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WWYD if this was your child?

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  • WWYD if this was your child?

    My daughter got a pony for her 6th birthday. She'd been riding my 26 yr old TB and is taking lessons at another farm. She is now WTC and trotting crossrails. This pony was going ready well for her, (see link) until a jet buzzed the ring and scared the crap out of him. I don't blame him at all, but he bolted and after half a lap dropped his shoulder and my daughter turned into a lawn dart. She was not hurt, but was shaken, cried, got back on and finished her ride. She's ridden him twice since (this was 3 weeks ago) and now she won't ride him at all. I suggested she ride him today and she burst into tears and ran to her room. She rides her lesson pony 100% fine. Obviously I want this to be fun for her and I understand her confidence in him is gone, even after I explained repeatedly it wasn't the ponys fault. She is doing a partial lease on her lesson pony so she rides him 3 days a week. The plan was to stop the lease since she was doing well with the new pony. I really don't want her to give up on this new pony bc I see a lot of potential in them as a team. Her lease/lesson pony is 28 and winding into retirement. So my question is do I give her more time to come back around to the new pony without pushing it, it just send the new pony back home (it is a care lease)? I don't see the point to feeding a not easy keeper through the winter for her to NOT ride. I know she is only 6 and I want to be understanding, bit we have all been in that place of being intimidated and downright scared after an incident, and working though it is the only way to get over it. Thoughts? ETA link of her lesson/lease pony in a lesson
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...00000069618910
    Last edited by mpsbarnmanager; Oct. 3, 2019, 08:55 AM.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fentre...24774504235082

    http://fentressfieldsequestriancenter.com/

  • #2
    Send pony home. Life is too short to fear riding. Hopefully your child will learn it is not the fault of equine when we hit the ground. I always blamed myself not the horses who shied and dumped me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Can you hop on your horse and go for a walk only trail ride with her on new pony? Or can you walk on foot and she walks next to you on new pony, around the barn yard or neighborhood or just in the arena if that’s where she’s most comfortable? Keep her on the lead line the first few times, then stay close when she’s ready to come off that? Offer lunge lessons until she feels comfortable again.
      Might work, might not.
      My son had a fall when he was almost 7 that shook his confidence for a while. We were both cantering our horses along our driveway with son and pony a little behind me when the neighbors dogs shot out of the woods barking and running toward the horses. My horse flinched, pony hopped sideways and I heard the crash. Neighbor came and got the dogs, pony stopped to graze almost immediately, and my son was physically ok. I dismounted and led both the horses home (with him on the pony, albeit teary eyed and shaken up.)
      His confidence was gone for a good 3 months; didn’t want to canter, was hesitant to go over the logs and small jumps we’d made in our woods. Slowly but surely his confidence crept back and he’s back to jumping and trail blazing, but it took as long as he needed of walking with him, mounted and unmounted, on the lead line at first then off it, and telling him if all he wanted to do was walk trail rides forever, that was fine.
      He really likes riding in his bareback pad so for weeks after the fall I’d put pony on a lead line and jog (or run) next to them until he was happy cantering again. It seemed a little silly since a few weeks prior they were jumping and cantering around the woods on their own, but that’s what it took to have him bubbling with laughter and be happy to be on his pony again. There was no pressure to do anything faster paced or more advanced, and there were weeks where we just walked the trails together.. after a while he’d trot to catch up to my horse and when he was back to small fences in the arena I breathed I sigh of relief.
      So you could try offering to tack up the pony and take your daughter for a walk, or several.
      On the other hand, if she’s not interested in even trying that, she may need something more seasoned.
      Last edited by AppaloosaDressage; Oct. 2, 2019, 08:47 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
        Send pony home. Life is too short to fear riding. Hopefully your child will learn it is not the fault of equine when we hit the ground. I always blamed myself not the horses who shied and dumped me.
        Concur.

        G.
        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't push a six year old that got scared, let the pony go.
          Build her confidence other ways, not the hardest way there is right now, with that pony that scared her so badly.

          Feel lucky that she even wants to keep riding right now, any other horse/pony.

          She can learn to "get over it" when she is older, in other situations.

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree with send the pony home. I haven’t seen too many horses care about jet noise, but given your proximity it’s going to take a while for pony to adjust and your daughters confidence is clearly shaken. Will she ride your TB still?

            Comment


            • #7
              Keep the kid send the pony back

              Comment


              • #8
                Send pony home, get something smaller that she can feel more comfortable on for now to just play around on and hve fun. How big is lease pony?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I came off a pony when I was a child I don't remember what age. I do remember that it was not as traumatic as your daughters fall. I was on bareback asked him to turn one way he went the other and I slipped off at walk, put my arm out in the fall as a lot of young girls do and broke both bones in my wrist.

                  I do remember riding my old shetland with the broken arm and by brother on backwards behind me. Timothy was sent away so I guess I probably had the same reaction as your daughter

                  I just asked Mum, she said we did not own the pony,she sent him back as she didn't trust him. She doesn't remember me having the same reaction as your daughter.

                  If you owned the pony or want to keep the pony I would leave her for months riding what she is happy with and have the pony in training with you or someone else. As he is not yours I would probably send him back.
                  It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by demidq View Post
                    Send pony home, get something smaller that she can feel more comfortable on for now to just play around on and hve fun. How big is lease pony?
                    He's just under 14.2, will measure a pony without shoes. I wanted something big enough a small adult could get on and school if need be.
                    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fentre...24774504235082

                    http://fentressfieldsequestriancenter.com/

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
                      I agree with send the pony home. I haven’t seen too many horses care about jet noise, but given your proximity it’s going to take a while for pony to adjust and your daughters confidence is clearly shaken. Will she ride your TB still?
                      She hasn't asked to lately but probably so. Funny thing is I don't really trust even the TB all THAT much, she stayed on the lunge line 90% of the time. She's fallen off of her, my 17h gelding (I half caught her there) and another lesson pony, so it's not like it's her first fall, but it was HARD, and I do understand why she's scared. It's just disappointing to see her give up on him. But I'm trying to remember it's about her and not what *I* want.
                      http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fentre...24774504235082

                      http://fentressfieldsequestriancenter.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A 13.2/13.3 pony can still be schooled by an adult unless they have an unusually fine frame. She is only 6, let her play for another year or so!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post

                          She hasn't asked to lately but probably so. Funny thing is I don't really trust even the TB all THAT much, she stayed on the lunge line 90% of the time. She's fallen off of her, my 17h gelding (I half caught her there) and another lesson pony, so it's not like it's her first fall, but it was HARD, and I do understand why she's scared. It's just disappointing to see her give up on him. But I'm trying to remember it's about her and not what *I* want.
                          She had a scary fall. It sounds like it’s her first big one. Is she open to a lunge line with the pony? Maybe she will come around. Does she spend time with the pony besides riding?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            just wondering but OP have you set down with daughter to talk about this? My kids, we always planned together what we were going to do regarding their horse ambitions

                            Admittedly what happened to OP's child was one of my fears that was why I left "their" horse with a trainer for long time (well the horse never stopped improving, she just kept getting better and better)

                            But the little mare was also was a hair under 14.2 had been exposed to just about any and everything by the time she came home

                            If what occurred with OP's daughter I really would want to talk with my daughter to see just what she wanted... after-all part of having these horses is to help the kids grow up into adults that can face issues and make choices

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Let go of the pony and give your daughter the 26 Y/O Thoroughbred as a belated birthday present and go horse shopping for yourself.
                              At 26 she may or may not have many more years to spend with him not to be a Debby downer but time is a gift at that age and he seems like he knows his job is to keep his rider safe
                              When your daughter she wants to move up she will let you know.

                              3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375 10582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706 79821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594081 284811174502841027019385.....

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                              • #16
                                You want her to experience the joy of horses, not scare her and make her cry.

                                Send the pony home, and book more lessons on the pony she is comfortable with.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
                                  Hopefully your child will learn it is not the fault of equine when we hit the ground. I always blamed myself not the horses who shied and dumped me.
                                  That’s a little harsh... the kid is 6 and obviously scared.

                                  Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    First of all: she's scared of this pony now. She's only 6. You're not going to change her mind. Send the pony home, especially since it's so easy to do so. Be glad it's only this pony that frightens her and that she still wants to ride the other one.

                                    Second, I'll take a moment to give you my best advice horsey mom to horsey mom, as someone whose daughter fell and lost confidence due to my errors. (My major takeaway is that I learned that in my setting where horses weren't in a regular lesson program, that I needed to lunge every horse every time before she got on, even just a couple of circles, to check in on its energy and responsiveness that day. Even horses that I considered trustworthy and seasoned.) In the end I found it was better to take her to a solid lesson program than to try to teach her at home, even though I have past experience teaching in a lesson barn.

                                    I watched the video and I think that was a lot of pony for your little girl. That pony has a pretty good engine and I can see signs in the videos that he is sometimes more forward than she's comfortable with.

                                    During the videos, you're giving her advice and corrections constantly, and not just on a single topic. I know that's from a place of love, but I also think you're probably giving her too much cognitive load, to ride the pony and also be listening to and reacting to you at that pace. There's a time when you have to interact with a kid that way to keep them safe, and maybe you just happened to be videoing at those times (especially if it was her first ride maybe), but I think it's a good question to ask if you feel like she'd be able to trot around the ring safely and confidently without any words from you, say one whole circuit. If you don't think that would be comfortable then I think this is too much pony for her.

                                    I would also encourage you, if this is not already the normal situation, to have most of her riding in a program where you're not the instructor. Even if you're used to teaching riding, the mother-child dynamic is different from instructor-child and I think kids really benefit when those two roles are held by different people.

                                    Enjoy your daughter and her riding, and remember she has time, plenty of time. At this age, what she needs more than anything is to have fun and be confident. The "good team," the competitions, those will all be in her future if she keeps her love for riding.
                                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I agree with a talk with her about what she wants and more importantly about what her fears are. Perhaps pony needs to go back, but perhaps your daughter needs more time to work through what she wants and her fears. Could you or someone else ride pony some, while your daughter spends more time with the other pony? Maybe watching her pony go with others on board would help her? Also, maybe helping her...slowly...work through this will help her to get over her fears and focus on her goals???

                                      It’s a tough call, but if you can afford them both a little more time to work through things...ultimately, you and your daughter will make the best decision for you all!

                                      Good luck Mama!!!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I've had plenty of falls, my worst was a fall from my sister's horse when he bolted big time, I fell off, broke my ankle but good. I was out of commission for about 7 months and as soon as I was able I went back to my riding lessons (another barn). I wasn't afraid of horses or to ride but had absolutely no desire to get back on my sister's horse.

                                        Your daughter still wants to ride, which is great. You are in a position where you can send the pony back - do so, and continue with the lessons on the lesson/leased pony. She's only 6 so this is the time where she needs to ride something she feels safe and to gain confidence on.

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