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Riding Student falls- procedure and etiquette

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    Original Poster

    https://youtu.be/bHG8fIXZtX8

    So dd did a "schooling show" just walk/trot classes in July.

    Also part of the reason I have trusted this barn is that many of the parents there are "horse people" themselves and as far as I knew (I'm learning more as I ask around) have been really happy here.

    Comment


      Horses take both time and money.

      Not only have you mentioned the money paid so many times as pointed out. You have more than once posted that you don't have the time.

      Something that can be done at home that won't cost you time and money is dancing to music in her room.

      Horses, you can always spend time and money on a horse. I often say don't think about getting a horse if you are not prepared to spend 2 hours a day with it or be prepared to pay someone else.

      The minimum daily can be removing a rug, picking out hooves, checking for injuries and feeding. In the evening putting the rug back on and feeding.
      It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

      Comment

        Original Poster

        Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post
        Horses take both time and money.

        Not only have you mentioned the money paid so many times as pointed out. You have more than once posted that you don't have the time.

        Something that can be done at home that won't cost you time and money is dancing to music in her room.

        Horses, you can always spend time and money on a horse. I often say don't think about getting a horse if you are not prepared to spend 2 hours a day with it or be prepared to pay someone else.

        The minimum daily can be removing a rug, picking out hooves, checking for injuries and feeding. In the evening putting the rug back on and feeding.
        I know. Both commodities for many and yes I know I've mentioned more than once. I'm continually trying to reconcile trying to support her passion while balancing what we can handle as a family.

        Some have advised to let her do it even if all we can handle is twice a month lessons...let her keep doing it somehow.
        Part of what appeals about the current barn (which I am learning is not great). ....is there willingness to work with us via infrequent lessons at times... Letting her tack and untack to earn points towards lessons etc etc

        Comment


          There's a lot of great advice in this thread, so I will try to to say what others already have.

          First, I have been at barns that may have a shiny veneer (as the barn your daughter is at looks pretty nice), but take risks with their riders. Putting them on horses that they should not, using horses that are unsafe, etc. So just because a barn "appears" to have it all together, it may not.

          In fact, many of these barns seem to have frequent falls/injuries and rely more than they should on child labor, because they can't function otherwise. Sound familiar?

          As a side note, I have NEVER had a serious injury riding. I am sure part of that is luck, and part of that is my chosen discipline (mostly dressage), but part of it is also due to the fact that as a child, I rode at a very safety-concious barn. We had school horses with dirty tricks, but you didn't ride those horses until you were ready. As an adult, I have also declined rides on horses I felt were unsafe- your daughter needs your help with that part. Riding IS inherently dangerous, but the risks can be mitigated. I find it difficult to justify letting her hop on again after the second fall without some kind of one-on-one instruction (which may be AFTER the lesson) and/or daisy reins/schooling the pony. The first two falls seem excusable....the third not so much.

          Comment


            I think it's good that you're thinking about moving to other programs, and that you are asking some questions. I had a very similar experience at my first barn, where I realized a lot of practices were way less than ideal after I left (and having a beginner use draw reins was one of them!)

            I was also a horse-crazy little girl. I took a barn tour with my mom as a kid, and my parents sat me down a couple days later and told me that our family didn't have the money for me to pursue riding as a sport. It was a good lesson for me on finances, financial priorities, and reasonable expectations. I was younger than your daughter though, and my parents put the brakes on before I ever had a lesson.

            This might be an appropriate time to talk to your daughter about what the horse budget in your family is, if you haven't already. Not necessarily in dollars, but what does your budget transfer to in terms of activities? How much more involved can she be in this sport with the amount you can invest in it?
            In part that conversation could help make sure she has reasonable expectations. There were times when I was growing up when I thought "once I get to x level, then I will be able to y", not realizing that "y" was an activity that wasn't going to be supported by our family budget.
            She might want to make different investments in time and effort to other activities, if she realizes that her current level of involvement is the only level she can be involved at; and it's probably just good to start having those conversations with her now.

            I also wanted to say; you seem like you have really good priorities as a parent, and that even if you can't support her riding at a very intense level now, you aren't closing off that avenue to her for life. Many, many adults find riding as adults, or reconnect after many years of doing other things.

            Comment

              Original Poster

              Originally posted by MissCoco View Post
              I think it's good that you're thinking about moving to other programs, and that you are asking some questions. I had a very similar experience at my first barn, where I realized a lot of practices were way less than ideal after I left (and having a beginner use draw reins was one of them!)

              I was also a horse-crazy little girl. I took a barn tour with my mom as a kid, and my parents sat me down a couple days later and told me that our family didn't have the money for me to pursue riding as a sport. It was a good lesson for me on finances, financial priorities, and reasonable expectations. I was younger than your daughter though, and my parents put the brakes on before I ever had a lesson.

              This might be an appropriate time to talk to your daughter about what the horse budget in your family is, if you haven't already. Not necessarily in dollars, but what does your budget transfer to in terms of activities? How much more involved can she be in this sport with the amount you can invest in it?
              In part that conversation could help make sure she has reasonable expectations. There were times when I was growing up when I thought "once I get to x level, then I will be able to y", not realizing that "y" was an activity that wasn't going to be supported by our family budget.
              She might want to make different investments in time and effort to other activities, if she realizes that her current level of involvement is the only level she can be involved at; and it's probably just good to start having those conversations with her now.

              I also wanted to say; you seem like you have really good priorities as a parent, and that even if you can't support her riding at a very intense level now, you aren't closing off that avenue to her for life. Many, many adults find riding as adults, or reconnect after many years of doing other things.
              Thanks! We did talk to her alot when IEA was presented as an option. The only way we could handle it financially was with her doing some work study (not the traditional one) but just tacking/untacking.... sweeping aisles..to earn points for her weekly semi-private lessons. With that agreement we could do it. She knows finances are a part of the discussion. Always.

              Comment


                Just curious...What barn is your kid riding at? I would be interested as to see who exactly is allowing her to start jumping right now when she can't even pick up the right diagonal when trotting. That is dangerous at her skill level.

                Comment


                  I may be about to go against the grain a bit: I think the barn is probably fine, it’s not some great academy but all the faults that are being pointed out…eh. What is actually more pressing is that it’s a bad fit for your family. You’re not communicating well and it’s not likely to improve given the faults that it does already have.

                  But let me offer some potential insight into what the trainers are maybe thinking: here’s a kid who wants to ride so much that at 11 she’s helping out around the barn to offset lessons. She doesn’t ride a lot (I imagine significantly less than most students at the barn – a lot of places won’t even accept someone riding every other week), so they’re trying to keep her motivated and interested by sometimes progressing her too fast. There are times when this actually works okay, it’s a bit of a “rise up to this level” sort of challenge, but the thing is she’s probably too young and not strong enough either for this to work. If they have a couple of different trainers it's easy to see how this info could get lost, especially if they see her as competent enough to help around the barn. Lastly you’re a client who pays for a lesson every other week, these are people making their living coaching, a simple matter of mismatched tones in some texts and honestly I can see how they’d just want to check out of the conversation ASAP. It’s not that “you don’t pay the big bucks so you don’t get attention”, it’s just the reality of how much time they have to dedicate to things they’ve already deemed resolved.

                  As for getting back on the pony repeatedly, sometimes there’s no more nuanced instruction to give, the kid just has to make it happen. I swear to this day some of my break through moments were in the frustration of having just fallen off, and refusing to let my horse have his way. The third time getting back on was absolutely the wrong call, but after two very low impact falls there was maybe the sense of "she just needs to ride through it" and they had become complacent in the idea that she couldn't possibly be injured. It's not a great reasoning, and still the wrong call, but there's a logic in the moment.

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    Originally posted by KingRocker4Life View Post
                    Just curious...What barn is your kid riding at? I would be interested as to see who exactly is allowing her to start jumping right now when she can't even pick up the right diagonal when trotting. That is dangerous at her skill level.
                    Are cross poles and poles counted as "jumping"?

                    I'm not gonna "out" her barn ,....trying to keep this as anonymous as possible

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

                      Are cross poles and poles counted as "jumping"?

                      I'm not gonna "out" her barn ,....trying to keep this as anonymous as possible
                      I agree there is nothing to be gained from naming the barn. There is nothing egregious about what's been described, it's clearly a "lesson factory" type barn with the good and bad points that go along with such places. We all know programs like this.

                      I would consider cross poles jumping because the horse makes a hop over them, but it's also true that many programs start kids going over them even just at a trot, so they are a very minor jump. St

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                        I agree there is nothing to be gained from naming the barn. There is nothing egregious about what's been described, it's clearly a "lesson factory" type barn with the good and bad points that go along with such places. We all know programs like this.

                        I would consider cross poles jumping because the horse makes a hop over them, but it's also true that many programs start kids going over them even just at a trot, so they are a very minor jump. St
                        Yeah pretty sure she was only trotting over cross poles...if it was more it was by accident bc the horse sped up.

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          I reached out to a fellow mom at this barn. She comes from a horse background so I asked her about the type of training her son has gotten in terms of no stirrups on the lunge line and how often. Her child is also doing IEA and he is in the pilot program for 4-5 grades. He has taken about the same amount of lessons as my dd. This mom remembers him having more no stirrup training than no reins and also said the below about theories of training. Got me wondering what are the others ....


                          ----_------------
                          There are Many different theories on how to work on balance and core. I know trainers who never lunge their riders and others who keep them on s lunge line until they can post

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Jax View Post
                            I may be about to go against the grain a bit: I think the barn is probably fine, it’s not some great academy but all the faults that are being pointed out…eh. What is actually more pressing is that it’s a bad fit for your family. You’re not communicating well and it’s not likely to improve given the faults that it does already have.
                            I agree. Despite what some people are saying, nothing I've heard thus far makes me think this place is some hellhole run by callous incompetents. In fact, my distinct impression is that these are decent folks trying to run a low level lesson barn where horse crazy kids can learn to ride. Yeah, it doesn't sound like they run the tightest ship, or that they have the best trained, most experienced instructors, and it doesn't sound like they have the financial resources to have the ideal lesson string, but that just makes them exactly like a whole lot of other mid-range lesson barns.

                            However, OP, like Jax said, it doesn't sound like this barn and lesson program is a good fit for you. It sounds like you would be a lot more comfortable in a program that is more structured, with a little more control and oversight and a solid string of suitable lesson horses.

                            Which, in reality, sort of puts you in between a rock and a hard place. Because that kind of place is more difficult to find and, if you do find one, it's probably going to be more expensive and less likely to accommodate your 2 lessons/month limitation.

                            In the end, it's probably going to be a matter of tradeoffs and compromise. To find a riding program that you're happier with, you may have to drive farther and pay more.
                            "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                            that's even remotely true."

                            Homer Simpson

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by darcilyna View Post
                              I reached out to a fellow mom at this barn. She comes from a horse background so I asked her about the type of training her son has gotten in terms of no stirrups on the lunge line and how often. Her child is also doing IEA and he is in the pilot program for 4-5 grades. He has taken about the same amount of lessons as my dd. This mom remembers him having more no stirrup training than no reins and also said the below about theories of training. Got me wondering what are the others ....


                              ----_------------
                              There are Many different theories on how to work on balance and core. I know trainers who never lunge their riders and others who keep them on s lunge line until they can post
                              There is no single, universally accepted approach to teaching riding and learning how to ride. There are many roads to Rome, as the old saying goes. Despite what you will hear from some people posting here, it is possible to achieve the same ends through different means. You will make yourself crazy if you keep searching and talking to different people trying to find consensus on the One True Path.

                              It is possible to become a good rider without ever spending a single minute on the lunge line. It is possible to become a good rider without spending a lot of time riding without stirrups. Some people believe the best way to develop an independent seat is riding bareback. Some people believe riding bareback just creates bad habits.

                              Don't get hung up on the search for the Holy Grail.
                              "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                              that's even remotely true."

                              Homer Simpson

                              Comment


                                I have to totally agree with the two posts NoSuchPerson made above. Horse back riding is one of those things in life where no two people will ever agree on one right way to do things.

                                Originally posted by KingRocker4Life View Post
                                Just curious...What barn is your kid riding at? I would be interested as to see who exactly is allowing her to start jumping right now when she can't even pick up the right diagonal when trotting. That is dangerous at her skill level.
                                ????
                                This is kind of an over reaction. Trotting over poles and itty bitty cross rails can teach lots of things that are in no way related to ones ability to have the right diagonal.
                                I have known very accomplished riders who never quite could get the whole diagonal thing down. Sure they understood the whole idea, they just could not figure out how to make it happen.

                                Comment


                                  ok. don't give me the name of the barn then, I just thought that if you did it would help people that are reading this forum to know what the barn is really like if they were looking to start riding or whatever.

                                  At my barn we have to learn everything pretty well and be able to do it before we learn a new skill. So if I wanted to canter I would have to know how and be able to do posting and sitting trot along with picking up the right diagonals. I feel that that is the safest way to learn how to ride, by learning one step at a time and then moving on to something more difficult.

                                  But we al have our opinions so good luck in figuring this out!

                                  Comment


                                    Originally posted by KingRocker4Life View Post
                                    ok. don't give me the name of the barn then, I just thought that if you did it would help people that are reading this forum to know what the barn is really like if they were looking to start riding or whatever.

                                    At my barn we have to learn everything pretty well and be able to do it before we learn a new skill. So if I wanted to canter I would have to know how and be able to do posting and sitting trot along with picking up the right diagonals. I feel that that is the safest way to learn how to ride, by learning one step at a time and then moving on to something more difficult.

                                    But we al have our opinions so good luck in figuring this out!
                                    I know you’re young but do understand some people have a harder time with diagonals than others. Also, as has been pointed out numerous times there are many roads to Rome. I don’t think the OPs barn is bad from what she’s posted so there is no reason to “out” the barn. Barns, programs and trainers do not work for everyone no matter how high end or low end they are. I’ve ridden with some very accomplished people who just didn’t work for me. It doesn’t make them bad, it makes them bad for me.

                                    ETA: If you saw me ride on the flat when I first got my horse you would think I didn’t know my diagonals because rarely was I on the “correct” one. Diagonals aren’t the end all and be all. Knowing what the correct diagonal is and being able to see if you’re on the right one and eventually feel it are two different concepts.
                                    Last edited by Denali6298; Sep. 10, 2019, 10:06 AM.

                                    Comment


                                      This is a long ramble I just read through the entire thread. I agree this isn't a horrible barn but it's definitely not the best. I grew up at a big hunter jumper barn with great instruction and I watched thousands of hours of lessons. I started out helping tack up horses and worked my way up to teaching. Teaching and instructing someone is a skill that honestly a lot of people don't have.

                                      Watching the video going over the poles my barn would have had beginner riders doing this but the goal was steering with halting in a straight line after the pole. The fact that at the end the horse turns in back towards the middle quickly is concerning. If a student was struggling staying in a straight line and steering we'd use cones to create a corner/goal to ride towards or we'd stand at the end to give a visual.

                                      In the video of the horse cantering it looks like it has a nice smooth canter. I would not want to see ANY gadgets on a beginner horse. I'd only want my kid riding a horse with a regular bridle/bit and saddle. No neck stretcher, running martingale etc. The horse does appear to have a hind end lameness issue and your daughter's seat isn't very secure. Contrary to many posters here my barn started everyone out cantering in a two point. Students would spend a lot of time trotting in a two point (jumping position standing out of the saddle) then they would master posting trot including diagonals. Until they could identify and correct their diagonal they were not allowed to canter. When they would canter it was always started on a lunge line in a two point. The benefit of two point is that it encourages the heals to stay down and builds up your core muscles. The student could grab mane while they got used to the motion of the canter and wouldn't also have to worry about steering until they were more secure. Once the student was more secure in the saddle cantering and could sit the canter and independently steer while cantering they would be allowed off the lunge and would canter a single side of the ring then back to trot/walk and build off of that. All of this was always done with steering and position in mind.

                                      In general speaking about diagonals every single time anyone was on the wrong diagonal they would be told to look down, watch the horse, feel the horse and correct their diagonal. If a rider was on the incorrect diagonal at the trot they would have to fix it before cantering, they would have to fix it before turning to trot over a pole. Same applies to the canter if a horse was cross cantering like the one in the video (one lead on the front, a different lead in the back) the rider would be told to come back to a trot and then pick up the canter again. These may seem like silly insignificant things but they build the riders ability to correctly feel the horse under them. To feel the correct diagonal and canter lead. I have friends who didn't grow up having to know their diagonals and they can certainly ride well enough but there are other gaps in their training that they're struggling with to this day.

                                      Watching the video of the schooling show what really stands out to me is that every single rider's foot is shoved too far in the stirrup and it basically looks like one giant spook away from being a disaster. A schooling show is fantastic for practice but none of those riders looked confident in their seat at the trot and they all seem to have the same position flaws.


                                      We had a pony who would stick her head down and walk to the middle of the ring to get her rider off or get out of work. The trick with her was that if the rider sat up, pulled up and kept her going she was the BEST pony to learn on. Had a canter as smooth as imaginable (that was slow too you could job next to her) and was a blast to ride. How we handled her was we never put a rank beginner on her unsupervised or in the beginning of their riding career. We could use her for pony rides where we led her. Then once they were secure in the saddle with their seat and were able to sit up and kick on we'd put them on her. And guess what...we would walk along them, even jog along them at the trot while instructing them to keep their heels down, a good grip on their reins and sit up. After a few laps she would be a saint and that rider would have "passed" her test and could continue to ride then on. She was fantastic at teaching this skill in a way that was not dangerous. She would put her head down slowly but strongly. We were always right there to support the rider. If someone fell off we took it back a bit and would do a lounge lesson or a games lesson with us leading the pony doing simon says, around the world, no stirrups etc to build confidence and seat. Even though she could be considered a difficult pony she was many young riders favorite pony to ride. Your daughters instructor saying to lengthen the rein and kick the pony on who was dropping the head and dumping her does not sound correct. Typically you would want to keep a good rein contact, sit up, pull the head up while also kicking the pony on.

                                      I also showed IEA and on my college team as well. Riding a strange horse at a different barn is a whole different ball game. Everyone here is correct in saying that your daughter should be riding in regular lessons at least a level above what she is showing. There will be nerves at play for horses and rider. At the level your daughter looks to be riding in the videos I would not put her in an IEA show even just at a w/t. Once she is w/t/c solidly, with a strong two point and a strong sitting trot and canter and knows her diagonals herself then I'd consider the IEA shows.

                                      My personal example I ended up showing at the 2'6 level in high school but I rode and showed at 3' at home, rode 5x a week minimum and rode anything rank and misbehaving that I could because I was poor and those rides were free or cheap. I still felt like I was being very challenged at the 2'6 IEA level.

                                      My barn was a tough suck it up get back on the horse barn. Parents were still always told if a kid had a fall. Anytime a head hit the ground they did not get back on until they were checked by multiple adults there and hung out for a bit. I had a really bad fall and was out of the saddle for a few months. Did my trainer make me get back on and ride the same horse again..yes she did. But she did it after 3 months of me riding my personal favorite horse until my confidence was back up and I was comfortable riding other horses again. She pushed me hard but still listened to me and my fears. I would expect that your barn could have prevented the 2nd or 3rd fall and they should absolutely put your daughter on a different pony/horse to build her confidence then ask her to ride naughty pony again while supporting her and instructing her though any misbehavior. And maybe that ride on naughty pony should be at a walk only or on a lounge line.

                                      Please encourage your daughter's passion you sound like a fantastic horse mom. Continue to listen and learn. Talk to your daughter about long term goals and just explain to her that you want her to get the best possible start as possible. Tour other barns, have her take lessons at each one and see where she clicks and watch a few other lessons to see how the other students are doing. Watch some you tube videos of the more "upper level" beginner/younger rides such as those at Upperville to familiarize yourself with a more correct foot and leg position. Ask how they handle falls etc. Pay attention to if there is a focus on riding correctly or moving up the levels quickly to keep kids interested. Are they really focusing on students steering, do they practice two point, no stirrups etc.

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                                        stargzng386 I too started riding at a hunter barn with a progression. Before you can canter you had to be able to posting trot all the way around the ring with out stirrups.
                                        This is a good example of the fact that there are multiple ways to get to the end result.

                                        I personally know two people, who are now adults, one is an older adult, who totally understand diagonals. They can see them from the ground. They can say when the leg is going forward. They can not figure out how to make that happen with their body though. Just a brain versus physically doing it thing. They can change if you tell them they are wrong. If they try to figure out if they are right or wrong they lose the rhythm.
                                        They are both very good riders. Skillful, accomplished.
                                        Thankfully they both had instruction that understood that doing your diagonal is not the end all of riding.

                                        My thoughts on a lesson horse on the wrong lead for a beginner just learning to canter is.... yippee they are cantering, going forward, staying on. Sure teach them leads. But if they are new and Dobbin is a saint of a lesson horse for this job but he only does his left lead easily then left lead it is.

                                        What I see in the videos is a young lady just learning. One step at a time. Going over a cross rail that the horse does not even jump is a huge deal the first bunch of times you do it. Then you add the part about making that lesson horse go straight after. When you are not just doing it for the first time then the instructor can be even more 'how dare you not go straight'.

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                                          trubandloki I think you're reading what I wrote a bit differently than I expected. Of course different barns, different instructors all have different ways of teaching there absolutely is no one right way.

                                          My friend who doesn't get her diagonals came from a barn where diagonals didn't matter, therefore she says they don't matter. She has that same attitude for a lot of other riding techniques that are very important. She used to prop her little finger on the reins I casually said she should wrap her fingers around, my instructor told me if I propped my finger like that I could break it if the horse spooked or pulled the rein quickly...wouldn't you know she broke her finger that exact way a few months later. If you're genuinely trying to get your diagonal but struggling no one was held back or made fun of. We found lots of different methods to teach it and some kids were better than others. It wasn't an end all be all if you get a wrong diagonal you can't canter this lesson but if you didn't understand the mechanics of diagonals or at least try to get the correct one you had more learning to do.

                                          For cantering all the riders were started on a longe line so we as the instructor made sure we asked the horse correctly to pick up the correct lead. Only when the rider was stable and comfortable were they asked to canter on their own. They were instructed to pick up the canter in the corner (to get the right lead) and of course if a horse had a sticky right lead we wouldn't ask them to canter right. My point was that by the time the child was cantering independently it wasn't woohoo good job you rode a canter. They were setup for success.

                                          Never would anyone EVER say how dare you not go straight. Of course we had kids diving to the middle, turning too early etc. The point of the exercise was let's not focus on the pole you're going over but lets focus on something at the end of the ring and try to ride straight as best you can and halt at the end. Most times that took away any possibly fear of omg I'm going over a big scary stick on the ground and helped them focus up and not look down.

                                          Again lots of different methods to being a successful rider just trying to explain in detail one barn, with one method of training so the OP can keep it in mind when searching for new barns.

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