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Question for trainers:

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  • Question for trainers:

    How do you inspire a kid that is just not that into riding?

    Quick background info: Kid is 11, has 10 (!) ponies with my trainer. 3 smalls, 3 mediums, a large, 2 medium greens and a practice hony. Has been riding for 3/4 years, with good results (low ribbons at PF, low ribbons at Indoors) Rides 2/3 ponies sat and sundays. shows 2-4 shows/ month. Parents are DYING for her to be Lillie and put tremendous pressure on trainer and grooms to get better results. BUT the kid just isn't that into it. Doesn't try that hard in lessons, really doesn't seem to care. In this situation, how would you "get through" to Little Suzy and inspire her to try harder?

    I am not her trainer (or anyone else's ) I am just interested in "inspirational" techniques you may have.

    (And having the "she doesn't really like riding" talk with the parents is NOT an option. As far as they are concerned she is the most talented, most hard working, most dedicated kid at the shows.)

    TIA!
    When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager

  • #2
    You really can't. Kids either like something or they don't. In a few years, she'll move on to something else. Until kids hit their teenage years, the pressure from parents to do specific activities or to go from one to another until the parent is satisfied it's the right one for their kid, is tremendous and many kids don't come away from it well once they discover all the stuff they can get into as teens.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

    Comment


    • #3
      You don't. 10 ponies may sound great to some kids, but even for the most dedicated kid it would become a job and not something fun to do no matter how much the kid loved it at first. Maybe take the kid on some trail rides or do other fun stuff that 11 year olds might enjoy... her parents need a shrink.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by fourmares View Post
        You don't. 10 ponies may sound great to some kids, but even for the most dedicated kid it would become a job and not something fun to do no matter how much the kid loved it at first. Maybe take the kid on some trail rides or do other fun stuff that 11 year olds might enjoy... her parents need a shrink.
        echo to much pressure by the parents they want it more than she does so living there childhood of what perhaps they didnt do through her/him

        she will rebell later as they will put her off, and shame really as if the kid did have talent then they should let that talent grow through her being a kid
        shame real shame

        Comment


        • #5
          I guess that as a by-stander, you can't do much but *listen* to the kid. And that may help more than you know since I can imagine she doesn't feel very heard.

          I second the idea of making ponies more fun. Silly stuff during lessons, trail riding, hanging out with other kids at the barn. Damn, she can't ride all 10 at once so it seems to me that she could invite along plenty of friends for trail ride. Does she have friends at the barn where she spends so much time?

          But the trainer may want to get involved and invite the parents to cut back a little. If adults don't pick up the small signs that kiddo isn't on board, she doesn't have much choice but to turn up the volume on the "I don't want to do this" message until they do get it. That produced a much bigger and sadder set of problems when it happens.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd leave Suzy alone. You can't make someone love this sport. And to push them - they'd only do it in the short haul, it would never be sustainable. What would be the point of pushing the kid?

            "If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me

            Comment


            • #7
              Dang...that is a LOT of ponies. And a LOT of riding. And not in a good way. She's a KID. That is a lot of work for a KID even with a full staff. Maybe try a trail ride or some games, or ask the kid what she thinks might be fun to do. You can do a lot of "work" hacking out, heck most of my schooling happens out and about, because its better for my mind and better for my horses mind.

              Comment


              • #8
                Does she have other kids her age to ride with and hang-out with at the barn? Maybe she feels that 10 ponies is just to much work? All the fun has been taken away...Sounds like she has to many to appreciate them, to much pressure from parents, and no free time to be a kid.

                Not sure if I have advice...but how about finding her a less privileged friend her age that is horse crazy. She can mentor the girl, share a pony, have a friend to hang with and teach about horses, shows, etc.... and learn about sharing, and being thankful for the things you have.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My trainer has had a kid or two with Ponies. When the parent gets particularly pushy and dominates the kidlet, trainer always points out there is an Adult group lesson and a particular old schoolie almost everybody starts out on, horse and time slot are available.

                  Forget the horses, never try to tell any parent what they could or should be doing with their kid. I promise you it will NOT be appreciated. Likewise, your trainer may not appreciate your "help" in the relationship between parent and child in regard to his/her services or any input about how to provide them.

                  Look, I think it sucks when parents do this to their kids...but, unless there are real issues reflected in unacceptable behavior? It really is a classic MYOB. They will not see your "help" as help or you as helpful.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                    You don't. 10 ponies may sound great to some kids, but even for the most dedicated kid it would become a job and not something fun to do no matter how much the kid loved it at first. Maybe take the kid on some trail rides or do other fun stuff that 11 year olds might enjoy... her parents need a shrink.

                    DING DING DING. The parents removed the fun from it when they started buying ponies and making it a "job." When I was a child I wanted nothing more than a horse of my own. If they had bought me 10 and told me I was to be the next Margie Engle or Kathy Kusner, I'd have taken up tennis.
                    I feel sorry for this little girl, she's going to be a mess by the time she's 16.
                    F O.B
                    Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                    Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                      You don't. 10 ponies may sound great to some kids, but even for the most dedicated kid it would become a job and not something fun to do no matter how much the kid loved it at first. Maybe take the kid on some trail rides or do other fun stuff that 11 year olds might enjoy... her parents need a shrink.
                      Originally posted by Linny View Post
                      DING DING DING. The parents removed the fun from it when they started buying ponies and making it a "job." When I was a child I wanted nothing more than a horse of my own. If they had bought me 10 and told me I was to be the next Margie Engle or Kathy Kusner, I'd have taken up tennis.
                      I feel sorry for this little girl, she's going to be a mess by the time she's 16.
                      Double DING. This kid has a workload. No wonder she's not enjoying it. The parents are clueless jerks with more money than sense.
                      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just like friends of mine that were pushed into being "the best" in football, or baseball, or softball they hated it eventually and quit. Parents are leading this child right down that path. I would talk to the kid and ask how they feel about this and then try to pep them up and maybe tell them they are so lucky blah blah to make things better. But the parents are putting to much on the kid. Like my 9 year old, she has one pony and shows sometimes between this and softball. She rides when she wants (sometimes I will make her if its been a couple weeks) she likes it but with so much else, softball, school, friends and just trying to relax riding gets pushed back sometimes. But she is 9, shes a good rider but she'll never be the next beezie if I push her to hate it.
                        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They're welcome to adopt me. Or any other kid who would be thrilled with that amount of riding. Other than that....well everyone else has said it. Not much you can do. I like MVP's ideas. If parents or trainer just sat the kid down and talked to her, asked her what she didn't like and wanted to change, maybe it would help.

                          The real questions is does/did the kid *actually* enjoy riding at one point and now overbearing parents have just sucked the fun out of it....or has she never really been into it. If the 1st one, she might come to like it again, if the second, well there are plenty of kids who would offer themselves up for adoption for 10 ponies.

                          ETA: I can think of one kid who *almost* burned out. Parents are loaded, she's got everything. One of her horses isn't jumping very well in hunters, it's scaring her. She's bitter, think she almost quit. Bought her a loud pinto pony who was hot, hot, hot. Kid rode that pony around with a big smile on her face, even if she got run away with. Took up jumpers and suddenly loved riding again. The kid owns like 10 horses right now including some "fun" horses like a pony or two. She competes heavily on the A circuit with a BNT and has never looked back, she loves it.
                          For her, a change in discipline really spiced it up. She'll do hunters occasionally but she loves jumpers. I think she started jumpers around 11 or 12. Got a stallion around 12...now wasn't that fun.

                          So maybe kid in the OP just needs to have the fun put back into riding like others said, games, just goofing off. Maybe even jumpers, jumpers do have more fun .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Are you sure you want to discuss your trainer's client on an open forum like this? Especially one that is filling TEN STALLS in your trainer's barn?


                            I think the kids out there that have "3 smalls, 3 mediums, a large, 2 medium greens and a practice hony" coupled with a ribbon-earning presence at Pony Finals and Indoors are rare enough that other trainers and clients in the pony world will know who you are talking about.

                            I don't think your post was mean spirited or malicious, but perhaps it would be best to stick to talking about yourself and your own horses, instead of your trainer's other clients, especially when those parents are worth ten stalls and 2-4 horseshows a month to your trainer.
                            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


                            • #15
                              Some of these kids are fine later on. Some are a mess. But, again, if a kid is already at the elite level with elite trainer like this one is with PF and Indoor results?

                              Can't see offering "advice" will produce anything positive.

                              Speak as somebody who has dropped a few hints along the way...and, trust me, not well received. Particularly far as speaking with somebody else's 11 year old child. Be supportive and nice to the kid but offer NO advice other then something positive. They tend to go right back to the parents with their version of what you told them. So be real careful here.

                              Far as suggesting something to this trainer who runs the major circuits (GPs right?) regarding this client with 9 show Ponies and a practice horse on their bill every month???? Any suggestion from you about cutting back is lost income from their viewpoint. Watch what you say.

                              If anything, I question the trainer who seems to be pushing a disinterested and burned out 11 year old with pushy parents. Majority of the good, major Pony trainers (or any that work with kids) can recognize this and stop it before it gets this far.

                              Sorry. Probably did not want to hear that.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Well, most trainers know when not to push their own kids to burn out. There are a few that don't seem to but it's their child and they do as they see fit (or their business demands for sale horses/ponies). Can think of several examples of trainer kids where one is passionate and one just never seems to be that into it other then for fun and the trainer parent knows the difference and is careful not to push the one that is not.

                                But I would not select the trainer that pushes their own kids to, IMO and after alot of observation, frustration and burn out. Regardless of how outsiders may perceive that child and their talent.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Linny View Post
                                  DING DING DING. The parents removed the fun from it when they started buying ponies and making it a "job." When I was a child I wanted nothing more than a horse of my own. If they had bought me 10 and told me I was to be the next Margie Engle or Kathy Kusner, I'd have taken up tennis.
                                  I feel sorry for this little girl, she's going to be a mess by the time she's 16.
                                  THIS! 10 horses for me would feel like a job, and I'm an adult. Plus, it sounds like her parents are not satisfied with her riding/progress, so I am sure she is feeling/hearing this also, which is probably making her shut down a little. "I'm not good enough, so why try harder" type thing. 10 ponies is an aweful lot, especially for the amount of time you say she is riding. The poor kid probably can't get her feet under her and "get into the groove" because she is riding so many different mounts each time she is riding. She needs to become an exceptional little pony jock before she is put on that many different rides IMO. Otherwise, it is kind of setting her up for failure. I would pick two or three of the ponies that go relatively the same way and get her successful on those before I had her ride all of them (but that would only happen is SHE wanted to and enjoyed it). Tough situation, I would NOT want to be the trainer in this one

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    are there any barn friends of hers that could lease her ponies? how about you figure out which pony is her favorite..if she has one. how about you try to lease all of the others out for at least a few months while she just rides the one favorite

                                    i really think this would be hard to do without only having 1-2 ponies to ride. i love riding and i love ponies a lot but 10?! that's a chore, not fun. it would be fun to ride all of them once in a while but kids like to do more than one thing usually and riding 10 ponies almost every day takes up a lot of time! she wont have nearly enough time for friends and hw and other sports and other things kids like to do.

                                    you need to have a talk with the parents, even if they won't believe you at first. you need to have a talk with the kid. tell her that you can see she's not enjoying herself. she'll feel more comfortable if she feels like you know how she feels. ask her what she likes and doesnt like about riding, and ask her what she'd change to make it fun for her. maybe she just doesnt want to compete. maybe she doesnt want to have 10 ponies. maybe she wants to go on trail rides. who knows? you have to find out. ask. tell her to think about what SHE wants from riding, NOT WHAT HER PARENTS WANT!! It's hard to have your parents expect something from you and you just dont want it at all or youre not capable. but for her case it sounds like she doesnt want all this
                                    (|--Sarah--|)

                                    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by superpony123 View Post
                                      are there any barn friends of hers that could lease her ponies? how about you figure out which pony is her favorite..if she has one. how about you try to lease all of the others out for at least a few months while she just rides the one favorite

                                      i really think this would be hard to do without only having 1-2 ponies to ride. i love riding and i love ponies a lot but 10?! that's a chore, not fun. it would be fun to ride all of them once in a while but kids like to do more than one thing usually and riding 10 ponies almost every day takes up a lot of time! she wont have nearly enough time for friends and hw and other sports and other things kids like to do.

                                      you need to have a talk with the parents, even if they won't believe you at first. you need to have a talk with the kid. tell her that you can see she's not enjoying herself. she'll feel more comfortable if she feels like you know how she feels. ask her what she likes and doesnt like about riding, and ask her what she'd change to make it fun for her. maybe she just doesnt want to compete. maybe she doesnt want to have 10 ponies. maybe she wants to go on trail rides. who knows? you have to find out. ask. tell her to think about what SHE wants from riding, NOT WHAT HER PARENTS WANT!! It's hard to have your parents expect something from you and you just dont want it at all or youre not capable. but for her case it sounds like she doesnt want all this
                                      ummm...why would this bystander get involved talking to the kid or leasing out her ponies? I don't think the parents OR the trainer would appreciate it very much as others have noted. I say myob.

                                      And you can't "inspire" on the level this kid needs. Either you want to do this or you don't.
                                      "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Too much of a good thing as they say. I would not get involved because you are on the outside looking in. What is with parents wanting their child to be a star? What ever happened to wanting a happy child.

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