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Riding Student falls- procedure and etiquette

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  • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post
    I just feel like chiming back in that this daughter is so into horses that she has spent her own money buying brushes, hoof pick etc so she has her own supplies to bring to groom whomever she rides.
    Your daughter obviously loves horses but almost every single little girl who rides at the facility where I board has her own brushes, or lead rope, or saddle pad that they have either saved their pennies to buy or have gotten as Christmas or birthday gifts.

    Your daughter is just like every other horse crazy kid. I do want to caution you that her enthusiasm, while admirable, doesn't make her a more capable rider. The only thing that will do that is time in the saddle.

    If you do continue to pursue IEA keep in mind that she may be riding against kids who have been riding, in some cases, literally before they could walk. I can think of a dozen kids right off the top of my head who's parents are barn owners, jockeys, adult amateurs, former national champions. They have the resources to compete, and win, in a highly competitive sport. At the very least I would check out a couple shows before entering your daughter. If her skills are not equal to those of other kids in the class it might be very discouraging for her.

    Again I think your money would be better spent on more lessons, but that's my opinion and it's worth exactly what you paid for it.

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

    Comment


    • Originally posted by mswillie View Post
      Again I think your money would be better spent on more lessons, but that's my opinion and it's worth exactly what you paid for it.
      In some barns belonging to the team allows for more time in the saddle at a lower over all price than paying for individual lessons.
      So before the OP tosses out the whole team thing, it is probably best to run the numbers to see if being part of the program is actually getting this young lady more saddle time, even if she is not quite ready to be part of the competitive team yet.

      Comment


      • OP you are doing a great job getting more information and a better understanding- and I agree with a pp that you have taken all the advice really well.

        I am also a mom that was non-horsey but am trying my best to become more horsey. There is a lot of information out there to learn from. I think your barn is fine- not great but not terrible. Your daughter is not jumping- she is just trotting over poles. Kids do consider this jumping though and I forget this when young kids tell me they are jumping. My daughter also trotted over poles before she ever cantered and didnt have the greatest seat before cantering for the first time. But even though she cantered occasionally, there would be many weeks back at the beginning of walk trot. Your daughter looks to be a good beginner rider and IMO she is exactly at the level you would expect based on what you have said about her experience. The reality is it just takes time- time in the saddle.

        I have an only child so we are lucky to have the time and some money to put into riding. My daughter has been riding for over 4 years, with the last 2.5 years at 3-4 times a week, twice a week lessons. She half leases a horse. She has attended 3 different advanced riding summer camps and in the past 3 months a has ridden at least 15 different horses and w/t/c all of them and jumping most of them. She has taken lessons at various barns when we travel so she now has plenty of experience getting on horses she does not know.

        All that is to say- I am now comfortable with the idea of her riding IEA. She's 13 and has improved leaps and bounds since she was 11. Your daughter is just starting and will continue to improve. There is no reason to rush it. The best thing you can do is see if you can get her more saddle time on safe horses.

        Good luck- your daughter is doing fine. And I agree the horse is never at fault- they are what they are and they have their bad days. But that doesn't mean its your daughters fault either.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
          that's a great idea, if the kid has the basic ability to do tumbling and gymnastics. I never did
          Scribbler - that's actually a common misapprehension ... there is actually ZERO gymnastic background required for beginning/intermediate vaulting. You don't start as a beginner dressage rider with a seat to do 1-tempis, or your over fences career being able to see distances inside a combo.

          Vaulters don't get "gymnastic" until they are fairly well along, and flips off the horse are restricted as to which (pretty high up) levels are allowed to do them. Musicality, dance and music interpretation are actually more important than gymnastic ability!

          Every practice incorporates stretching so everyone will get at least a little more flexible (if they don't start out that way) and they will all get a LOT stronger. Mostly, at beginner/intermediate levels it's moving around on the horse (compulsories in a prescribed way and freestyle in a more fun way.)

          Sorry if that came off as a lecture, just want all the readers to know and this was a good thread for the point, lol!

          Re: injury report policy:

          One of our barns has a "check out" policy where a coach asks each kid 1) what did you learn today and 2) any bumps, bruises or injuries we need to be aware of? (This question was added specifically after two kids were larking around piggyback and their heads bumped as one kid jumped onto the other's back in the barn aisle. One kid got a concussion that had NOTHING to do with horses at all and the coach never knew and it was discovered at home. Oh my, the fallout from that!) Anyway, the coach talks to the parent about followup if any kid is found to be injured.

          But, OP, I agree with many of the posters here saying that there are many paths to the top of the mountain with riding. Mostly, it will take TIME in the saddle. Quality instruction is always better as it does maximize skill development (and safety.) If you want to follow the Pony Club path (a great choice) then you will need to commit to the drive. If you want to stick with the current cost/drive time and known barn, then be aware that you may need to put up with some "warts and all".

          For perspective, I recommend reading Chad Oldfather's blog about a parent who enabled his kids to go to very high levels before the end of their junior careers. It takes *enormous* resources.

          Mostly, thanks for hanging out here and getting perspective on what's out there.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post

            In some barns belonging to the team allows for more time in the saddle at a lower over all price than paying for individual lessons.
            So before the OP tosses out the whole team thing, it is probably best to run the numbers to see if being part of the program is actually getting this young lady more saddle time, even if she is not quite ready to be part of the competitive team yet.
            Yeah she is getting 2 lessons a week now where if she wasn't doing team it would be 1. And (prior to wrist injury) she was spending an additional 8-10 hours a week on horsemanship stuff--- tacking untacking helping with cleaning around the barn. I know it's not saddle time but she was observing and learning horses

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by mswillie View Post

              Your daughter obviously loves horses but almost every single little girl who rides at the facility where I board has her own brushes, or lead rope, or saddle pad that they have either saved their pennies to buy or have gotten as Christmas or birthday gifts.

              Your daughter is just like every other horse crazy kid. I do want to caution you that her enthusiasm, while admirable, doesn't make her a more capable rider. The only thing that will do that is time in the saddle.

              If you do continue to pursue IEA keep in mind that she may be riding against kids who have been riding, in some cases, literally before they could walk. I can think of a dozen kids right off the top of my head who's parents are barn owners, jockeys, adult amateurs, former national champions. They have the resources to compete, and win, in a highly competitive sport. At the very least I would check out a couple shows before entering your daughter. If her skills are not equal to those of other kids in the class it might be very discouraging for her.

              Again I think your money would be better spent on more lessons, but that's my opinion and it's worth exactly what you paid for it.
              I didn't mean it to say it equates anything about her riding. Just her passion for the whole thing.

              Comment


              • Oh, also a silly comment ... it seems that your kiddo might be the only horse-crazy one in your family? Has anyone given you the heads up (or have you figured out) that it is a true, deep-rooted LIFELONG passion and addiction and it is both the most maddening and magical thing you might ever be involved with?

                Welcome to the crazy train, LOL ...

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by M'al View Post
                  Oh, also a silly comment ... it seems that your kiddo might be the only horse-crazy one in your family? Has anyone given you the heads up (or have you figured out) that it is a true, deep-rooted LIFELONG passion and addiction and it is both the most maddening and magical thing you might ever be involved with?

                  Welcome to the crazy train, LOL ...
                  I kinda figured that out lol
                  Her dream and goal is to own and run a horse farm. Planning on going to our nearby Ag-STEM high school when the time comes etc

                  Comment


                  • Your daughter sounds like she is a real horse girl, I love it!

                    From the videos, I can very much see how she would have been pulled out of the saddle by the pony dropping its head. She does have the typical beginner balance, hasn't figured out how to use her core effectively and have her weight in her heels. Things she can do now to build some muscle up while being unable to ride are squats and wall sits, calf raises on stairs (really focusing on having the balls of her feet on the edge of the step and letting her weight sink into her heels so she starts seeing what that should feel like), she should be able to do these with an injured wrist and it not be too "boring". She can also do balance work too, like tree poses, practicing standing on one foot and looking straight up, sitting on one of those exercise balls and picking her feet up to try to balance on top of the ball. All of these will help her find her core.

                    I agree that the barn itself doesn't look awful (I know several in this area that are so much worse that a lot of parents think is amazing), but if your gut says its not a good fit, listen to it. I do have to say though, if the trainer that was teaching the lesson is new, there is a possibility that she might not have as much experience teaching beginner riders and wasn't sure how to address the problem with the pony beyond getting back on and trying it again. If she is a natural rider, it's hard sometimes to remember that not all kids have that stickability factor naturally, and she might not know how to teach that. Giving lessons has a big learning curve.

                    If I were you, I would contact the barns in the area and talk to the instructors. Let them know that your daughter absolutely loves to ride but is having some issues with her basic position, strength and balance that you would like addressed before moving on to anything more advanced. Ask if you can observe some lessons, and choose the barn with the relaxed, quiet horses and ponies, happy looking kids, lessons that will do a lot of two point and no stirrups work at a walk and trot, little games like "around the world" that help teach balance, things that address the riders' positions and not just trotting and cantering laps around the edge of the area and over poles saying "good" over and over. You should hear things like "Sally, don't look down, keep your eyes up!", "Heels down", "Shoulders back", "Use the neck for balance not the reins", etc quite a lot since kids need a ton of reminders before muscle memory kicks in. Some of it will just take experience as well, learning what a good instructor is like. But in general, a good barn will address the weaknesses of your daughter's riding base first and foremost.

                    And if you are ever not sure, you can always come here and ask for advice. There are SO MANY experienced people here, and while there are always some that are inexperienced that try to chime in, in general you will get a good consensus from the majority of people.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                      My two cents is that I have *no idea* how anyone manages to learn to ride in once weekly lessons, despite seeing it all around me.
                      Not trying to pick on you, Scribbler, but just so the OP is not discouraged, I had to respond to this statement. Something similar is often expressed by people who were lucky enough to have horses at home growing up. I did not.

                      My mom took me to my riding lesson once a week for many years & for a long time, that was all the riding opportunity I had (parents spent their money on mine & my brother's educations instead of buying me a horse, which seems cruel when you are 12, haha). I did a schooling show or two at the facility but that was pretty much it. Yet, apparently against all COTH odds, I was a competent rider. The barn where I rode had a deal that if you allowed your horse to be used for lessons, you got 1/2 price board, so I rode all manner of things, there were no true "school horses," which certainly does teach you all kinds of skills. My instructor primarily did dressage, so that was the focus, with some small jumps thrown in.

                      My life story doesn't matter, so I won't get too far into the weeds, but with once a week lessons, I learned to do a solid First Level dressage test & jump around a little 2-2'6" jump course, all with solid basics in there. I was always completely obsessed with horses, so of course I was reading & watching & listening to everything I could get my hands on at the same time, including working in that same barn cleaning stalls starting at age 14. I never gave up until I finally got my own horse when I was 26. Now I'm 40 & my two horses (one of which is still that first horse) live in my backyard.

                      So yeah, "learning to ride" can certainly be done in that context. Now, say, competing in Young Riders (which I didn't even know existed when I was a kid, but wouldn't have been doable anyway), that's a different story. But riding & handling horses safely, building a solid skillset, & having fun, yeah, absolutely.

                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                      We Are Flying Solo

                      Comment


                      • I have to agree that amazingly enough, many individuals who ride just once a week do somehow manage to progress. Blows my mind, but they do. Granted it is safe to assume their progress might be much quicker with more hours-per-week in the saddle. But they do learn and improve. One of life's great mysteries.
                        No matter where you go, there you are

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by wildlifer View Post

                          Not trying to pick on you, Scribbler, but just so the OP is not discouraged, I had to respond to this statement. Something similar is often expressed by people who were lucky enough to have horses at home growing up. I did not.

                          My mom took me to my riding lesson once a week for many years & for a long time, that was all the riding opportunity I had (parents spent their money on mine & my brother's educations instead of buying me a horse, which seems cruel when you are 12, haha). I did a schooling show or two at the facility but that was pretty much it. Yet, apparently against all COTH odds, I was a competent rider. The barn where I rode had a deal that if you allowed your horse to be used for lessons, you got 1/2 price board, so I rode all manner of things, there were no true "school horses," which certainly does teach you all kinds of skills. My instructor primarily did dressage, so that was the focus, with some small jumps thrown in.

                          My life story doesn't matter, so I won't get too far into the weeds, but with once a week lessons, I learned to do a solid First Level dressage test & jump around a little 2-2'6" jump course, all with solid basics in there. I was always completely obsessed with horses, so of course I was reading & watching & listening to everything I could get my hands on at the same time, including working in that same barn cleaning stalls starting at age 14. I never gave up until I finally got my own horse when I was 26. Now I'm 40 & my two horses (one of which is still that first horse) live in my backyard.

                          So yeah, "learning to ride" can certainly be done in that context. Now, say, competing in Young Riders (which I didn't even know existed when I was a kid, but wouldn't have been doable anyway), that's a different story. But riding & handling horses safely, building a solid skillset, & having fun, yeah, absolutely.
                          yes, as I said, I know this happens and it's a good thing, too!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by TMares View Post

                            I agree. It seems to me that the adult thing to do to handle it privately. I see your point, I am suggesting that such an education could be provided without dragging it out in the open.
                            During my years on COTH I have had only three angry/weird PMs, one a long time ago from a creepy adult con man banned by USEF and two recently from immature new posters. I have called all of them out on the threads from which they originated.

                            I don't do passive aggressive. I also don't feel that it is my job to explain to people why they should not behave in an anti-social manner when they present themselves online.

                            When a person presents themselves on a thread in one manner and then goes weird and hostile in a PM, they are not someone I want to engage with in private conversation.

                            Regarding the 14 yr old children on this board, I hope that their parents are at least somewhat monitoring their child's online activities, because 14 yr olds should not be learning basic communication and manners from online strangers.

                            They also tend to overshare and are vulnerable to creepy adults who,while few and far between, are present on this board.
                            Last edited by skydy; Sep. 14, 2019, 11:19 AM. Reason: Correction

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by skydy View Post

                              During my years on COTH I have had only three angry/weird PMs, one a long time ago from a creepy adult con man banned by USEF and two recently from immature new posters. I have called all of them out on the threads from which they originated.

                              I don't do passive aggressive. I also don't feel that it is my job to explain to people why they should not behave in an anti-social manner when they present themselves online.

                              When a person presents themselves on a thread in one manner and then goes weird and hostile in a PM, they are not someone I want to engage with in private conversation.

                              Regarding the 14 yr old children on this board, I hope that their parents are at least somewhat monitoring their child's online activities, because 14 yr olds should not be learning basic communication and manners from online strangers.

                              They also tend to overshare and are vulnerable to creepy adults who,while few and far between, are present on this board.
                              Thank you!

                              Those were my thoughts. Also by posting my response on the thread, the comments of other COTH members about angry/wierd PMs back up my reaction. I feel that if I got into a back and forth PM with an angry, wierd, or immature poster, it would kind of obliterate my main point that COTH is a public discussion board, and it doesn't work to shout at someone privately, because I would be getting sucked into doing the same thing.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                Thank you!

                                Those were my thoughts. Also by posting my response on the thread, the comments of other COTH members about angry/wierd PMs back up my reaction. I feel that if I got into a back and forth PM with an angry, wierd, or immature poster, it would kind of obliterate my main point that COTH is a public discussion board, and it doesn't work to shout at someone privately, because I would be getting sucked into doing the same thing.
                                Actually those were my thoughts regarding the weird/angry use of PMs, however I understand what you mean.

                                I am here, as most of us are, to share the interests, the discussions, and the experiences of fellow horse people.
                                Many of us enjoy an informed COTH forum debate. However, I am not here to argue privately with passive aggressive adults or with poorly supervised teenagers who present themselves, complete with their issues, to me via PM.

                                PMs are not an acceptable back door for those people that use them to communicate their hostile, or just plain weirdo thoughts that they apparently don't want people to see on a thread, but are more than happy to turn themselves mentally inside out for me to see in a "private" message.

                                Thanks, but no thanks.

                                I remember having my use of the term "penultimate" corrected via PM, by a kind COTH member, whose name I cannot recall for the life of me. I do know what penultimate means, however I misused the term badly, yet that kind poster saved me the embarrassment of presenting myself as an idiot in the context of that conversation.

                                No doubt I will continue to make an idiot of myself grammatically at times, but it was a kind gesture and I have not forgotten.

                                When it is obvious that an intelligent, kind, member of COTH who obviously knows better, has got it wrong, I try to give a "heads up" via PM, in an attempt to repay the kindness that was shown to me.
                                Last edited by skydy; Sep. 15, 2019, 06:37 AM. Reason: Editing...

                                Comment


                                • 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.
                                  I 100% agree with this.

                                  Also, I'm racking my brain tying to figure out how 3 falls in one lesson is acceptable for a beginner, and I'm coming up empty. That is a failure of the trainer, plain and simple. I've been riding for 55 years and if I fell twice in one lesson I would be pretty rattled. Being scared (which she probably was after two falls), upset, or even dizzy could have contributed to the 3rd fall.

                                  I learned to ride as a 7 year old, and learned to ride with weekly lessons, so it can be done. It's not ideal, but it's better than not riding, for sure.

                                  My grown daughter is a rider. She started at age 6. I would have pulled her from a program that had her fall 3 times in a lesson. I also don't like the fact that they have your daughter jumping when she clearly hasn't developed her seat yet. I wouldn't even want her cantering at this point, as her trot is still pretty all over the place. I'm not being critical, we all start out the same way. But letting her ride beyond her abilities will do her no favors as far as learning to ride well, and it will also put her at risk - more risk than the usual risk of riding, of course.

                                  The barn owner/instructor's responses to you sound defensive. I'm sure they are worried about liability. Those responses wouldn't do it for me, though. I see no point in trying to change the way they are teaching your daughter. They have shown you who they are, so you need to believe them. As a non rider, you are not in a position to try to call the shots for your daughter's instruction. This means that you need to be doubly sure that you can trust the people who are teaching your daughter to ride. These people are not it, in my opinion.

                                  I agree with the others that suggest Pony Club as an option. They usually are very safety oriented and have a good solid program.

                                  Also, BTW, I took adult lessons at a facility that did do incident reports on every fall. There was also much discussion afterward about what could have been done differently and what could be done to prevent the same thing happening again.

                                  Parents should also be advised about every fall - even if the child is totally unharmed. Head injuries, in particular, must be monitored after an accident. An EMT is not qualified to assess for concussion, either. I see way too many red flags at this place for my comfort.
                                  Last edited by stb; Sep. 15, 2019, 11:23 AM.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    Friends! I am just coming here for support. The whole process making this decision is HARD. My husband would prefer she never ride again and find a safer activity. I see how good it is for her in many ways (work ethic, therapeutic, etc) .... Also knowing 2 horse related deaths lately adds even more emotion to all of this!

                                    Hoping to visit another barn or 2 this coming week.

                                    And I just feel such negativity when I interact with the staff , and have for awhile.... Not sure if it's me projecting my feelings or what! Does not seem like a healthy environment anymore .

                                    This is an excerpt from an email I got this morning in reply to another question. First off, it IS doctors orders that she not be handling horses or tacking and untacking. But she wanted to go early before IEA practice (which the trainer told her to come and watch and learn!) So she was talking with the other kids etc while they tacked up and maybe help hold a lead; I'm not sure! I was completely unaware of her doing any tacking or untacking (she knows she should not be) and NO STAFF spoke with me last night ....this email was this MORNING. Honestly NO STAFF supervised the tacking up the kids were doing for IEA..until 3 minutes before lesson time when one girl still needed (who extra helpdd was helping) I'm unclear how they saw her doing anything when I was there and didn't see her touch a horse. I'm unclear whether it happened afterwards as I was not there. I asked if a trainer spoke to her directly. Was told that XXX has told her repeatedly not to handle the horses. (Why didn't anyone tell me to my face?) Part of my frustration is the lack of communication when I am at the barn whether I stay a whole lesson or leave and pick up (last night she was only watching). ALSO! I won't be seeing dd until tomorrow morning now due to do my work I will not be able to talk to her about it.

                                    This email is not totally negative per se. I'm probably just on edge about it all.

                                    ++++
                                    Regarding yesterday’s practice and in general, XXX cannot handle any horses while she is still injured. It’s not safe as it prevents her from properly conducting herself around the horses. I know she is only trying to be helpful, but it’s not a good idea. Also I keep forgetting to mention, I would like to request a doctors note before XXX rides or handles horses again.
                                    ++++

                                    After a few emails back and forth with me saying it might be best if she pulls out of IEA due to missing so many practices etc.... Trainer said she would "prefer that" at this point. Might make it easier to just cut ties sooner rather than later. (I was letting dd go to practices to watch and learn).

                                    It's going to be rough telling dd we are breaking free from this barn. She already has a fracture and now her heart will be a bit fractured too.

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                                    • Originally posted by stb View Post

                                      An EMT is not qualified to assess for concussion, either.
                                      Yes, they are.

                                      No matter where you go, there you are

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Beck View Post

                                        Yes, they are.
                                        Yes. As a former EMT-B, evaluating head injuries is part of the trauma curriculum for certification. You evaluate by taking a verbal history and assessing signs and symptoms (confusion/altered mental status, changes to vision, dizziness, nausea etc) and with PERRLA. Of course, if concussion is suspected you transport to hospital.

                                        OP, I hope you find a better program for your daughter. While she may be disappointed in the short term, she will benefit in the long term. Good luck!

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

                                          It's going to be rough telling dd we are breaking free from this barn. She already has a fracture and now her heart will be a bit fractured too.

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                                          Young hearts heal quickly; you're making the right choice, this program is not suitable.
                                          Custom tack racks!
                                          www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

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