellow boarder correcting me either...one of the most irritating things at a barn. And I am no kid.

        The horse will recover. Your reputation may not. Tread lightly.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I am the barn owner. I do some teaching but am not a 'hard-core" juming instructor. The Morgan owner lessons with me, the 14 year sometimes lessons with me but more often than not she goes off and rides on her own. I do more saddle seat instruction and hunter flat instruction.
          Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
          Bernard M. Baruch

          Comment


          • #6
            I have to say that I'm with FindEight here. I left a barn because everyone felt the need to give me their "helpful" advice about my horse. i knew him, and i know what I'm doing. As far as their "advice", I'm not taking it from someone who doesn't practice what they are preaching. I'm not saying that this is your situation at all, but this was my mentality as a grown woman.

            We've had kids at our barn doing stupid/dangerous/idiotic things with their animals and as a trainer I would step in and say "It's not wise to take Snuggles over the jumps in a halter". But as far as enforcing it, we simply couldn't. Her horse, her business.

            I truly doubt that the horse was overfaced by 12" and if it was, then the horse has a pretty serious issue with jumping that will cure itself in no time flat. But that's for this kid to work out. Sometimes silence is golden and they just need to learn on their own.

            Comment


            • #7
              A little different of you are the BO...but not that much.

              See the quickest way to get a tween or teen to ignore you is tell them what to do. Especially as a casual observer. Ain't gonna happen, in fact they will do whatever you are objecting too even harder to prove you wrong.

              Just tell the owner of the horse you, as BO, would prefer Becky Borrower not jump that Morgan. Or, you can make a rule no jumping outside of lessons or without permission and an adult present-because this is the reason barns have those rules.

              Finally, you know, sometimes we learn by making mistakes. if you run a more casual, semi self taught atmosphere compared to a more formal lesson structure? You need to accept that the kids will make mistakes and you need to simply point out that it is a mistake and then let them figure it out for themselves.

              I might also suggest a different approach that may help the self learning...instead of correcting ask "Becky, why do you think this is happening. What can you do to stop it from happing"? That approach asks them to think problems out instead of some adult saying it's wrong, stop it.

              The horses may suffer a little in the short term but are, really, pretty hard to ruin and the kids can benefit from learning to solve problems on there own.

              If the owner knows and it's OK with her, all you can do is a little gentle reminder for the rider to think it out. Otherwise, let them ride the horse.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hum...

                Since kids are involved... if you already knew or have a relationship with the parents, might mention something to them. Otherwise.. their horse, their issues. If you were their trainer or involved in some way, that would be one thing.. but as just a fellow boarder.. I'd probably just keep it to myself.
                Rural Property Specialist
                Keller Williams Realtors

                TexasEquestrianProperties.com
                Email Me for Horse Property!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry, I disagree with the posters above. If you are the BO and the Morgan owners instructor you have every right to speak up if you see some one else doing something inappropriate with a student's horse. I know my instructor would definitely speak up, and I would expect her to.....she has the best interests of my horse in mind.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think you were out of line. I am a barn owner and trainer, and I would have done the same thing. If that 14 year old gets hurt, it is my insurance and my reputation on the line. I am a Hunter/Jumper trainer, and I don't let any one jump without my supervision (but that is a really hard line to take). I can imagine that the 14 year old is upset, but she doesn't understand the possible dangerous situations that can occur from "training a horse to jump"
                    I know that you don't want to lose a client, but if I had a client that was not happy in my barn (with my rules) than they should move elsewhere and be happy (no personal harm done, and I will be happy too). There is a place for everyone in this world.
                    Just my 2 cents...
                    Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator
                    www.heatherevebristol.com
                    www.meliorastables.net

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      Or, you can make a rule no jumping outside of lessons or without permission and an adult present-because this is the reason barns have those rules.

                      Quoting myself here because this is probably the best way if you are worried about liability.
                      Most barns have this rule and if this type of thing bothers you, you need to initiate it and add it to your contract and posted rules. that would solve the problem in a very neutral and non confrontational way fair to all.

                      But, if both kids are boarders and she has permission to ride that horse? Maybe you might want to have the parents sign a release for the other horse just to be safe. As in BOTH sets of parents.

                      But of you do not want that rule, you will have to resign yourself to the fact they will jump outside of lessons and you may not like what you see.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well said Findeight!
                        Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator
                        www.heatherevebristol.com
                        www.meliorastables.net

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by zahena View Post

                          I truly doubt that the horse was overfaced by 12" and if it was, then the horse has a pretty serious issue with jumping that will cure itself in no time flat. But that's for this kid to work out. Sometimes silence is golden and they just need to learn on their own.
                          The horse is not a hunter, we popped him over a crossrail a couple of weeks ago. The Morgan breed circuit has a "Versatility" class where the horses have to ride, drive and take two jumps. We just tried to pop him over a crossrail a few weeks ago to see if he could do it and to see if there was any aptitude there. He did what we asked willingly.

                          Other than that, he has never been pointed at anything other than that crossrail and poles on the ground, until yesterday. That I why I say "overfaced" he doesn't have the confidence yet from building from a solid foundation.
                          Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                          Bernard M. Baruch

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Amwrider View Post
                            The horse is not a hunter, we popped him over a crossrail a couple of weeks ago. The Morgan breed circuit has a "Versatility" class where the horses have to ride, drive and take two jumps. We just tried to pop him over a crossrail a few weeks ago to see if he could do it and to see if there was any aptitude there. He did what we asked willingly.

                            Other than that, he has never been pointed at anything other than that crossrail and poles on the ground, until yesterday. That I why I say "overfaced" he doesn't have the confidence yet from building from a solid foundation.
                            Well, if you are not training him, giving these kids lessons and in touch with the adult owners, I don't know what else to tell you about solving this one.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, I have a little story. When I was a youngester, I had a very agreeable Appy mare named Darlin'. Dar was awesome. Under "bombproof" and "packer" you'd see her face. She was just simply the best at tolerating stupidity.

                              I taught myself to jump on her. Bareback. In a hackmore. Jumping over logs out in the desert, some logs over 2'6". She never once overjumped a thing. My parents finally decided to get me into formal lessons and see what I could do with REAL instruction.

                              Now, did my start ruin her? No. Was she ever "overfaced". No. she taught me how to jump. She taught me "stay off my back and out of my face".

                              Perhaps this Morgan is just teaching this girl a lesson. Sometimes the lessons we learn don't come from any human at all.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Meliora View Post
                                I don't think you were out of line. I am a barn owner and trainer, and I would have done the same thing. If that 14 year old gets hurt, it is my insurance and my reputation on the line. I am a Hunter/Jumper trainer, and I don't let any one jump without my supervision (but that is a really hard line to take). I can imagine that the 14 year old is upset, but she doesn't understand the possible dangerous situations that can occur from "training a horse to jump"
                                I know that you don't want to lose a client, but if I had a client that was not happy in my barn (with my rules) than they should move elsewhere and be happy (no personal harm done, and I will be happy too). There is a place for everyone in this world.
                                Just my 2 cents...
                                Yeah. I agree.

                                One further point - how much do the girls' parents know about their activities? Not only is your insurance/reputation on the line, but depending on the equine liability laws in your state, the Morgan owners' parents & you could both be in hot water if the 14 y.o. gets hurt & her insurers look for someone to reimburse what they paid for her medical bills. One thing you give the medical insurance company (in addition to a lot of money) is permission to sue in your name, to recover their costs in paying your health care. They're the horse-owner, you have control of the property . . . those would be just some of their arguments for why you should pay.

                                And it is also possible that the 14 y.o.'s parents would like to know what she's doing to (1) make decisions for her safety, and (2) perhaps instill a little "mama discipline" for being rude to adults, behind their back. (I'm just hoping that would be their stance, but you never know . . . )
                                Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  findeight said

                                  "Well, if you are not training him, giving these kids lessons......"


                                  Am I missing something here....

                                  According to the OP" The Morgan owner lessons with me"

                                  Does that not mean she is giving the Morgan owner lessons....training horse and rider together.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    No jumping without a lesson

                                    Was always the rule in the barns I have been in...

                                    I would strongly suggest you post a sign soon stating that policy.

                                    From a liability issue for you at the least, and then of course for the correct training of the horses you board.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Amwrider View Post

                                      Neither the Morgan nor the 14 year old's horse are in training, but I try to help the riders along.
                                      I was going by this in post #1, later clarified a bit by the OP...sort of because "helping along a bit" does not necessarily mean lessons. And she, in fact, does not teach Becky Borrower or BBs horse, just the kid that loaned her the horse.

                                      My point is she either needs to accept the kids will do stuff like this left without formal supervision or put rules in place like most barns do to prevent this from happening and give herself some liability protection.

                                      I'm with zahena on cutting them a little slack to make their own mistakes and learn IF she choses to allow them to jump outside of lesson without supervision.

                                      You know, if she just takes the jump stuff out of the ring? That would also solve this. But an Adult should not be in a argument with a 14 year old-solve it with rules or removing the jump or ignore it.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        "You know, if she just takes the jump stuff out of the ring? That would also solve this. But an Adult should not be in a argument with a 14 year old-solve it with rules or removing the jump or ignore it."

                                        Okay, makes sense now.

                                        Comment

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