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My daughter's riding (and lack thereof)

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    Originally posted by candyappy View Post

    Color me more surprised at the amount of posters who think an 11 year old needs to be " passionate " about riding or anything else, or you stop doing it?

    Exposing a child to different activities ( in moderation) and even competing can do a world of good for confidence building and shape her into the adult she will one day become. Yes, it costs money but what doesn't??
    Lol most things cost a lot less than a pony! I do agree that it is the rare 11 year old who is passionate about horses/riding in a way that translates into daily riding and chores.


      Originally posted by gertie06 View Post
      Color me surprised at the amount of responses my post has received!
      I think it's stirred up passion because so many posters would have love to have a horse-crazy mom, lease pony, and the ability to show! With the wisdom of an adult, of course. Youth is wasted on the young.

      I must confess I'm not a parent, but I do work with teens, so feel free to consider this advice as much or as little as you'd like in that light. Even many older teens lack the ability and motivation to follow through on tasks, especially if their parent is willing to compensate for them. I know some incredibly mature kids who have been like mini-adults with horses. Others love horses but have trouble staying on task, listening, and realizing the consequences of their actions (like getting up late for a show). It's not a reflection of their intelligence--but some kids who aren't ADHD haven't quite developed the sense of motivation and follow-through they will as adults. I was a bit like that--I was a great reader, very articulate, but also very "head in the clouds" and sometimes even when I understood how to do something, I had trouble executing it.

      It sounds like your daughter loves horses, but the current situation is both expensive and not necessarily the best fit for her right now. Rather than making showing the goal, I'd suggest making simpler tasks the focus, like tacking up correctly (even if an entire session with the pony is devoted to tacking up), and riding a certain number of times a week and paying attention in lessons. Not only is it expensive, but past a certain point IMHO, it's not really safe for a kid that lacks the ability to handle a horse on the ground and listen to an instructor to progress past a certain level. You need to allow her to fail in a safe manner, over and over again, until she can do things herself. Either she will get discouraged, or she will start to get some grit. Or, if she is genuinely not capable of doing certain things, she may need a much less intensive riding situation (like a once-a-week lesson), until she is capable.
      Check out the latest Fortune's Fool novel, Courage to the Sticking Place!


        Originally posted by candyappy View Post

        Color me more surprised at the amount of posters who think an 11 year old needs to be " passionate " about riding or anything else, or you stop doing it?
        I've been thinking of posting something like this. Why does it have to be all or nothing? Many people do activities that they enjoy but are not passionate about. Lack of all-consuming passion does not equal lack of interest.


          Originally posted by Mango20 View Post

          I've been thinking of posting something like this. Why does it have to be all or nothing? Many people do activities that they enjoy but are not passionate about. Lack of all-consuming passion does not equal lack of interest.
          I agree 100%


            The degree of 'passion' /commitment/interest, may determine whether an activity is 'too' expensive or not. Surely a parent has to factor that in. What I am comfortable spending for myself on a mildly interesting activity is less than what I willingly spend on my main interest, and more than what I will pay for something I am honestly indifferent about. It may be a measure of importance. Priority.
            No matter where you go, there you are


              There is a price tag on passion, and there is also a price tag on things that are merely diversions. Both have to be worked into a family budget, responsibly. Budget priorities have to be assigned where they belong. That may not be for an expensive leased pony (or maybe it is).

              OP, whatever your decision, don't feel pressured feeling as if this is the last decision you will ever make about horses and your daughter. You can make a decision now and still make changes and adjustments to the decision later on.


                Originally posted by Mango20 View Post

                I've been thinking of posting something like this. Why does it have to be all or nothing? Many people do activities that they enjoy but are not passionate about. Lack of all-consuming passion does not equal lack of interest.
                This, absolutely. I have three daughters, two of them who ride, but neither would I call "horse crazy", or totally passionate about horses. And that's okay. We keep horses at home, so it is definitely a luxury that they can be "half in" rather than "all in", but neither kid is really the "all-in" type. I wasn't either. We still have fun with pony club and foxhunting, and they also do music, band, soccer, and just have fun playing with friends.

                I'd consider allowing your daughter to be "half in". Half lease out the pony to another kid so they can share the riding time. Try out pony club, so she can just have fun with friends.

                My youngest (age 9) pretty much only rides when her friends are riding, but that's fine. I lend out her pony to other pony clubbers when she isn't riding or has a soccer game or whatever. That pony is a saint as has a home for life with me, so it works out just fine.

                My oldest (age 15) was exactly like my youngest at that age, and then suddenly she got more interested, and seems to have taken over my OTTB, but even she has other major commitments (high school and club soccer) so she's still what I would consider "half in". I still ride the OTTB myself too when she is busy (he is my fieldmaster ride). She also gets a fair amount of barn chores assigned to her.

                Now if I was shelling out a huge lease fee and board here, it might be a different story, but since we have them at home and the pony is an air fern with no shoes, he's cheaper than a dog. We ride together when it works, and if kids have other things, no biggie.

                where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


                  I am new to the horse world but not new to parenting (I have a 4, 11 and almost 14 year old). I would recommend setting a boundary/expectation that she is responsible for XYZ to do at her own motivation (mom do NOT TACK AND UNTACK THAT HORSE) or you WILL cut back to just the once a week schooling lesson. Give a clear time frame (2 weeks? 1 month?) To get used to these new expectations you whether she will rise to them or not.. and stand your ground.

                  She may "like"riding but not the care, upkeep, responsibility of leasing a horse. That's ok. She's not you.

                  I would if I could let you borrow my daughter whose dream is to own a horse farm one day...loves the care of the horses as much if not more than riding. Seems to me some love that part and some just don't.

                  Good luck whatever you decide!


                    so i have 13 and 10yo step daughters.

                    youngest is not brave and has always needed was starting to stress everyone incl the pony (who is a SAINT) and so we just stopped asking.....and several months down the line she never asks to ride.

                    if we ask she will say yes but you can tell she doesn't really want to and if we said we were selling the pony there would be tears..........but if we just did it...............she wouldn't even notice!

                    eldest is more committed and enthusiastic by a long way but we have just literally started asking her to do more stables we will see if she REALLY wants this !!!!

                    and if she doesn't, the very talented saint will be sold and a mini will keep my boy companion