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My confidence is shattered, yet my parents keep pushing. UPDATE:#55

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  • #41
    I am new to this topic, so I am catching up. There is some really good advice here.

    First of all, OP, you sound very self-aware, which is really good. And it will always be painful for you because you are able to see and feel things fairly clearly. And life is not always roses. But our challenges make us stronger and make us into the cool adults we become. Hear me, you are doing just fine.

    We would love our path to our future to be a straight line, but it almost never is. And many times we don't wind up where we think we thought we would, but we wind up where we are supposed to. I think with your name, you already know that.

    Take a deep breath, and take another one. Just because you aren't riding right now doesn't mean you won't be in the future. Things have a way of happening, just be open to them. I went with the flow and rode whatever was offered to me to stay in horses. Pony Club as a middle schooler, jumping when I lived overseas in high school, back to pony club, then the equitation team in college (yikes, that was different cause I couldn't just sit on a horse and look pretty), then dressage because those were the horses that were available. And how I hated dressage as a pony clubber. And dressage has stuck. I'm finally getting back to a little jumping an fox chasing and training my own horse (for the first time in 30 years) in dressage and exposing him to a bit of everything.

    And your life is not a Netflix story, it's your life. And pretty interesting at that. Change isn't bad. You are self-aware an advocating for yourself. Continue to do so. Listen to those you trust (make sure they are trustworthy) and dig into your insecurities and weaknesses like you have been.

    I came off last summer and again a week ago and feel like I am dealing with a little bit of what you've talked about. Gosh, when the fear hits, it sucks. When the horse trips or spooks or knocks a rail it causes my body to go into panic mode even though my mind knows better. I have a great instructor, the woman who trained my horse has steady eddie horses for me to ride for confidence and just plain fun (cause isn't that our main goal with this?), and I clinic with someone I trust implicitly for added affirmation. I have a team I trust to help me develop this young horse. You are developing you, so continue to do so thoughtfully. Even when you aren't riding, you can read books, watch clinics, do yoga or stay fit so that when you do get back on you are ready mentally and physically. These are just examples BTW, you will find what's right for you.

    And if you want to PM me feel free. Sending you peace, strength, and confidence in yourself!


    • #42
      I didn't read all the posts so I'll apologize in advance if I say something that's already been covered. From reading your post it sounds like the first trainer had calm easy going horses that gave you the opportunity to work on your equitation and the basics but it didn't teach you to ride through the tough situations. (Because these horses are well grounded horses).

      The second trainer sounds like she has a horse that may be a little bit out more than you are ready to take on with your lesser confidence.

      My suggestion would be to find a lesson barn instead of a training barn OR do both. If you can afford it. A lesson barn is going to have all the well mannered horses but they aren't going to be perfect. You are going to have to ask them to do things because they are lesson horses and will push your buttons. They will refuse jumps and cut to the inside if they are given the opportunity but they won't go nuts on you and do dangerous things. That will give you time to actually RIDE a horse and make him do what needs to be done. You'll get your confidence back.

      I think your mom doesn't understand that sometimes you have to take a few steps back in order to move forward....

      Good luck to you.


      • #43
        Originally posted by farmpony84 View Post
        . A lesson barn is going to have all the well mannered horses but they aren't going to be perfect. You are going to have to ask them to do things because they are lesson horses and will push your buttons. They will refuse jumps and cut to the inside if they are given the opportunity but they won't go nuts on you and do dangerous things. u.
        I worked at one farm that had a lesson horse who after 30 minutes stopped. Must have had an internal time clock.... lessons were 30 minutes, if the rider was to have an hour lesson they had to dismount then remount before Pete would move
        Not responsible for typographical errors.


        • #44
          I just wanted to jump in and say that I totally understand the situation you're in right now. Growing up I did not live in a predominantly horsey area and the lesson barns were very limited. Most were small backyard programs, but there were a few that seem to be similar to your most recent lesson barn experience: Quarter Horses just going around in circles. I even rode saddleseat for a year like you! It was not for me haha.

          I think the best thing to do is decide how picky you want to be with riding. Do you want to settle for something that kinda works (safe, affordable, but maybe not your favorite program), expand your search (look everywhere for the perfect barn-facebook, equinenow, tackshops, word of mouth, etc- which may involve driving further or paying more (which really is up to your parents if you're younger)), or stop for now and take a break from riding until your situation changes (or forever if you want, nothing wrong with that).

          As several people have mentioned, you have your whole life to ride. Even currently, I think about if it would have been better for me to have saved the money I spent riding at mediocre barns I rode at just to "keep riding." Maybe I'd be able to afford more now when I live in a super horsey area with high quality instruction.

          If you do decide to continue to not ride, but still want horses in your life in the future I'd encourage you to start prepping early. Start saving for future lessons, or a future horse, or future shows. Try to keep riding fit however you can out of the saddle. Think about your future career a little bit to figure out how you can balance that job and horses.

          Hope this helps a tad.


          • #45
            OP, I don't know where you're located, but I agree with the poster up the thread who said that many instructors aren't going to advertise online. They're going to be at the horse shows. I would look for show circuits and organizations in your area (Pony Club would be a great start if you have one!), and start attending those shows as a spectator. Observe the riders and horses. Ask about instructors. Do you have 4-H in your area? Those are REALLY hit or miss, but it might give you a lead or two.

            You want to jump, but you need to be solid in your basics first. Tons of flatwork, both with and without stirrups, over caveletti. Super quiet, steady hands and a proper release. Being able to think your way through the course. You need to look for an instructor who instills those qualities in his or her students. An instructor who puts you on a 'packer' and lets you hop around an 18" course isn't doing you any favors. I think you need to consider what your long-term goals are for riding, and, while you have the opportunity now, create the plan for getting there.


            • #46
              Just jumped into this thread.

              Thoughts. First instructor was good, Safe, had sensible, good schoolies.Maybe too sensible.
              Second instructor, may have had all the knowledge in the world, and an excellent education. But, seriously lacking in common sense, resulting in safety breaches.
              Third try, Western Pleasure, and QH Hunters, are a whole very different game. I don't blame you for bailing out.
              Your present options, involve keeping your eyes and ears open. There are instructors completely off the common radar. Or, you could go back to #1, just to keep your seat in the saddle, simultaneously incorporating anything you have learned in your alternative forays.You could encourage her to let you ride in any clinics that appear in your area. although I would vet them carefully. Not all clinicians, like all instructors, are created equal.
              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.


              • #47
                OP, do you have a Pony Club near you? Plugging into the Pony Club program will open many doors and opportunities for you. PM me if you need help finding one. They have an interactive search map on their website. Even if there aren't any clubs that are super close, there are ways to plug into Pony Club remotely and be a part of that network.
                where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


                • #48
                  Originally posted by TheChristianEquestrian View Post
                  I know this may strong and a typical thing for a teen to say, but I feel like I NEED to be jumping. But right now, it looks like I won’t be riding again until I’m in my 30’s and have a stable enough income to have my own horse. I’ve been so discouraged that I took all of my show ribbons off my wall and put them in a box. And the sad thing is, the little of hope I have left is slowly leaving. Needless to say, if anyone knows of any instructors that teach jumping, please private message me.


                  I want to thank you for reading this, as I know it kinda sounds like a sad plot of a bad Netflix movie, and hopefully it will have a happy ending just like the movie would.
                  TCE, the reason what you're writing sounds like a bad Netflix movie is probably that you're young, and the lens you are interpreting the world with is composed more of Netflix movies than actual equestrian and life experience. The drama here -- desperately needing to jump, not being able to ride until your 30's, feeling your hope disappearing -- is you constructing a narrative, not simply life happening to you.

                  Which is fantastic, because you have control of that narrative. If you want to be the down-on-her-luck protagonist in a schlocky, over-romanticized story about a would-be equestrian for whom everything goes wrong, you can keep putting on that costume and going over your lines. Like this one:

                  Originally posted by TheChristianEquestrian View Post
                  Who knows. Maybe next time we go out to tractor supply I’ll see a lucky flyer that has my ticket to getting back into horses!
                  Straight out of a bad horse movie or book. Waiting for luck to direct your eye to a flyer from the only decent jumping instructor in your local area, who just happens to be advertising for students on a bulletin board in a Tractor Supply entryway even though there are easier and more effective ways to advertise in the digital age, is like waiting for barnmice to turn a pumpkin into a coach and send you to the ball. Would make a nice story, but it's not how a vast majority of the problems people confront in their lives actually get solved.

                  If it's entertaining to dream about lucky breaks, go for it. But meanwhile, if you actually want to resolve the problem, you need to be proactive about it. People here have given you some great advice. Find the local pony club. Go to shows in your area and figure out what trainers in your preferred discipline are attending. If you dare wade into the mire that is Facebook, use the power of the social network for good (finding local barns and equestrian groups) instead of its usual evil.

                  The second thing to think about is whether your all-or-nothing (or jumping-or-mucking) attitude is getting you anywhere. Most of being a good rider is basics, and as others have pointed out here you can learn a lot in terms of developing balance/proprioception and feel for the horse (i.e. basics) from just about any horse, even if you're not getting top rate instruction in your chosen discipline. Find a place where you can trail ride consistently. Or a place where you can ride or take basic flat lessons without going too far down any discipline-specific rabbit hole. Find a therapeutic riding center to volunteer for (but only if you can enjoy it -- the last thing most volunteer-based organizations need is someone moping about feeling sorry for themselves because they're not jumping courses).

                  And if you put in a little effort and can't find an equestrian life right now, start planning for the next stage of your life instead of resigning yourself to a couple decades without horses and throwing a pity party about that. Look into colleges with extracurricular riding programs. Think about whether there are areas with more HJ activity in addition to the other things you'll need in your young adult life (e.g. universities, jobs) that might be promising places to aim for when you leave the nest. Start putting aside a little money, if you have any pocket money, into a little riding fund for the future.

                  You don't have to be the girl who got creative and found fulfilling ways to experience horses in a region with scarce equestrian opportunity. You don't have to be the girl who took initiative and found an instructor who doesn't advertise. You don't have to be the girl who wanted to ride so badly that she started saving her after school job money to pay for lessons as a young adult. But you also don't have to be the protagonist of a low budget straight-to-streaming horse flick who wallows in her bad luck until a fortuitous accident or a chance encounter changes everything. You are in control not only of your actions, but also how you interpret life around you, so don't settle for a bad movie.


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by clanter View Post

                    I worked at one farm that had a lesson horse who after 30 minutes stopped. Must have had an internal time clock.... lessons were 30 minutes, if the rider was to have an hour lesson they had to dismount then remount before Pete would move
                    Ditto. My old guy would WTC the first way, WTC the second way, turn in to the center and park out. He was an ASB show horse and that was his job, lol.
                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                    Incredible Invisible


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by ReSomething View Post

                      Ditto. My old guy would WTC the first way, WTC the second way, turn in to the center and park out. He was an ASB show horse and that was his job, lol.
                      I suspect we showed at some of the same fairs/shows as you in Kentucky... Harrodsburg, Danville Lawrenceburg Shelbyville, Lex Jt League, Rockcreek

                      Was it Harrodburg that had the Bullring?
                      Not responsible for typographical errors.


                      • #51
                        Clanter I know I am a bit off the current topic but my school horses actually learned to spell. I realized that the horses were obeying my verbal command e.g. trot, halt, canter etc. without the riders giving the correct aids. So I started spelling the commands. Horses had that figured out after a while.


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by clanter View Post

                          I suspect we showed at some of the same fairs/shows as you in Kentucky... Harrodsburg, Danville Lawrenceburg Shelbyville, Lex Jt League, Rockcreek

                          Was it Harrodburg that had the Bullring?
                          I showed at Shelbyville but only Academy. I think it burned right around that time, 2009?, after we were there so it is all different now. I really liked their bleachers. I spectated at Harrodsburg, Mercer County fair and it sure did look like a bullring! Also Bluegrass at masterson I think that was the Kiwanis that put that on, Jr league and then I showed at the academy series at lakeside.

                          I believe I was at the jr league that had the horse get loose and run all around the track and through the infield. Fun times.

                          Scott county had a sort of 4H show twice a year, festival of the horse in the fall, that was the one with the overhorsed little girl that got hurt so bad one year, the next time there was one Morgan going English and Western, the rider had to really hustle to make her outfit changes, really nice horse with beautiful turnout.

                          My trainer refused to go to Scott, she said it was the footing but I think she took a set against another trainer or the organizers. Oh yes, we went to bourbon county, might have been the lions club, they had the driving class with the four wheeled doctors buggy, the winner was a distinguished looking grey haired gentleman who had a gorgeous grey and just drove her around the fairgrounds as if she were an Amish horse. Everybody else was fussing and had a header to lead theirs.

                          We had yet one more indoors at the horse park and then that year my trainer was at green shavings, ky state fair. That was for the championship, reserved seating so we skipped it, the fair was expensive enough. They got reserve with Lucy, in the ponies, can't recall her show name or the exact class, she was such a pretty creature, nice bay with a stripe not like all the chestnuts you see in ASB.

                          The old guy showed at the Dayton county fair in the early 90s. Missed his ch by a point or two.

                          I think you had moved from the area by that time. My apologies,OP, the iPad won't let me cut and paste to a pm, but saddleseat can be great fun if you just look for it.
                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                          Incredible Invisible


                          • #53
                            The Saddlehorse barn I worked at in the 70s showed all those shows, it was an adventurous summer

                            When we bought our Morgan mare in 1990 we kept her in Kentucky two years to be shown in those events.... nothing like that to expose a horse to all things wild and woolly as most had fair rides near the rings.... after showing there nothing ever bothered her.... once we got her here youngest daughter had her a nearby school where a player was injured, the emergency helicopter landed about twenty five feet from her, the mare kind of gave it a glance but stood her ground.

                            Oldest daughter when she was ten did the summer shows there also as she was often used as a catch rider for trainers whose clients could not make a show but needed a junior exhibitor to show the horse for the points She was a very good rider who just appeared to be natural at it....which made younger daughter mad as she had to work very hard to be perfect.
                            Not responsible for typographical errors.


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Cat Tap View Post
                              Clanter I know I am a bit off the current topic but my school horses actually learned to spell. I realized that the horses were obeying my verbal command e.g. trot, halt, canter etc. without the riders giving the correct aids. So I started spelling the commands. Horses had that figured out after a while.
                              ours could add and subtract

                              even if they were on differing diets you had to give each the same number of scoops (did not have to be full) as the others ...short them and you get mean look, or the dirty eye ... an extra "scoop" was all smiles


                              Back to OP.... oh you would have fit in around here as even though we are a backyard barn we had horses who were Champions ... and we used them, shared them with our kid's friends.

                              this is just one of the camps sessions my daughter ran when she was in high school
                              Click image for larger version  Name:	summer camp.JPG Views:	3 Size:	22.1 KB ID:	10427285

                              the Buckskin in the back is a Horse..he was 15.1h the Bay to his left was a Pony...she measured 14.1h
                              Not responsible for typographical errors.


                              • Original Poster

                                Update time for those who wanna read it.

                                Ao im still searching. The only places I’ve really been able to find around me are boarding only barns and Saddleseat Stables. My old trainer (the one I really liked that I started out with) isn’t answering any messages and when she does answer it sound like she couldn’t care less. And of course, as usual, I’m asking for advice.

                                I found a very nice looking dressage trainer a few minutes away from the first trainers place. She looks very credible. I was able to pull what FEI records she has, she is in multiple big riding schools databases, and she is listed for quite a few certifications. I did quite a bit of research on her before I told my mom about this new trainer. But she pretty much told me, “There are no jumps set up so it’s just like the hunter under saddle stuff you did at the last place”. I tried to explain what dressage is and I even showed her videos, but she was didn’t budge. It almost seemed like she wants me to give up riding altogether. It makes me wonder if the trainer I want to go back to HAS been in contact.

                                don’t get get me wrong, I still would like to jump, but I’ve always wanted to at least try dressage. My first trainer only taught very very basic dressage and I loved what little bit of it she taught me. The more and more I look for trainers, the more and more hopeless I get. I’ve tried finding trail horses to come out ride once in a while, there is no longer anywhere to volunteer near me, the only resort that does horses trail rent outs near me that I could go to and lead trails closed their stable. None of my friends ride or knows anyone who rides. I’ve very tempted to say “forget it” and just tell my parents to go ahead and get rid of all my riding stuff. I don’t want to loose hope, but it’s going away fast. Every time I find an instructor or horse or anything of any sort, they are always at least and hour and a half away. And that’s not doable for us. If anyone has any more suggestions that may help me convince my mom to help me find someone to at least rent a horse from, I’m willing to listen.


                                • #56
                                  Nothing will change until you are independent.

                                  Horse riding is lifelong journey, not just now.

                                  1/Do not sell any gear. It will cost you much more than what you get to buy it back in the future and you will wish you hadn't.

                                  2/Make your own money. Online surveys, deliver pamphlets, a newspaper round, bag horse manure and sell it, get a job in a shopping centre,m, Use your imaginatio

                                  I just picked up an almost new, hardly used, must have been in someone's shed mountain bike for $25.00. I bought a steel basket for it. With that I get $75.00 a week delivering pamphlets.

                                  You can go a long way on a mountain bike, they have gears. You no longer rely on transport from others.

                                  Save for a car as soon as you are of age.

                                  Get to and pay for lessons on your own wherever and with who ever you like by your own bike or car.
                                  It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                                    Scott county had a sort of 4H show twice a year
                                    Oh, wow. My sister and I did the Scott County 4-H shows every year when our kids were young. We always did the costume class (with all/most of the kids), had one or two in leadline, and my nieces, who were the oldest of the bunch, would ride in whatever classes they were ready for. We always had a blast. That would have been late 80's/early 90's.

                                    Sorry for the side trip down memory lane.
                                    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                                    that's even remotely true."

                                    Homer Simpson


                                    • #58
                                      That sucks that you have the interest and desire but not the support or availability. I agree though, that this is a sport you can get back into when older when you are more in control of what you can do. I also agree that you should not sell your equipment as you never know when an opportunity will come up!
                                      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                                      • #59
                                        It's hard being a teen, under the control of your parents.

                                        That said, it's interesting how this thread has changed from the time it started. The title was "My confidence is shattered, but my parents keep pushing me" to ride. Now things seem reversed, it's "I want to ride anything, but my parents won't support it."

                                        In between, the story follows trying and quitting several barns and disciplines.

                                        Now as adults all us adult riders often try barns, disciplines, horses, until we find a good match. It can be harder as a kid trying to communicate this to your parents. Non-horsey parents are more likely to decide you are too fussy, or spoiled, or a quitter, or that you just jump at every shiny new thing and then get discouraged. At least that's what I hear in the comment from your mother: you bailed from that nice barn with the QH "hunters" and now you want another flat discipline that's going to bore you silly in a month?

                                        Now finding your true discipline in horses does require trying different things and figuring out what works for you. But I think that a teen probably can't do this with most non-horsey parents because they think, well you've got a horse to ride, what more do you want, are you never satisfied?

                                        When I was 14, my parents said I could get a horse. I found a selfboard backyard situation a mile away from our house, and then went shopping. My parents were reluctant to drive me around horse shopping, and I suspected that they were going to let the first month stall rental expire and then pull the rug out from under me and say I was too fussy, or it was the wrong time to buy a horse, or something like that. So I went down to the local dude string stable on my own one afternoon, rode all the sales horses, picked out a pony I could live with, and hung onto her for the rest of her life . I don't know what the moral of the story is here, maybe just that when you know the adults around you are ambivalent about the thing you want to do, then you better grab hard at opportunities and make the most of them, and not give anyone a chance to say "you don't really want to do *that,* do you?"


                                        • #60
                                          OP, you have been given some great advice here and I will throw in my 2cents. It sounds like you like to learn and enjoy new challenges, even after overcoming some fear after a fall. I would highly recommend the United States Pony Club. I was a member in my youth and I loved it. I had a feisty, wonderful OTTB who came off the track knowing nothing, but with the help of a USPC 'A' trainer and attending Pony Club meets and clinics in VT (such a blast I didn't want to come home!) my little wild thing turned into a wonderful show and trail horse. There are now Pony Club centers that allow riders who don't own a horse to participate and you will learn so much about horse management, dressage, jumping, riding cross country, games...the list is endless and if you have a thirst for knowledge, I think you would thrive.

                                          My other suggestion, as a PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor, is to find a nearby farm where you can volunteer in Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy. If you are dedicated and you're a good rider, you may even have the opportunity to help out with schooling rides for the therapy horses. It is very rewarding.

                                          I wish you all the best and I'll add one more thing - using wire fencing and stakes to mark off a riding ring is incredibly dangerous and you should absolutely not ride wherever that is being done. All it takes is a mistimed parting of ways with your horse and you could wind up impaled on a stake with tragic results. I'm horrified to think anyone would set up a riding ring with such a potential danger.