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WWYD if this was your child?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post
    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.
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...00000069618910
    The bolded part is my emphasis, because this is what jumped out at me.

    I'm not sure how to phrase this, so bear with me - how much of riding THIS pony is about helping your daughter, and how much is about your and your vision for what they could be, one day, if she would only ride it?

    Clearly, she's afraid of this pony. Not all horses, but this particular one. Forcing her to 'work through it' is likely to backfire. I know you want one she can 'grow into,' but she needs a much smaller pony. My first pony was 11 hands. I was 7. She was small enough for me to handle on my own (still full of dirty tricks, but because of her size they weren't dangerous, just annoying), and I was small enough that I was able to ride her until I was 11.

    Will she get over being afraid of the pony? Maybe, maybe not. Not all horses are right for all riders. Particularly when it's a young, green rider we're talking about. At that point, there is only one kind of horse that's right, and that's the saint - the one they can hop on, love on, feel comfortable on, the babysitter. That's what she needs right now. Maybe in a couple of years, she'll be ready for something a bit more forward, but I don't think now is that time.

    Comment


    • #42
      I thinks ince you can easily give the pony back that is the best thing to do for now.

      Like the pp mentions, I would look for something smaller for a 6 yr old and wouldnt worry about outgrowing a small pony any time soon. My daughter is 13 and still sometimes rides the 13H pony that she used to be scared of due to naughty pony behavior under saddle.

      Comment


      • #43
        After watching the 2nd video, how well does she ride other lesson horses/ponies? The pony she is riding looks to be doing a lot for her, as opposed to her doing rhe riding. As was said above - that is not a critique for a 6 year old. That's exactly what a 6 year old should be doing. But it may make you think she is capable of more than she really is right now - I think weve all had that situation before (when we realize the horse has been more than 50% of the riding package.) Thats the mark of a great lesson horse - otherwise how would we learn?

        I would hold off on leasing anything other than a true beginner's pony if she isn't able to ride other lesson horses as well as this one.

        Comment


        • #44
          I’m a trainer who works with lots of small children.

          Your daughter is TOO YOUNG to expect her to process a discussion about the scary fall and translate that into increased confidence.
          This is not something you can talk through.
          My Advise is to find another pony, an ANCIENT one, and step your expectations way back.

          Dont get hung up on a pony big enough to school with an adult. An ancient, tiny, walk-trot pony is what she needs now.
          something she can look in the eye as she leads it.

          Just like a young horse who has lost confidence jumping after a bad experience, you must BACK WAY UP.
          Give her time to retrace her steps starting from wherever she is comfortable, even if it is just grooming and walking on a lead line with a new pony.
          Have her longe him with you (she holds a small whip).
          Go on neighborhood walks unmounted at first.
          Have her different things on the ground like leading him through a maze of jump poles.


          The current pony pony is a trigger, give him back.
          absolutely do not force her to interact with him, or ever mention that he’s going back because she won’t ride him.
          He just goes back to his owners because they wanted him back, and the new pony needs a home. End of discussion.

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by Arlomine View Post
            I’m a trainer who works with lots of small children.

            Your daughter is TOO YOUNG to expect her to process a discussion about the scary fall and translate that into increased confidence.
            This is not something you can talk through.
            My Advise is to find another pony, an ANCIENT one, and step your expectations way back.

            Dont get hung up on a pony big enough to school with an adult. An ancient, tiny, walk-trot pony is what she needs now.
            something she can look in the eye as she leads it.

            Just like a young horse who has lost confidence jumping after a bad experience, you must BACK WAY UP.
            Give her time to retrace her steps starting from wherever she is comfortable, even if it is just grooming and walking on a lead line with a new pony.
            Have her longe him with you (she holds a small whip).
            Go on neighborhood walks unmounted at first.
            Have her different things on the ground like leading him through a maze of jump poles.


            The current pony pony is a trigger, give him back.
            absolutely do not force her to interact with him, or ever mention that he’s going back because she won’t ride him.
            He just goes back to his owners because they wanted him back, and the new pony needs a home. End of discussion.
            Exactly.
            No matter where you go, there you are

            Comment


            • #46
              Originally posted by Arlomine View Post
              I’m a trainer who works with lots of small children.

              ...

              Absolutely do not force her to interact with him, or ever mention that he’s going back because she won’t ride him.
              He just goes back to his owners because they wanted him back, and the new pony needs a home. End of discussion.
              I completely agree with Arlomine on all counts except I'd deal with the talk differently. 6 year olds can be quite intellectual and I wouldn't send the pony back without explaining some of the simple truths around the pony so she wasn't left with any lingering questions or weird vibes that she was hesitant to bring up.

              I would say that I had thought the pony would be a good fit but I was wrong. He's way too much pony for a 6 year old (generic, not her) and that's my mistake. Maybe he'd work out a few years down the road but now he's not suitable.

              I wouldn't force her to interact but I'd join her in a last bit of grooming and positive time with the pony before he left, to show that it's also not the pony's fault. It's a situational thing and that happens in life.
              One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
              William Shakespeare

              Comment


              • #47
                I agree with previous posters that the pony isn't a good fit at this time.

                Some other random thoughts:
                It may not be the actual fall that has frightened your daughter, it may be the feeling of not being really in control of the pony (?due to his innate forwardness ?).

                The spook/bolt/fall just confirmed to her that she was right to feel out of control. She has good instincts, let her trust them - ESPECIALLY since she's happy to ride other ponies.

                . Who among us WANTS to get right back on a horse we don't trust? If I was sitting on an 18h horse that I felt I had minimal influence over, and it bolted and dumped ME, I wouldn't be in a big hurry to get back on it either, no matter how well it went when a taller, more effective rider had it.

                Your kid is cute as a bug and looks like she'll grow into a lovely rider. Let her have fun with a tiny BTD pony and in a few years she'll be ready for more.



                Last edited by Hej; Oct. 3, 2019, 01:43 PM. Reason: Random numbers popping up in the post 🤔

                Comment


                • #48
                  What everyone said ...

                  And also keep in mind that, at the back of your daughter's mind, it is probably not the fall as much as it is the loss of control that has her terrified, at some deep level.

                  Falling is not the worst thing (and you say she's recovered ok from falls before).

                  Feeling that you can't stop a dangerous situation, that you have no control over what might happen to you, gets down into your soul and can affect your instincts and habits for the rest of your life. And on an equine she knows that such a situation may occur randomly and without warning, with no immediate escape option.

                  Every time she gets in the saddle this anxiety is probably coming back, but maybe not in a way that she can articulate. As was said above, she's too little now to process this. As she's only 6, her body is a bit random anyway, and needs time to develop strength, timing and balance. You don't want to put pressure on her and solidify an anxiety that will be increasingly harder to overcome.

                  If she wants to ride an easy, solid pusher pony that's good. If she doesn't, this can all be revisited in a couple of years. Have faith that the birthday pony isn't the last unicorn that will ever come along.

                  Being a well-rounded athlete is an excellent foundation for learning to ride effectively. Let her get into other sports with lower risks and over the next few years develop her natural skills and strength. In a few years (maybe even a few months! they develop fast at that age) riding will be a completely different and better experience for her.

                  Celebrate her instinct for self-preservation. She didn't feel safe, so she wisely said 'stop'. For the long-term future you want to nurture that instinct for backing out of unsafe-feeling situations. That natural caution tends to go with a good sense of self and a strong personal identity. All excellent qualities to allow to grow!

                  [I just saw the Hej said almost the same thing, posted while I was tinkering around with this post. ]

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #49
                    Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                    After watching the 2nd video, how well does she ride other lesson horses/ponies? The pony she is riding looks to be doing a lot for her, as opposed to her doing rhe riding. As was said above - that is not a critique for a 6 year old. That's exactly what a 6 year old should be doing. But it may make you think she is capable of more than she really is right now - I think weve all had that situation before (when we realize the horse has been more than 50% of the riding package.) Thats the mark of a great lesson horse - otherwise how would we learn?

                    I would hold off on leasing anything other than a true beginner's pony if she isn't able to ride other lesson horses as well as this one.
                    So I totally agree that the lesson pony does a lot for her and pretty much all she has to do is sit there. Some people would say that's good, she doesn't have to worry about him and she can focus on her position and having fun. But. That doesn't teach her to control a pony. She doesn't really have to steer, she just has to stay on the rail and use voice commands and that's that. I think that's part of the disconnect between lessons and riding the new pony at home. The new pony is a good guy, he's 19, he's been there done that. But he's not a lesson horse robot that goes on his own. He wants to be told what to do, and it is a challenge to a point for my daughter. He isn't BAD at all, she just has to tell him, go, turn, whoa, whatever. It might be too much and maybe it does overwhelm her, I've honestly never thought to ask which makes me feel bad. All the lesson horses at this farm are the same way, totally auto pilot because the lessons follow the EXACT same pattern every week. I'd be bored out of my gourd, but I'm not 6. Part of me feels like a lot slides during her lesson, so maybe I do try to cram too much into rides at home. Maybe she can it absorb so much, and I've just never thought too much about that. I will talk with her after school today, she's looking forward to riding the packer pony today . Thanks for all the replies.
                    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fentre...24774504235082

                    http://fentressfieldsequestriancenter.com/

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Sounds like you are on the right track.

                      It also sounds like you are looking at this almost professionally. Just keep in focus at all times that she's just a little girl. She's your daughter, not just your riding student. Don't get too caught up in 'goals'. Let her have a LOT of unstructured fun on her ponies and horses as she grows. That's where people REALLY learn how to ride!

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        That grey pony is wonderful. I would keep your daughter riding him as long as the fates will allow, or until she's actively bored with him. What I love most is that even when she's kicking him through to the canter, his trot still stays soft and quiet instead of getting all runny and scary. That is pure gold in a horse for a beginner.

                        I love how she's able to be independent with him in a ring full of other riders, just taking in the experience. She is going to be safe on him no matter what she does. By contrast, with the other pony, I think she was only safe when both she and the pony were at their best, and no one, especially not a six year old, can be at their best all the time.

                        Most likely she won't be ready to ride with any seriousness until she's at least 9... trust me, save your time and your money and energy for that! IME she won't get a long term advantage going to shows when she's really young, and there's risk of burning her out and making it not the special thing it needs to be for her to really engage if you're thinking there's a future for her on the A circuit.

                        I appreciate your mention of the COTH truth bomb... I've received a few of those in my time and they've been hard to hear but often helped me find a better path. So I feel you, but I also hope you and your daughter will benefit from our hard earned experience.
                        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


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post

                          So I totally agree that the lesson pony does a lot for her and pretty much all she has to do is sit there. Some people would say that's good, she doesn't have to worry about him and she can focus on her position and having fun.Everyone would say that is good- she is 6 But. That doesn't teach her to control a pony. It teaches her the skills to be able to control a pony- like balance. She doesn't really have to steer, she just has to stay on the rail and use voice commands and that's that. I think that's part of the disconnect between lessons and riding the new pony at home. The new pony is a good guy, he's 19, he's been there done that. But he's not a lesson horse robot that goes on his own. He wants to be told what to do, and it is a challenge to a point for my daughter. He isn't BAD at all, she just has to tell him, go, turn, whoa, whatever. It might be too much and maybe it does overwhelm her, I've honestly never thought to ask which makes me feel bad. All the lesson horses at this farm are the same way, totally auto pilot because the lessons follow the EXACT same pattern every week. I'd be bored out of my gourd, but I'm not 6. Part of me feels like a lot slides during her lesson, A lot may slide because the kids are in a lesson, they are younger. You can't expect a 6 year old to have an independent seat and hand, stretch up way tall unless they practice practice practice on saintly ponies. so maybe I do try to cram too much into rides at home. This............ maybe you can let her love on a pony at home, one she can tool around on. It comes off like you are pushing her - and she's 6. Maybe she can it absorb so much, and I've just never thought too much about that. I will talk with her after school today, she's looking forward to riding the packer pony today .This is everything. Everything Thanks for all the replies.
                          Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post

                            So I totally agree that the lesson pony does a lot for her and pretty much all she has to do is sit there.
                            Don't underestimate the importance of this skill - to just sit there - or the time it takes to acquire, especially for a six year old who is still working on gross motor skills as a human, let alone as a rider.

                            Resources like this might be interesting: https://www.parenttoolkit.com/health...al-development
                            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


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post
                              So I totally agree that the lesson pony does a lot for her and pretty much all she has to do is sit there. Some people would say that's good, she doesn't have to worry about him and she can focus on her position and having fun. But. That doesn't teach her to control a pony. She doesn't really have to steer, she just has to stay on the rail and use voice commands and that's that.
                              Maybe she's not ready for more. I wish everyone had access to a saint to develop correct position, feel, and strength before they were ever challenged. Fixing people's bad habits developed as a result of being over-horsed and trying to make the best of it is sad, and hard.

                              Or maybe she just needs more of a bridge to feel comfortable making the decisions. Can she take some private lessons on saint pony so she doesn't have anyone to follow? Can she have a private lesson or free ride where she practices weaving cones or riding a course of trot poles or steering through the intro A dressage test? Maybe a lesson in the paddock instead of the arena? Can she have a free ride on saint pony where no one tells her what to do for 15 minutes and she decides? Expand the comfort zone every so slowly.


                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post
                                My fear with that though is that she will think ponies are disposable and it's ok to get rid of anything she falls off of. Maybe she won't look at it that way but I definitely don't want to give her that impression. I also want her to have fun though. 😬😬😬😬
                                And you are so wrong again if that’s what you are thinking.

                                It actually OK to get rid of a horse/pony when it is NOT suitable. It’s the RIGHT thing to do. It’s the FIRST thing to do.

                                Falling off is dangerous and it is ok for a rider to get rid of a pony/horse because s/he scared of.
                                There is NOTHING wrong with that.

                                You should actually apologize to your kid, tell her you’ve unfortunately picked the wrong pony for her and voilà. It’s ok, it happens, send the pony back.

                                Ireally don't want her to give up on this new pony bc I see a lot of potential in them as a team.
                                She’s 6.
                                She is nowhere near being « a team » with this pony.
                                Forget about that. Forget about your ambitions and your fairy tale stories of cute little superstar who will overcome the naughty pony.
                                That’s not her. That’s not what she wants.
                                Don’t put your child at risk, especially when she said no.
                                ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                Originally posted by LauraKY
                                I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                HORSING mobile training app

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  I agree to leave her on the lesson pony for a while longer. Maybe think of getting an "at home" pony again next summer. When that happens, what I might do to help bridge that gap and increase her confidence is trailer the "home" pony over to the lesson barn for her to have a few lessons on it there, in her comfortable and safe environment.

                                  My son learned at home on a pony who was not very suitable but it was the pony we had. He spent quite a long time on a longe line at the walk and trot only because although he was over 20, the pony liked to buck in the canter. Luckily, I was able to keep it safe except for one time when he got bucked off but I told him the pony must have tripped or something so he wouldn't get too scared. I think he would have progressed faster on a pony who was safer for him. I started trying to seriously teach him at age 4 (he had pony rides before that), and he didn't get to learn to canter until he was 7 and could ride out the small bucks that would eventually come. The experience did give him some good skills which put him ahead of his peers down the road, but to a 6 or 7 year old, getting left behind on what you're allowed to do is a much bigger issue than knowing you'll be a better rider in the long run.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post

                                    She’s 6.
                                    She is nowhere near being « a team » with this pony.
                                    .
                                    really that is dependent upon the child,

                                    Last edited by clanter; Oct. 4, 2019, 12:35 AM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by clanter View Post

                                      really that is dependent upon the child,
                                      Have you watched the videos?
                                      The child said no. and since the fall, doesn’t want to ride it.

                                      The grey lesson horse is so much more suitable for this little girl.
                                      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                      Originally posted by LauraKY
                                      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                      HORSING mobile training app

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post

                                        Have you watched the videos?
                                        The child said no. and since the fall, doesn’t want to ride it.

                                        The grey lesson horse is so much more suitable for this little girl.
                                        no I have not watched Those videos.

                                        I am just saying some kids are very confident on a horse,even at at age six

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          When I first read the post, I was inclined to say to give the pony another try and let your daughter set the pace of the lesson at a walk. But then I looked at the photos and the video and I have to agree with the posters who say that the new pony is just WAY too much pony for your daughter. He appears to be a sweet, saintly soul, and I'd get on him in a heartbeat myself. I can see why you like him.

                                          But your daughter appears to be small for her age, at least in terms of her leg length. She does look uncomfortable. Even if she had a solid skill set, she doesn't have enough leg or strength to ride the pony properly. And even if she wasn't afraid, it's easy to pick up bad habits riding an inappropriately sized mount.

                                          I agree that a smaller pony would be more appropriate. Since you can easily return the large pony, I'd look into a small or a medium she can groom and lead comfortably. The ideal is a pony adults don't need to keep in schooling shape, but a small pony can always be lunged, or ridden by a small adult or more confident young teen if really necessary.

                                          You mention she's ridden your horse comfortably, but that could be because she's been on a lunge line. I also agree the fact that she doesn't have to do much on the elderly lesson pony isn't a bad thing at all. For a child that age (hell, let's be honest, for some beginner adults), that may be what she needs right now, just a sense of safety on a horse.

                                          I only started riding seriously as an adult, but when I did first start riding at age 9, for some reason I was put on some huge horses ("he's a gentle giant") and it really shook my confidence level. I actually had to beg to ride ponies, and that was a game-changer for me as a rider. I'm not sure why people discount appropriateness of size for new riders, sometimes. It's true that small, strong, experienced riders don't always have issues compensating for their size, but if you're learning to ride, it's hard enough to learn to manage everything else..
                                          Last edited by Impractical Horsewoman; Oct. 4, 2019, 10:13 AM.
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