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My daughter's riding (and lack thereof)

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  • #81
    Personally, I would not leave things as they are. I would never pay for a lease if my child or grandchild was unwilling to do the work of tacking up,grooming, stall cleaning, etc. Those are deal breakers. Having an animal entails responsibilities, and if the child is reaping the benefits (ribbons) she should be doing doing the work needed to get to that point. Amassing ribbons without doing the work necessary to care for a horse is a situation that would make me uncomfortable. I would be concerned about learning the wrong lessons here.

    Comment


    • #82
      Originally posted by gertie06 View Post
      But here's the thing: she's never REALLY been into it. She's not horse crazy at all. She never asks to go riding -- I have to tell her. When we're at the barn, she's out to lunch. She still can't tack up properly. She's lazy about grooming. She still forgets pony's boots,her helmet, etc and shows up at the ring unprepared. When she untacks, she forgets to put stuff away. She'll wander off to play with cats and frogs while I wrap the pony. She complains about early mornings for shows. She doesn't listen in lessons. She doesn't ride the pony enough -- I'm having to ride him myself 1-2x/week. Have I talked to her about it? Of course!! But it never seems to stick. It's not like I'm forcing this on her....it's her choice! And for those of you pondering if she has ADD, autism, etc....she does not.

      P.S. I know that I'm "enabling" her by helping her tack up, care for pony, constant reminders, etc....but if I don't, he won't be cared for properly. I can't do that to him.
      I haven't read all 5 pages of responses, so apologies if I've missed something but here is my two cents. Also I'm not a parent!! so have no business poking my nose in here

      I think a good amount of "enabling" is having her put her helmet on when she gets out of car/before she gets the pony to groom/tack up; I do think the easiest way to remember helmets is too make it an automatic "first step" before being around horses, especially for young people.
      If boots are forgotten, I think the most enabling that would be appropriate is holding him for her while she fetches them, and maybe not even that.
      If things aren't put up, can you tell her "pick up x, y, and z"?
      Also, as a non-parent and because of that I'm assuming I've been 11 more recently than you: the "constant reminders" may not be perceived as quite so helpful from her end of things.

      Is there a way you can give her more space to try to get things right, and then ask her to fix things if they are horse-welfare or safety issues, but let things be "wrong" if they aren't of critical importance?
      On that note, you may need to let your standards slide on some things that are not safety or horse-welfare issues. For example, if her grooming isn't up to your standards but hooves have been picked out and the saddle area is cleaned off, it is probably ok for the pony.
      I understand that your barn may have a higher standard for lessons, and of course you should teach her to respect that, but I'm just remembering a dynamic with my dad around childhood sports where he would pick trivial details to correct me on, and it really turned me off from some sports he loved. (sorry to bring up my own childhood baggage!)

      Two thoughts:
      1) solo untacking/tacking up time. If you are always around to help she may not feel she needs to be particularly independent, and she also doesn't get the satisfaction of being able to do things entirely on her own. Can you give her x amount of time to herself, then just check on things right before she starts her lesson/you leave the barn?

      2)Unstructured barn time. It sounds like she does get some enjoyment out of "just hanging" at the barn. Can you build that into your barn schedule after horse chores are completed? I'm wondering if now she kind of wants more of that time, but the only way to get it is by leaving tasks undone, and then she gets to pet the cats, find bugs, at that point.

      As for not wanting to get up early to show and complaining . . . yeah . . . I do that! and I pay for my own shows!

      What is your ideal world as far as her responsibility for pony care?
      Do you want her to be at the barn every time you come out to ride? Should she tack up her pony, even when she's not riding? Should she be paying you a (nominal) fee to be her "exercise rider"?
      Can you and her make a plan for her to "half-lease" the pony from you (or you from her) where you decide together how the division of labor is going to go?
      Can you and her talk about finding someone to half lease the pony for real, and what their responsibilities will need to be?
      I'm sure you talked through those responsibilities before the lease started, but now that it's on-going she probably has a way better idea of exactly how much work it it is to say, muck a stall. And also a better idea of how much fun it is to ride outside of a lesson, which may be less fun than she thought it would be.
      Hope some of this rant was helpful for you!

      Comment


      • #83
        We went thru this a bit with my daughters. One was into it, one was not. (Neither were as into it as I was).

        I told them, "You have to have a sport that you can take with you to college. I don't care what it is. But you need something that will give you a quick circle of friends, an introduction to many people. Pick a sport, work on it, I'll support it." That was our rule.

        My elder daughter was a swimmer, and it provided her with some work opportunities in her teen years. My younger daughter rode until college, and is now a sports fanatic of many kinds -- hockey, baseball, soccer. She plays hockey, but not baseball or soccer. She hasn't got a horsey lifestyle at the moment, but does occasionally ride when she can manage it.
        -- Member of the COTH Appendix QH clique and the dressage-saddle-thigh-block-hating clique.

        Comment


        • #84
          Originally posted by Beck View Post

          I think that is debatable: most of the kids I know and work with seem to regard quitting as no big deal. They walk away from things, big and small, regularly and with no lasting effects.
          Most kids I know are overscheduled to the point of absurdity. When kids have 3-4 extracurricular activities and school it's easy to be willing to let something go.

          Conversely, there are some kids that don't know what to do with their unscheduled time - this is a big problem also.

          Things have changed in the world of kids and activities. When I was a kid it was normal for kids to have ONE outside activity, not 3-4 (or more). I know kids that play multiple sports in the same season, plus 4H, church, drama club, etc.

          OP- what else does your daughter do? Is this just too much for her?

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #85
            Originally posted by S1969 View Post


            OP- what else does your daughter do? Is this just too much for her?
            That's a good question. At some periods through the year, she'll play on a recreational basketball team and/or take art classes. That's really it. She's not necessarily overscheduled. I think it'd be great if she'd pursue one of those things further, because she seems happy doing them. But the ho-hum attitude I see about her riding is also apparent in those activities. I guess that's her nature to some extent. Or maybe she just hasn't found her "thing."

            But you're right....some of her friends have an absurd amount of activities. Literally something every night. That strikes me as unhealthy in a number of ways. Plus she never gets any time with those friends because they're always too busy to just hang out.

            Comment


            • #86
              Hi OP,

              I have an 11 year old daughter. Pre-teen- good times good times

              So- the lease situation is up to you and your husband- but if she just wants to continue with lessons- there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Maybe let her been a barn rat hanging with you and see if the interest comes back/ gets ignited.

              From a different perspective- not every kid is going to know or find their passion at 11, or 15 etc. Perhaps she hasn't even been exposed to her passion yet.

              I have my horses at home. My kid is horse nuts- to the point of almost annoyance. Her social studies topographical project: "Pony Republic", including Martingale Mountain, Horseshoe Lake, Clinch Creek- you get the idea. Sigh. She has Pony Club, she rides hunters and does the IEA team. OMG it is horses horses horses.

              My point- we have/encourage her do 2 school activities a year. She is doing band oboe (good times, good times for me and the dogs) and she does Girls on the Run in the spring. We do this more as a social activity to be around non-horse kids and also- in case her interest wanes (no luck so far). She isn't over scheduled, persay as she still gets mostly As. But we do try to get her exposure to other things- art (she stinks at ) when she was little did a stint with gymnastics and one with dance. Both of those we ended up having to MAKE her go, MAKE her practice. It wasn't fun for any of us- we made her finish the sessions then not re-enroll (we don't quit, we follow through with commitments and if it isn't of interest we let her stop). Horses have been her constant- she never not ever has lost interest.

              90% of the time she asks to ride, she is in charge of watering and haying everyone in the afternoon. In the summer she cleans her pony's stall. But yeah- she's 11 and I do have to ask her most of the time.

              I think you are doing the right thing- I always tell mine how proud I am of her (she's a D3 in PC and was told to rate to a C1 but she's too young), she works really hard for hunters and eq doing no stirrup work on her own.

              BUT- like you- I tell her I'd be proud of her even if it wasn't for the horses.


              I will share a story of my friend- who is COTH poster. Her daughter was like yours from 10-13 maybe. Not a whole lot of interest, at the barn because her mom was there. Mom and dad let her take a riding break and she came back 14-15 roaring to ride. She's now doing the child/adult jumpers and is thriving. Sometimes a break, letting them grow up a little and taking the pressure off will help.

              Good luck (and good luck entering in the teen years).

              PS- I do not suggest oboe
              Come to the dark side, we have cookies

              Comment


              • #87
                Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post

                I will share a story of my friend- who is COTH poster. Her daughter was like yours from 10-13 maybe. Not a whole lot of interest, at the barn because her mom was there. Mom and dad let her take a riding break and she came back 14-15 roaring to ride. She's now doing the child/adult jumpers and is thriving. Sometimes a break, letting them grow up a little and taking the pressure off will help.
                I definitely agree with this! I had the same thing happen to me. When I was 11, I was exactly like your daughter OP, lazy and not very interested, but not ready to quit fully. My parents had me take the winter season off, and I came back with a major hunger for horses. It lead me into my barn rat years, and I've taken a few breaks since then here and there. I love the equine industry, but sometimes you really need a break to step back. It is an intense industry.

                Comment


                • #88
                  Not to derail this thread, but PENNYWELL BAY, you may need to write a blog.

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post

                    PS- I do not suggest oboe


                    www.laurienberenson.com

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      OP I was you. I didn't grow up with horses, came to them late in life. My kids were around 6 and 7. My daughter came to the barn with me, rode, showed and then just...stopped. Didn't go near a horse for years after. I came to find out, that the showing was just not her thing. One of my horses scared her (she rode her, but didn't tell me this until she was no longer riding). It really was an eye opener. I wanted her to be a mini-me, at the time I didn't purposely set out to do that, but I was blinded by my love, I just assumed it was her's as well. I was also too blind to see that my daughter was doing what she was doing for me, not for her, for me.

                      I didn't push her when she dropped it, even though I was extremely saddened by it. I'm glad I didn't push. Daughter is now grown and moved out...but....mid-September we are going on a horse camping trip together. I treasure the time I spend in the saddle with her by my side. I'm lucky she has come back to it somewhat. Now I know when she rides, it's for her and I just get the fringe benefits. Much better that way.

                      Comment


                      • #91
                        OP, I have a 10 year old daughter. She is not horse crazy the way I was but loves all animals and the connection with them. She is a darn good little rider and has a fantastic seat - natural talent that she did not inherit from me!

                        She does not love riding - the ONLY reason she does it is because she wants to make me happy and proud of her. She would never tell me she doesn't like riding but I know...

                        At this early stage in their lives, they should be having fun. I make my daughter get on my horse once a week for a lesson with "Mommy" which she loves. I do it to keep up her skill level should she decide to get serious about riding in the future.

                        I'm not saying you do this OP, but we should not project our hopes and dreams on our kids (I have to remind myself that all the time), but instead let them discover what their passions are in their own time.

                        Comment


                        • #92
                          I’ve seen this about a million times.Your daughter doesn’t really want to ride, but she desperately wants to please you.

                          Don’t ask her if she wants to keep riding (I promise you she doesn’t). Stop with the horse shows, end the lease, don’t sign her up for lessons elsewhere. Don’t make this feel like a punishment or like she’s disappointed you/let you down/is a failure. Tell her you are going to take a little break from her riding and encourage her to try some other sports and activities that she might like. Frame it as a temporary break rather than “quitting” which feels more final and will likely make her feel guilty and like she has failed to live up to your expectations.

                          During the break, let her come to the barn with you from time to time without the pressure of sitting on a horse. Plenty of kids who don’t want to ride still love coming to the barn, playing with the cats, the frogs etc. Also make sure she gets 1:1 time with you doing non horse-related activities. You can reassess in 6 months or a year. If she’s asking to ride again, consider signing her up for the local Pony Club which is much more social, fun, and less pressure than a show barn. If it’s something she wants, she will find her own way back to it.

                          Comment


                          • #93
                            Meh, she's 11. She doesn't know what she wants. Let her try different things. And save the money for you and your horse unless she shows she really wants to ride And 11 yo isn't going to be that responsible. Maybe some are, but the average one, not so much.

                            I have 3 kids, my youngest is now 17. My eldest rode one summer, that was it. They were all around horses with me but none wanted to ride. Not a one. That was money that was well not spent! They swam, played baseball, fenced and did their own things. Oh, and all are musical. Me, not so much. We're all different. My one caveat was when they started something for a season, they had to finish that season, no quitting after a month or so. There are too many fun things to do. Let her figure out what works for her, with your guidance. It may be horses, she may need to mature into them, or not. She is who she is. As we horse crazy people are who we are.

                            Comment


                            • #94
                              OP wrote:

                              "But the ho-hum attitude I see about her riding is also apparent in those activities. I guess that's her nature to some extent. Or maybe she just hasn't found her "thing."

                              It's very smart of you to suppose she just hasn't found her thing. Maybe it would be helpful to her to have the space to find her thing if you backed off being so judgemental. So far you have mentioned one thing that she loves to do- paint. Give her the time and space to paint and abandon trying to force her to have the attitude that you want her to have

                              She's eleven. These young years are precious times, irreplaceable times, for your child to discover for herself what she really wants to do. Please give her the freedom to be herself.

                              Comment


                              • #95
                                Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
                                "PS- I do not suggest oboe "

                                Originally posted by LaurieB View Post


                                Or harp. Even a stand-up bass is better than a harp.

                                Comment


                                • #96
                                  Originally posted by gertie06 View Post

                                  Bottom line: she's spending our money and her childhood doing something she's not crazy about. She just doesn't see it that way. Where do we go from here?

                                  P.S. I know that I'm "enabling" her by helping her tack up, care for pony, constant reminders, etc....but if I don't, he won't be cared for properly. I can't do that to him.

                                  P.P.S. For all of you saying "let her quit"....I'd like that! But she says that she wants to keep riding!
                                  Who care whether she “sees it that way”??! She’s eleven.

                                  I have very little interest in golfing or yachting but if someone was providing a weekly golf lesson or a trip around the harbor every Sunday morning I’d certainly take them up on it. If they asked, “Do you want to quit?” I’d be like, “No, this is great!” If they were like, “Hey, do you want to come early to the harbor and help with some of the prep and also ride the lawnmower on the golf course three mornings a week?” I would lose any interest I did have immediately. Which is fine, as I am not that interested in golfing or yachting.
                                  Now a horse on the other hand I will set the alarm at 4:30am for and show up when it’s 10 degrees F time and time again.

                                  This is the part where you TELL HER to quit. If her behavior and level of motivation is not sufficient in your eyes to warrant the annual expense in time and funds, you say, “This sport is too expensive for you to phone it in like this, so we are taking a break and if you want to start back up in three months we can work out a system where you earn each ride by helping out at the barn, doing your chores at home, and maintain at least a B+ GPA in school. YOU will have to do x y and z work to earn your way back on a pony again.”

                                  And if she doesn’t do the work, she doesn’t get the pony. Voila, she will quit the sport she isn’t motivated enough to do in the first place.
                                  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


                                  • #97
                                    Originally posted by Frosty M View Post
                                    OP wrote:

                                    "But the ho-hum attitude I see about her riding is also apparent in those activities. I guess that's her nature to some extent. Or maybe she just hasn't found her "thing."

                                    It's very smart of you to suppose she just hasn't found her thing. Maybe it would be helpful to her to have the space to find her thing if you backed off being so judgemental. So far you have mentioned one thing that she loves to do- paint. Give her the time and space to paint and abandon trying to force her to have the attitude that you want her to have

                                    She's eleven. These young years are precious times, irreplaceable times, for your child to discover for herself what she really wants to do. Please give her the freedom to be herself.
                                    It’s also the ho hum attitude found in kids who are provided a smorgasboard of activities without being expected to work for them or even care much about them. To whom everything is handed, and to those from whom nothing much is expected, everything becomes a mildly interesting diversion. The second anything poses a challenge, though, these kids quit.

                                    If she loves painting, a.) focus on that, and b.) still find ways to make her work for it, ie by saving up for brushes or letting her do a class at the local museum if she earns it by doing x y and z for a month. Oh, you want to watch the Joy of Painting? Is your homework done? Oh you want to go to the art store for materials? How much do you have saved you from your allowance? If you have enough for one brush I can help out with the rest. Hey, there’s this cool arts summer camp locally that starts in June, are you interested? You are? Ok, well, that’s a pretty big deal s let’s work out a way you can help out around the house and if you do it consistently we can definitely make camp happen. Etc etc and so forth. When her attitude HAS TO change for her to get anywhere, it will.
                                    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


                                    • #98
                                      Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post

                                      It’s also the ho hum attitude found in kids who are provided a smorgasboard of activities without being expected to work for them or even care much about them. To whom everything is handed, and to those from whom nothing much is expected, everything becomes a mildly interesting diversion. The second anything poses a challenge, though, these kids quit.
                                      And your opinion is based on your experience as a......parent? Teacher? Curious how you know so many kids where everything is handed to them but they quit when challenged?

                                      Comment


                                      • #99
                                        Originally posted by gertie06 View Post

                                        That's a good question. At some periods through the year, she'll play on a recreational basketball team and/or take art classes. That's really it. She's not necessarily overscheduled. I think it'd be great if she'd pursue one of those things further, because she seems happy doing them. But the ho-hum attitude I see about her riding is also apparent in those activities. I guess that's her nature to some extent. Or maybe she just hasn't found her "thing."

                                        But you're right....some of her friends have an absurd amount of activities. Literally something every night. That strikes me as unhealthy in a number of ways. Plus she never gets any time with those friends because they're always too busy to just hang out.
                                        I came in late on this thread and I apologize that I have not read all of the 98 replies, only about 1/10 of them. Here is my take, based on my many years ago experience when my son was 10 years old, and based on your comments that I have quoted:

                                        My son never did have my born in the blood addiction for my horses. It broke my heart, but I had to except it grudgingly. While he liked his dirt bikes, his enthusiasm for those was only as good as when his buddies were riding with him LOL

                                        He was in one sport at school seasonally, as I refused to have him overburdened with too many afterschool activities. He was also a child who was easily bored if his mind couldn't wrap itself around something 200%.

                                        He did maintain reasonable enthusiasm for his dirt bikes but even those weren't his thing. He didn't find his thing until he was about 15 and his father introduced him to dragracing. If I remember he had to be 18 to drive the car down the dragstrip but it was the dragracing that really had my son's attention and working on the cars to get them to the dragstrip.

                                        I was a diehard trail rider. My son eventually said to me that he was sorry he didn't care about riding to the depth that I did but he did care about the horses and their well-being. It eventually turned out that we made a deal, that if I was riding around the block don't bother to call him, LOL. However if I was hauling the horses up to our camp in the mountains for the weekend, he was all in and would go and help me do everything .

                                        My point is, stop spending money; back your daughter out of the horses; let her do her thing and find out what brings her joy even if it's only for a day. Do that regardless of the activity as long as it's healthy, and regardless of how it hurts you to see her not want to be your mini me . It took me a year to get over that notion, and from your writings I doubt it will happen overnight for you either, but you have got to let her go and do her thing under your supervision, even if that thing changes faster than you can keep up with

                                        Best wishes, I hope this all works out for you

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          Color me surprised at the amount of responses my post has received!

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