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Riding Student falls- procedure and etiquette

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  • The use of a neck-stretcher on a horse that is being ridden by a beginner makes me think that the horse is not really a beginner's mount; that they were using equipment to make up for the rider's lack of experience.

    I think what Scribbler said above is right: basically your daughter just needs a lot more time in the saddle. That may be lessons on the lunge-line, it may be hacking out and getting outside the ring a bit more, it may be just a lot more flat-work. But: It's hard to develop that kind of riding-related fitness on two lessons a month. (And I understand that not everyone has the time, money, etc. to do more than that).

    It might be good for her to do some other exercises or activities. to develop some of her core muscles as well. She is, as several have noted, loose in the saddle. If the horse were just to stumble, she could easily end up in the dirt. Pilates, yoga, etc. are all good for developing core strength and balance, as well as body awareness.

    Good luck!
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

    Comment


    • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

      DD says it's a neck stretcher because the horse is "used to having contact with his mouth"
      🤷
      This is an incorrect use of a neck stretcher. While I find it a useful training aid on occasion for certain horses, I never use it every ride and I would certainly never put one on a horse that a beginner is riding.

      A horse is to be ridden from back to front. The engine is in the hind end. You ride a horse off your leg and into your hand. As you get a horse pushing off his hind end, he should stretch over his back and seek contact in the hand. The neck stretcher puts pressure on the horses’ poll (the place behind the ears). When he drops his head and “stretches his neck to seek contact”, the pressure is released and he is rewarded. But the most important piece of this is that the rider had added leg and has the horse pushing off his hind end into the contact.

      A beginner rider doesn't have this concept yet. Or maybe they understand it, but they don’t have the physical leg strength and independent seat yet to really get a horse driving off their hind end. (Additionally this is being used on horse that is swapping off behind repeatedly. So the horse is either very weak behind or needs vet work done to fix some sort of hind end issue). All this trainer has done is strap the head of this poor horse down.

      Sorry for the wordy reply, but you seem like you’re interested in learning so I’d like you to understand why I find the use of this tool on a school horse a beginner is riding so wrong.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

        She says that the small bounce during trot is
        sitting the trot - No, it's not, the rider does not "bounce" during the sitting trot

        And that she is supposed to learn a canter sitting - Her seat is very insecure.
        Then you learn "light seat" (says she is at that point) - No she isn't. She hasn't learned to sit the canter at this point.
        My intent is not to be discouraging or mean, but your daughter is still "bouncing around on the pony". There is nothing wrong with that, we all started there. I'm pretty much still there (but that's another thread).

        I do have a question about the video over the cross rails. I'm pretty sure there is audio because I can hear the other horse cantering but I didn't hear the trainer say one word. Correct me if I'm wrong and she was talking, but in a lesson I would expect some feedback from the trainer.

        Confidence is great, however I think she is overestimating her level of riding and since you are not a rider you just don't know what to look for.

        She is not ready for IEA. Eat the money you already spent and cut your losses for now. It's still going to be a lot cheaper than her getting hurt. She needs much more time in the saddle before she's ready for IEA.

        "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple Barry Switzer

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by luckymaverick View Post
          If I may add one more question to ask- if the barn has a summer camp, ask them what happens to the ponies after camp. Some barns drop off camp horses into the slaughter pipeline, or couch it as getting a new string every year. Good barns do not do this. My current barn uses lesson horses for camps and we keep the horses forever. It goes to philosophy and horse care
          Their summer camp is an extension of their riding lesson Program...all the same horses they keep them all. But and sell thru the year but they are adamantly AGAINST the whole summer camp sell the horses deal. The barn actually saved a horse from auction out of that situation end of summer.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by mswillie View Post

            My intent is not to be discouraging or mean, but your daughter is still "bouncing around on the pony". There is nothing wrong with that, we all started there. I'm pretty much still there (but that's another thread).

            I do have a question about the video over the cross rails. I'm pretty sure there is audio because I can hear the other horse cantering but I didn't hear the trainer say one word. Correct me if I'm wrong and she was talking, but in a lesson I would expect some feedback from the trainer.

            Confidence is great, however I think she is overestimating her level of riding and since you are not a rider you just don't know what to look for.

            She is not ready for IEA. Eat the money you already spent and cut your losses for now. It's still going to be a lot cheaper than her getting hurt. She needs much more time in the saddle before she's ready for IEA.
            The video over cross rails I was on the other side of a viewing room window. The horse hooves might have been loud enough to blast thru but not the trainers voice. I have no clue what she was saying sorry.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              And regarding IEA...there is another barn we could possibly switch to. I am researching them and plan to visit this next weekend. We COULD switch her team membership there if they see her as fit even if she just walks thru the motions and does the no points thing?

              The more y'all say she is not ready the more I get frustrated with her current barn pushing her through!!!

              BTW the trainer in the summer camp video is the owner and lead trainer of the barn!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by Arlomine View Post
                Very loose core, resulting in loose seat. This is why camp instructor is yelling “sit up...TALLER” so many times.

                No, I would not be jumping this kid. She could, at her level, do entire courses of trot poles, focusing on path, using corners, pace, position...

                She would be on the longe for a portion of the lesson, lots of trot minus stirrups: doing arm circles, two point no hands, around the world, and other movements to develop her seat and core.

                All programs are different.
                You could find a good dressage program because they focus on seat, if there are not H/J programs locally who produce balanced, strong riders.
                Branch out to jumping after she can W/T/C without stirrups or reins.
                The "camp instructor" yelling is the barn owner/head trainer!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by staceymc View Post

                  This is an incorrect use of a neck stretcher. While I find it a useful training aid on occasion for certain horses, I never use it every ride and I would certainly never put one on a horse that a beginner is riding.

                  A horse is to be ridden from back to front. The engine is in the hind end. You ride a horse off your leg and into your hand. As you get a horse pushing off his hind end, he should stretch over his back and seek contact in the hand. The neck stretcher puts pressure on the horses’ poll (the place behind the ears). When he drops his head and “stretches his neck to seek contact”, the pressure is released and he is rewarded. But the most important piece of this is that the rider had added leg and has the horse pushing off his hind end into the contact.

                  A beginner rider doesn't have this concept yet. Or maybe they understand it, but they don’t have the physical leg strength and independent seat yet to really get a horse driving off their hind end. (Additionally this is being used on horse that is swapping off behind repeatedly. So the horse is either very weak behind or needs vet work done to fix some sort of hind end issue). All this trainer has done is strap the head of this poor horse down.

                  Sorry for the wordy reply, but you seem like you’re interested in learning so I’d like you to understand why I find the use of this tool on a school horse a beginner is riding so wrong.
                  Thanks!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by staceymc View Post

                    There is so much wrong in that 2nd video that I almost don't know where to start. The biggest thing that jumps out at me is that this trainer has a school horse in draw reins or a neck stretcher (can't quite tell exactly what it is from the video). With a green beginner on it's back. If your school horse needs draw reins or a neck stretcher for a beginner to ride it, then this is not an appropriate mount! I'm not anti-draw reins either but WTH.

                    Then we have the fact that the horse repeatedly cross canters and will not hold the lead with its hind end. Swaps leads back and forth behind many time during that first end. That's a sign of hind end issues.

                    Your daughter is a nice little beginner. But she is exactly that. A very green beginner who does not have her balance, a deep heel, or a strong core. She should not be doing IEA. I'm sorry you've already paid, but I would not continue with that even if it means losing the money.

                    And find a new trainer/barn immediately.
                    The instructor on the video happens to the barn owner/ head trainer

                    Comment


                    • OP, I will admit to skimming some of this long thread. Some things that jump out at me from the videos:

                      - Your daughter is a beginner. She looks comfortable, which is great! That said, she is in that glorious stage of “doesn’t know how much she doesn’t know”. She is too young and green to recognize bad horsemanship practices, how her training should be progressing, or the finer points of tack and it’s usage.
                      - These instructors are skipping basics that should be addressed. In the first video, your daughter is consistently on the incorrect diagonal and having trouble with steering. In the second, her stirrups are far too long which is making her insecurity in the saddle worse, she is losing her balance in the transitions, and the horse appears unsound (cross cantering). These are big red flags for me.
                      - She needs an instructor who will focus on her balance, strength, and security in the saddle before all else. I would bet this is why she was unable to stay on the pony who was pulling his head down. Anyone teaching lessons should be able to see this.

                      If the standard of training at this barn is not good, I wouldn’t expect it to change. This is one of my biggest issues with a lot of lesson barns- they rush students into jumping and competing, don’t focus on basics, and safety and skill suffer as a result. Most of the parents don’t have a horsey background, and the kids start out there, so they don’t have any perspective to realize it’s not right. At your daughter’s level, your money would have been much better spent on more frequent lessons than on IEA, IMO.

                      In regards to the text exchange- I think trainer was off base and certainly abrasive but not 100% wrong. It is perfectly fair for your daughter to ride a different horse, one without a naughty habit, to gain her confidence back and work on her seat. She sounds like she was over faced and wasn’t equipped to deal with the naughtiness, which isn’t her fault at all. That said, in the future when she is stronger and more skilled, it would be appropriate to put her on the pony again, so she can work through the issue safely. It may be difficult for her, or she may be begging to get back on him and have another crack at it- but either way, working through it at a later date is important for her confidence.

                      I’ve taught lots of kids (and adults) and having students fall off is the worst. It’s a trainer’s responsibility to keep them safe, even though lots of things are outside of your direct control. With kids (adults are an entirely different kettle of fish) my general protocol is: assess the situation. If the kid looks generally unhurt, I’ve found that not making a big deal is best (and trying to prevent parents from panicking!). Ask them if they’re ok, assess how they are responding, ask if they are ready to get back on, and off we go. Kids tend to hop right up- if one stays down, I am concerned. Any indication of hitting their head is cause for concern. A little road rash or a bumped knee- no biggie, but we make the decision together to get back on, which I think is important for confidence. I strongly encourage but never force, because most of the time, it’s more about the mental recovery than physical. Validate their concerns while teaching how to prevent a recurrence, and encouraging another try. Also worth noting that people with head injuries often don’t know they have head injuries! It’s important to be proactive and not rely on self-reporting in those circumstances.

                      Multiple falls in one lesson would be a clear sign that something needed to change right away- either I get on and school the horse, we switch to a different exercise, etc. In a group lesson, that might mean your daughter sits out until the end of the lesson, when the trainer can give her one-on-one help. I certainly believe in getting back on after falling unless there is injury, and I am not known for being a “soft” trainer, but there is a fine line to walk. A student’s confidence can be destroyed by being pushed too hard, and a good instructor is attuned to the student’s state of mind and ability.

                      Also, as a former EMT, an off-the-clock EMT is in no way qualified to assess and “rule out” a concussion or other serious injury. He/she *may* be able to help you splint an injury, or offer help stabilizing her until an ambulance arrived, but what you describe has my spidey senses tingling.

                      I commend you for doing your due diligence and being open minded about all of this. Please remember that although your daughter probably loves the ponies and her barn friends and her instructors, she is a green kid and doesn’t know nearly as much as she thinks she does. Pony Club manuals are a great suggestion, and helped me (as a kid around the same age with non horsey parents) learn to navigate the horse world out of a sketchy lesson barn.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by staceymc View Post

                        This is an incorrect use of a neck stretcher. While I find it a useful training aid on occasion for certain horses, I never use it every ride and I would certainly never put one on a horse that a beginner is riding.

                        A horse is to be ridden from back to front. The engine is in the hind end. You ride a horse off your leg and into your hand. As you get a horse pushing off his hind end, he should stretch over his back and seek contact in the hand. The neck stretcher puts pressure on the horses’ poll (the place behind the ears). When he drops his head and “stretches his neck to seek contact”, the pressure is released and he is rewarded. But the most important piece of this is that the rider had added leg and has the horse pushing off his hind end into the contact.

                        A beginner rider doesn't have this concept yet. Or maybe they understand it, but they don’t have the physical leg strength and independent seat yet to really get a horse driving off their hind end. (Additionally this is being used on horse that is swapping off behind repeatedly. So the horse is either very weak behind or needs vet work done to fix some sort of hind end issue). All this trainer has done is strap the head of this poor horse down.

                        Sorry for the wordy reply, but you seem like you’re interested in learning so I’d like you to understand why I find the use of this tool on a school horse a beginner is riding so wrong.
                        Thank you.

                        Comment


                        • I've been reading your thread since the beginning but haven't commented yet. My thoughts on your current barn have changed considerably as your story has unfolded. At first, it sounded like maybe you were asking too much to get an incident report, and it sounded like a decent barn.

                          Then, as details of the 3 stops in one lesson came out, I agreed with some who thought this pony was not suited to this job.

                          It was those text responses that really turned me off. You can't blame it on the kid and say it's never the horse's fault. Yes, that's a saying, and for an experienced rider, it's usually true that you could have done something differently to achieve as different result. A beginner child just doesn't have those skills, so as instructors and parents, we need to be able to count on the horse to do the right thing. If it's a horse who doesn't, then the instructors should not be using it in that sort of lesson. I do kind of agree that you should not have said she "never" wants to ride him again, but do agree that she should not ride him again until she develops the skills to handle it. The overall tone was not what you want to see when putting a parents' mind at ease.

                          Things didn't get any better when you put up the videos. I agree your daughter looks like she's coming along nicely as a beginner. She's clearly fearless and is not tense. She lacks strength and balance, which will come with time. The instruction must be doing something good. However, they're having her jump too soon, and I question the soundness of that grey horse with the inability to keep the right lead in the hind end. The use of the neck stretcher during a beginner lesson is just wrong, in my opinion.

                          While I think your current barn could be much worse (you'll eventually hear horror stories about other barns that are way worse than yours), I REALLY hope you'll check out that Pony Club Riding Center barn. I've been involved in Pony Club for many years, as a member, a parent, and a club officer. It's true that some clubs are better than others, but they all follow the national system and guidelines. You can read in the manuals and online the progression of skills from beginner to advanced. It's always built on the "basic balanced position" an independent seat, and above all, safety. Horse management (knowledge) increases along with riding, and there is even a knowledge-only competition (Quiz Rally). Your daughter's skills are of a D1 working towards D2 (needing a solid canter and jumping 18") The kids work hard, but also have a lot of fun.



                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by Mango20 View Post
                            I've been reading your thread since the beginning but haven't commented yet. My thoughts on your current barn have changed considerably as your story has unfolded. At first, it sounded like maybe you were asking too much to get an incident report, and it sounded like a decent barn.

                            Then, as details of the 3 stops in one lesson came out, I agreed with some who thought this pony was not suited to this job.

                            It was those text responses that really turned me off. You can't blame it on the kid and say it's never the horse's fault. Yes, that's a saying, and for an experienced rider, it's usually true that you could have done something differently to achieve as different result. A beginner child just doesn't have those skills, so as instructors and parents, we need to be able to count on the horse to do the right thing. If it's a horse who doesn't, then the instructors should not be using it in that sort of lesson. I do kind of agree that you should not have said she "never" wants to ride him again, but do agree that she should not ride him again until she develops the skills to handle it. The overall tone was not what you want to see when putting a parents' mind at ease.

                            Things didn't get any better when you put up the videos. I agree your daughter looks like she's coming along nicely as a beginner. She's clearly fearless and is not tense. She lacks strength and balance, which will come with time. The instruction must be doing something good. However, they're having her jump too soon, and I question the soundness of that grey horse with the inability to keep the right lead in the hind end. The use of the neck stretcher during a beginner lesson is just wrong, in my opinion.

                            While I think your current barn could be much worse (you'll eventually hear horror stories about other barns that are way worse than yours), I REALLY hope you'll check out that Pony Club Riding Center barn. I've been involved in Pony Club for many years, as a member, a parent, and a club officer. It's true that some clubs are better than others, but they all follow the national system and guidelines. You can read in the manuals and online the progression of skills from beginner to advanced. It's always built on the "basic balanced position" an independent seat, and above all, safety. Horse management (knowledge) increases along with riding, and there is even a knowledge-only competition (Quiz Rally). Your daughter's skills are of a D1 working towards D2 (needing a solid canter and jumping 18") The kids work hard, but also have a lot of fun.


                            Thanks for chiming in! There are 2 pony club centers within 40 minutes of us. The distance does cause us some issues with 3 kids but I want to at least take tours and give it consideration.

                            My daughter's heart will be broken and I don't think she will fully understand if we pull her away from the current barn she really has invested alot of her heart into it there and feels very invested as she's been helping tack and untack up for lessons for a good few weeks now 8-10 hours per week....

                            So I'm hoping we can do all this in a way that she understands or at least comes along without too much kicking and screaming.

                            We shall see how it all pans out. It's definitely not the easy route to switch barns.... Distance wise and I'm guessing possibly money wise either.... But horses are her passion

                            She wants to own a horse farm. I want her to learn from good quality people with solid instruction.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post
                              Hi all!
                              I researched pony clubs near me last night. There are 2 centers about 30 minutes away...which is do-able. Not ideal with an hour round trip and us having 3 kids schedules to balance but do-able. One of the barns in particular looks AMAZING... I am hoping to tour and learn more about a few other options. Feel like we have 5 weeks to make any decisions.

                              So the more I research and learn ...the more I feel like such an idiot. Read an article last night stating things to look for in a riding instructor. Some things I never asked about : are all trainers first aid/cpr trained? What kind of certification if any? Asking about the barns insurance?

                              It did concern me when dd fell at camp and that shook me realizing that in say a Girl Scout camp situation they require a nurse on site at all times. Learned they have an EMT and that settled me a bit.

                              But how, as a parent, could we have been so cavalier in choosing a barn? Husband just now researched and realized how dangerous this sport can be ..higher risk than riding a motorcycle when broken down by hours of riding.

                              Now I feel like an idiot asking these questions so late in the game but do want those answers about current barn.

                              We tried two barns and this was closer and dd liked it. They were flexible with scheduling which we didn't want to be forced to buy a lesson plan.... It was nice to be able to do once a month or twice a month as our finances see fit.

                              But the more I think about it ....even though everyone was nice enough at our sit down and whenever I talk to HT face to face she is kind. I have never got a warm/fuzzy feeling there and things just don't "sit right".... My gut is telling me find a place we feel safer and that student are more well cared for. We did get empathy from trainers but not thru the whole process. And certainly mixed messages from the trainer working with my daughter who DID put some blame to the horse and at that moment NONE on my daughter to now the HT saying it's all the ridern etc. I GET THAT is the theory and mentality in working with horses...but it can all be said and done with more empathy.

                              Also it bothers me that there is not better communication amongst barn staff. This is not the first time there was an issue and I was told "oh I didn't really get a chance to talk to XYZ so I don't know fully what happened". Especially if a kid goes the ER.... A manager should TALK TO THEIR STAFF and understand fully what happened. Not now two days later tell the parent they don't have a fully clear picture of what happened bc they weren't there.

                              I fear this may be a bit fight with our child and she loves the horses there and sees no reason to move on.

                              She is signed up for the IEA season but we only paid half up front. They let us do a payment plan which was super nice and one of the reasons I like them they really work with you on the financial stuff. So I feel like maybe finish the year with them....try one of these other barns for summer camp and move on at that point ...?

                              PRIORITIES FOR ME: a focus on safety and training and a good horsemanship program for youth.

                              I welcome any input on what y'all would do in my position.

                              Thanks!
                              OP, first of all, you have to shed the Girl Scouts vs Small Barn comparison...the girl scouts is a huge corporation with a CEO who makes upwards of $400,000 a year, and they are all about building more corporate headquarters and keeping a politically correct public image to keep those dollars rolling in from everywhere. Despite their "charity" designation, they are Big Business and they have deep pockets. They can well afford a nurse parked at every facility because they don't want hands reaching into their deep pockets or anything to stymie donations and cookie sales. So yes, mired in procedural red tape and rules is where they are at.

                              This is simply not so with where your daughter is riding. I frankly question how much this "EMT" knows if she can't recognize a concussion when she sees one. I sure wouldn't be using her as my mental crutch for assuring myself that anyone over there is in good hands, especially not a kid (no, I don't have kids, but I wouldn't send a dog to this place after what you are reporting here.)

                              Here is the meat of my post and what needs to be your takeaway: #1. Your daughter is NOT an "experienced rider". A "lesson or two a month" is not enough to qualify her as an experienced rider in this complex and dangerous sport. Clearly it is not, because despite their just plain incompetent instruction, she is only now being schooled attempting a canter at that facility after two years. So that much at least they got right. She is GREEN. She should NOT be made to school a rank pony, period. After a year of twice weekly lessons, maybe. Or maybe not.

                              2. You are the CUSTOMER. It doesn't matter what they "do here". Are you or are you not signing the checks? YOU need to tell them how things are going to be, or start shopping another barn, PERIOD. Don't ask them, you tell them what they WILL do, or you're done. Period, The End. From the sounds of things, you could very well see a line following you out the door of other students who don't want to be crash test dummies either. This facility has crossed the line in the sand already, and I will bet it's not their first time doing it. What another poster said about free labor and crash test dummies at barns is very true, the question is, how far are you going to let this go on? I have absolutely NOTHING against youth learning the value of a buck and hard work, and pulling oneself up by their bootstraps. But the line in the sand has been crossed, like so many have said in so many words. Now what will you do about it?

                              Comment


                              • I also wanted to add to my post (but the forum is misbehaving) that remember, as part of being the customer here, you are also the PARENT, and it's up to you to be your daughter's line of defense to prevent serious injury or death in her hobby. The barn wants her to compete and "succeed" in some measurable manner because that keeps your checks coming. They have pushed this thing way too fast and too soon. You need to just STOP with the " But, I already PAID!" line of thinking...do you realize how many times you have posted that now? Trust everyone who has said it already, it is MUCH more expensive getting seriously hurt, in too many ways! Just forget about that fee, she ISN'T ready to compete and she won't be!

                                Comment


                                • I have only skimmed this thread—been in hurricane mode for days (or has it been weeks?), so this may have already been said....

                                  Your daughter is a cutie and I love her passion.

                                  She basically has no base of support and I wouldn’t expect her to at her age, her size and the amount of saddle time so far.

                                  She has no weight in her heels (I see her weight in her thighs) which is why she can’t keep her stirrup in the correct place on her foot. Do the lessons include walk/trot work in two-point or jump position? That really helps. When one has a strong base of support it really helps with balance which helps one stay on during “woopsies”.

                                  I understand the tendency to avoid boredom in the lessons, but riding at the level she aspires to, saddle time, practice and repetition, repetition, repetition is how it progresses.

                                  I hope the new barn you are going to visit is as good as it looks!

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post
                                    And regarding IEA...there is another barn we could possibly switch to. I am researching them and plan to visit this next weekend. We COULD switch her team membership there if they see her as fit even if she just walks thru the motions and does the no points thing?

                                    The more y'all say she is not ready the more I get frustrated with her current barn pushing her through!!!

                                    BTW the trainer in the summer camp video is the owner and lead trainer of the barn!
                                    She's not ready for IEA level of competition. She's riding school horses she knows in a lesson setting. Not even considering what mistakes may or may not have been made at her current barn, she isn't, at this point, capable of maintaining her seat when a pony pulled a typical pony stunt which resulted in three falls and a broken wrist.

                                    She won't have a trainer in the ring and she'd be riding a horse that she's likely to never have set eyes on before.

                                    As an aside, before I bought him, my horse was used in a "therapeutic" riding center, mostly because he's a big stout fellow, and he was also used for adult beginner lessons. People would bounce on his back and yank on his face all day. He developed two defense mechanisms, one was to go to the center of the arena and stop, the other was to drop his inside shoulder and "spook" about a foot to the outside. A rider with even a minimally secure seat wouldn't get dumped. One who was just sitting there would. The horse was blamed for being "ring sour", "barn sour", mean, you name it.

                                    He tried it with me. Once. I laughed, booted him forward, popped his shoulder with the crop and that was the last time he ever tried that trick. It's not the pony's fault. Was your daughter ready for that particular pony? Probably not. Are there going to be ponies and horses in IEA competition who know and might pull a stunt like that? You can bet on it.
                                    "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple Barry Switzer

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by RubyTuesday View Post

                                      OP, first of all, you have to shed the Girl Scouts vs Small Barn comparison...the girl scouts is a huge corporation with a CEO who makes upwards of $400,000 a year, and they are all about building more corporate headquarters and keeping a politically correct public image to keep those dollars rolling in from everywhere. Despite their "charity" designation, they are Big Business and they have deep pockets. They can well afford a nurse parked at every facility because they don't want hands reaching into their deep pockets or anything to stymie donations and cookie sales. So yes, mired in procedural red tape and rules is where they are at.

                                      This is simply not so with where your daughter is riding. I frankly question how much this "EMT" knows if she can't recognize a concussion when she sees one. I sure wouldn't be using her as my mental crutch for assuring myself that anyone over there is in good hands, especially not a kid (no, I don't have kids, but I wouldn't send a dog to this place after what you are reporting here.)

                                      Here is the meat of my post and what needs to be your takeaway: #1. Your daughter is NOT an "experienced rider". A "lesson or two a month" is not enough to qualify her as an experienced rider in this complex and dangerous sport. Clearly it is not, because despite their just plain incompetent instruction, she is only now being schooled attempting a canter at that facility after two years. So that much at least they got right. She is GREEN. She should NOT be made to school a rank pony, period. After a year of twice weekly lessons, maybe. Or maybe not.

                                      2. You are the CUSTOMER. It doesn't matter what they "do here". Are you or are you not signing the checks? YOU need to tell them how things are going to be, or start shopping another barn, PERIOD. Don't ask them, you tell them what they WILL do, or you're done. Period, The End. From the sounds of things, you could very well see a line following you out the door of other students who don't want to be crash test dummies either. This facility has crossed the line in the sand already, and I will bet it's not their first time doing it. What another poster said about free labor and crash test dummies at barns is very true, the question is, how far are you going to let this go on? I have absolutely NOTHING against youth learning the value of a buck and hard work, and pulling oneself up by their bootstraps. But the line in the sand has been crossed, like so many have said in so many words. Now what will you do about it?
                                      I hear you! But also want to clarify the working student comment. She only tacks, untacks for lessons and sweeps aisles in exchange for her weekly lesson.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by ohnoO View Post
                                        I have only skimmed this thread—been in hurricane mode for days (or has it been weeks?), so this may have already been said....

                                        Your daughter is a cutie and I love her passion.

                                        She basically has no base of support and I wouldn’t expect her to at her age, her size and the amount of saddle time so far.

                                        She has no weight in her heels (I see her weight in her thighs) which is why she can’t keep her stirrup in the correct place on her foot. Do the lessons include walk/trot work in two-point or jump position? That really helps. When one has a strong base of support it really helps with balance which helps one stay on during “woopsies”.

                                        I understand the tendency to avoid boredom in the lessons, but riding at the level she aspires to, saddle time, practice and repetition, repetition, repetition is how it progresses.

                                        I hope the new barn you are going to visit is as good as it looks!
                                        I have seen her ride the ring in the jump position so I would say yes....but it seems she needs more of that

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

                                          The video over cross rails I was on the other side of a viewing room window. The horse hooves might have been loud enough to blast thru but not the trainers voice. I have no clue what she was saying sorry.
                                          Fair enough. I didn't realize you were behind a wall. I thought it odd that the trainer wasn't speaking but she may well have been.
                                          "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple Barry Switzer

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