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Riding Student falls- procedure and etiquette

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by erinmeri View Post

    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!
    Thanks!

    Comment


    • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post
      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.

      ​​​​​​
      That is the first really sensible email you've shared from that barn.

      Speaking from experience someone with a broken bone can sit in the bleachers or feed carrots over the stall door but should not be on the ground face to face with horses. One toss of the head and the bone is broken again and you are in for emergency surgery and a titanium plate. What were you thinking letting her out of your sight?

      Most communication at a barn happens between coach and kid in terms of what to do and not do. Now you know dd doesn't always do what she's told. Well lots of adult riders defy doctors orders out of desire or necessity, it comes with the territory. When I was in high school boys used to take the plaster casts off their broken arms with the tools in shop class. Is why adult supervision.

      I think your time at this barn has expired and move on
      ​​​​​.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

        That is the first really sensible email you've shared from that barn.

        Speaking from experience someone with a broken bone can sit in the bleachers or feed carrots over the stall door but should not be on the ground face to face with horses. One toss of the head and the bone is broken again and you are in for emergency surgery and a titanium plate. What were you thinking letting her out of your sight?

        Most communication at a barn happens between coach and kid in terms of what to do and not do. Now you know dd doesn't always do what she's told. Well lots of adult riders defy doctors orders out of desire or necessity, it comes with the territory. When I was in high school boys used to take the plaster casts off their broken arms with the tools in shop class. Is why adult supervision.

        I think your time at this barn has expired and move on
        ​​​​​.
        I let her out of my site bc I have 3 kids and can't sit at the barn when she is there to "watch". But I should have set the boundary and just said no sorry you can't go

        Comment


        • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

          I let her out of my site bc I have 3 kids and can't sit at the barn when she is there to "watch". But I should have set the boundary and just said no sorry you can't go
          If you let an injured horse person loose in a barn they will absolutely push their limits, child or adult.

          If she had her own horse you could expect her to be riding bareback in a halter at this stage because she didn't have the finger mobility to do up girth and bridle and climbing the fence to mount. Behind your back of course.

          Barn knows this of course because it's how all horse professionals behave and why they have chronic pain problems as they age.

          And you went from freaked out they had no incident report system to pissed off they don't want your injured child onsite. I can see this situation is done.

          Comment


          • I’m now wondering if the barn is starting to feel like they can’t win with the OP. I would find another place to ride.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

              If you let an injured horse person loose in a barn they will absolutely push their limits, child or adult.

              If she had her own horse you could expect her to be riding bareback in a halter at this stage because she didn't have the finger mobility to do up girth and bridle and climbing the fence to mount. Behind your back of course.

              Barn knows this of course because it's how all horse professionals behave and why they have chronic pain problems as they age.

              And you went from freaked out they had no incident report system to pissed off they don't want your injured child onsite. I can see this situation is done.
              Did I say I was pissed off? No. I am absolutely on the same page she should not be tacking and untacking horses. I trusted my kid too much to follow that rule. And originally the trainers had said she could groom if others hooked the horse up to the lead ropes. Noone told me they changed their mind on that until today. Lack of communication or miscommunication is my biggest frustration.

              I wondered if I read the tone of her email wrong.

              I'm annoyed that she tells me this is an "ongoing problem" but waited until the next day to email me ... No other adult or trainer came to me in any form to tell me it was an issue when I'm now hearing my child was not listening to trainers tell her to stop doing something multiple times now. That gave me no chance to correct her to be sure I'm there or not allow her to go after the 1st time of not listening.

              And annoyed that when I was there no trainer was around to observe and supervise 9 and 10 year olds who were some struggling to tack up. If dd helped it's probably bc she was helping carry something a little heavy for a younger child.

              Yes I see now it was dumb to give her any free time at the barn bc she is showing she is not mature enough or as you point out most horse people would struggle with staying away from the horses. ... But when the coach says oh yes she should come to practice to watch and learn. You try and allow that and make it work with the family Schedule with curriculum nights and other kids running here and there.

              I can't help but say that middle schoolers are not much tamer than horses and she has complained of almost getting tripped in the hallway etc. I know it's a different liability but I cant be supervising her in the halls of school and everywhere.... It is a hard job being a parent and knowing when to toe the line of helicopter parent....

              Comment


              • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

                Did I say I was pissed off? No. I am absolutely on the same page she should not be tacking and untacking horses. I trusted my kid too much to follow that rule. And originally the trainers had said she could groom if others hooked the horse up to the lead ropes. Noone told me they changed their mind on that until today. Lack of communication or miscommunication is my biggest frustration.

                I wondered if I read the tone of her email wrong.

                I'm annoyed that she tells me this is an "ongoing problem" but waited until the next day to email me ... No other adult or trainer came to me in any form to tell me it was an issue when I'm now hearing my child was not listening to trainers tell her to stop doing something multiple times now. That gave me no chance to correct her to be sure I'm there or not allow her to go after the 1st time of not listening.

                And annoyed that when I was there no trainer was around to observe and supervise 9 and 10 year olds who were some struggling to tack up. If dd helped it's probably bc she was helping carry something a little heavy for a younger child.

                Yes I see now it was dumb to give her any free time at the barn bc she is showing she is not mature enough or as you point out most horse people would struggle with staying away from the horses. ... But when the coach says oh yes she should come to practice to watch and learn. You try and allow that and make it work with the family Schedule with curriculum nights and other kids running here and there.

                I can't help but say that middle schoolers are not much tamer than horses and she has complained of almost getting tripped in the hallway etc. I know it's a different liability but I cant be supervising her in the halls of school and everywhere.... It is a hard job being a parent and knowing when to toe the line of helicopter parent....
                Well without being a fly on the wall I have no idea how things played out over time or on that night.

                I expect DD wasn't in real danger but was pushing the limits in some way. Coach didn't have time to go search the property for you and your 3 little kids so sent you a clear business like email the next day. I see nothing wrong here on their part. And honestly if a kid wont listen to the coach then they wont listen to their mom either about the horses.

                I expect the tacking up was as per usual all these months and the kids are *expected* to figure it out on their own, with a quick safety check before the lesson. Very standard.

                I'm still a little surprised that you bring 3 smaller kids to the barn when DD rides or visits. It's great there is some place you can entertain them for an hour or so. Just a heads-up this might not be possible at many barns depending on the layout.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                  Well without being a fly on the wall I have no idea how things played out over time or on that night.

                  I expect DD wasn't in real danger but was pushing the limits in some way. Coach didn't have time to go search the property for you and your 3 little kids so sent you a clear business like email the next day. I see nothing wrong here on their part. And honestly if a kid wont listen to the coach then they wont listen to their mom either about the horses.

                  I expect the tacking up was as per usual all these months and the kids are *expected* to figure it out on their own, with a quick safety check before the lesson. Very standard.

                  I'm still a little surprised that you bring 3 smaller kids to the barn when DD rides or visits. It's great there is some place you can entertain them for an hour or so. Just a heads-up this might not be possible at many barns depending on the layout.
                  I was misread. I have 3 children. Age 14, 11 (dd I talk about here) and 4. They were not at the barn. I was off to curriculum night at school for one, taking the other to a class. Not able to sit at the barn or stay with dd. If any of them come with the barn, ever, they sit with me in the viewing area. No way Jose are they running around.

                  I was the one running around town.

                  Comment


                  • OP, I think it's time to stop posting about your experiences with this place. There is nothing useful to be gained. We've all agreed that this place isn't a good fit for you.

                    Once you start looking at new places for your daughter to ride - if you do - I know folks will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Just start a new discussion.

                    Also, going back to the vaulting thing... I know you said you checked the AVA web site list of vaulting centers and there weren't any close to you. But I still strongly encourage you to go ahead and fill out the "Contact Us" form that you will find under "Interested in vaulting?" on the right side of the AVA main page. It is entirely possible that there are AVA members who run riding programs and incorporate low-level vaulting into their training programs but don't run full-fledged vaulting centers. AVA might be able to put you in touch with someone like that who is closer to your location.

                    If you decide that your daughter needs to take a break from riding, you might consider putting her in tumbling/gymnastics or dancing classes or learn to ski (if you live near a ski slope). You can tell her that those activities translate very well to riding and will help her build muscles, coordination, and balance that will improve her riding when she's able to get back into it. Those may serve as an interim measure that she will be satisfied with because they will contribute to her riding ability.
                    "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 was misread. I have 3 children. Age 14, 11 (dd I talk about here) and 4. They were not at the barn. I was off to curriculum night at school for one, taking the other to a class. Not able to sit at the barn or stay with dd. If any of them come with the barn, ever, they sit with me in the viewing area. No way Jose are they running around.

                      I was the one running around town.
                      Sorry I understood you to say you were at the barn and you wondered why the coach didn't come seek you out. You actually weren't at the barn, it was more a drop off/pick up situation. I don't see how coach could talk to you personally in that scenario. They are very busy and would need to halt their own lesson to talk to you when you arrived, or even go out to the parking lot. An email is appropriate and puts concerns on record.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
                        OP, I think it's time to stop posting about your experiences with this place. There is nothing useful to be gained. We've all agreed that this place isn't a good fit for you.

                        Once you start looking at new places for your daughter to ride - if you do - I know folks will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Just start a new discussion.

                        Also, going back to the vaulting thing... I know you said you checked the AVA web site list of vaulting centers and there weren't any close to you. But I still strongly encourage you to go ahead and fill out the "Contact Us" form that you will find under "Interested in vaulting?" on the right side of the AVA main page. It is entirely possible that there are AVA members who run riding programs and incorporate low-level vaulting into their training programs but don't run full-fledged vaulting centers. AVA might be able to put you in touch with someone like that who is closer to your location.

                        If you decide that your daughter needs to take a break from riding, you might consider putting her in tumbling/gymnastics or dancing classes or learn to ski (if you live near a ski slope). You can tell her that those activities translate very well to riding and will help her build muscles, coordination, and balance that will improve her riding when she's able to get back into it. Those may serve as an interim measure that she will be satisfied with because they will contribute to her riding ability.
                        Thanks

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

                          Yes I saw that. Mine is 11 and 6th grade. Her IEA team lesson is combined ages but the lowest experienced. Age range from 4th grade to 7th grade. 6-8 kids.
                          Just adding, in case no one else has, that IEA has a Walk/Trot division added this year for kids who are not yet safe to canter on an unfamiliar horse in a group. I have a LOT of students on my team in this division. You qualify for flat only if you have never jumped above 2' in competition and it is the coach's prerogative to decide if WTC or WT is more appropriate for the rider.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by costco_muffins View Post

                            Just adding, in case no one else has, that IEA has a Walk/Trot division added this year for kids who are not yet safe to canter on an unfamiliar horse in a group. I have a LOT of students on my team in this division. You qualify for flat only if you have never jumped above 2' in competition and it is the coach's prerogative to decide if WTC or WT is more appropriate for the rider.
                            Thanks! People were saying that kids need to be proficient a level above what they compete in and she didn't seem ready. But they may not have realized the new lower level.

                            ​​​​​​As it is we decided today to officially pull her out of IEA for tis year. She has missed so much (2 weeks= 8 lessons) and will miss another 2 weeks (another 8 lessons) of prep. She will need a lot of riding time to catch up and be ready for competition.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

                              Thanks! People were saying that kids need to be proficient a level above what they compete in and she didn't seem ready. But they may not have realized the new lower level.

                              ​​​​​​As it is we decided today to officially pull her out of IEA for tis year. She has missed so much (2 weeks= 8 lessons) and will miss another 2 weeks (another 8 lessons) of prep. She will need a lot of riding time to catch up and be ready for competition.
                              That is the standard rule of showing. You show a lower level than you are schooling so your daughter, based on your videos, should be showing W/T.

                              And here is a horse reality. I show way lower levels than I have done in the past. 1) because that’s where my horse is at. 2) I had a bad riding accident and I’m fearful at times. So yes I am riding at a lower level that doesn’t jive with what I’m capable of. That’s horses.

                              Comment


                              • I skipped a LOT of the posts but I'm trying to wrap my head around ... if she came off with a dirty stop AT A WALK, why did they ever let her trot? Who comes off when a horse throws it's head down at a walk???

                                I came off my evil mare when I was a kid plenty of times. Rode bareback like a crazy kid, full tilt. She'd stop and throw her head down and I'd go flying. That mare (eventually) taught me to really sit a horse. Loved that horse.
                                "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

                                  That is the standard rule of showing. You show a lower level than you are schooling so your daughter, based on your videos, should be showing W/T.

                                  And here is a horse reality. I show way lower levels than I have done in the past. 1) because that’s where my horse is at. 2) I had a bad riding accident and I’m fearful at times. So yes I am riding at a lower level that doesn’t jive with what I’m capable of. That’s horses.
                                  Gotcha. Thanks

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                    If you let an injured horse person loose in a barn they will absolutely push their limits, child or adult.

                                    If she had her own horse you could expect her to be riding bareback in a halter at this stage because she didn't have the finger mobility to do up girth and bridle and climbing the fence to mount. Behind your back of course.

                                    Barn knows this of course because it's how all horse professionals behave and why they have chronic pain problems as they age.

                                    And you went from freaked out they had no incident report system to pissed off they don't want your injured child onsite. I can see this situation is done.
                                    I just had to post to say....absolutely. We ride with broken bones, dizziness, illness (once I spent an entire clinic puking off the horse's side - didn't want to miss it), and every other time that it's completely ill-advised to be on the back of a 1200 lb prey animal. We're a special kind of nuts - I can't explain it.

                                    As far as the barn goes...different barns have varying levels of tolerance for rider falls. I grew up in barns that had a high tolerance, as the instructor believed that it taught you to figure it out. Very old school. Some newer barns and younger trainers are very afraid of being sued by parents used to soccer games and have adapted their programs and their schoolies appropriately. Some younger trainers are more blasé because they grew up in the same system I did.

                                    Whether it's right or wrong, it doesn't sound like it's working for you and your philosophy of child-rearing. May or may not be working for your kid, since the broken bone doesn't seem to be keeping her away from the horses I'm presuming it hasn't scared her. But that's your choice as to whether that's the kind of place you want her to ride at or not.

                                    Regarding her video, she is not yet secure in the tack. Yes, I'd have her show w/t perhaps on a very calm schoolie, but she is not ready to progress. Again, some barns are more "gung ho" on moving kids up before they are ready because kids bounce. I'm not so inclined.

                                    Comment


                                    • Sorry for bumping this up again, but I just saw the other video (I figured I missed some things).

                                      Then this is last day of summer camp this year. Cantering etc. July so roughly 4-6 weeks ago.
                                      ​​​​https://youtu.be/xBhdL_EOcQ0
                                      I didn't catch it the first time, but if you watch to the end, this is absolutely why she came off. The horse wasn't even really putting his head "down" and she got pulled out of the tack. Also, she didn't really look like she was resisting - she was passive. This is pretty normal for some kids, but it explains the fall 100%. Probably not really a pony problem, the instructor isn't wrong about that.

                                      BUT

                                      There is something a trainer can do about this. I used to do this with my students prior to letting them off the longe - it was the seat test. The rider sits on the horse's back, and I take both reins and simulate the horse yanking them forward (obviously gently, and obviously not to the point that the rider falls off). We adjust the seat through heels and core until the rider no longer is pulled right from the tack. This works for adults too.

                                      I'd say your daughter should ride somewhere where the basics are emphasized. I would also be sure that you emphasize to the trainer(s) at the new barn that you don't want her to progress beyond her level of ability and that you are in no hurry for her to show. Sometimes barns, particularly in populated areas, get seriously pressured to let kids move up - to the point that parents will "move on" to the barn that lets them do whatever it is that they want. I'd also make sure you follow through with that in behavior - no more talk about "what a talented rider she is". In horse-land, that is a prime indicator of "parents being a pain". She's a green rider - make that very clear - a green rider with a passion for horses. That's fine.

                                      As far as your husband and his concerns go - you're going to have to make sure that you're both on board. Even if you find a facility that meets these needs there WILL be falls, now and as your rider progresses. There may be injuries. They are not all caused by bad trainers overfacing riders. Riding, particularly jumping, is a risky sport - ahead of bull riding and cheerleading (which is quite dangerous). It's a very very worthwhile risk, but it is a risk, and riding parents need to be able to understand it and accept it for what it is. Minimize the hazards - absolutely - but just know that it IS a risk.

                                      This is why it's super important to have those basics. Really really important.

                                      Comment

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