• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Unsafe kids in the barn, need curriculum for a barn safety class?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Unsafe kids in the barn, need curriculum for a barn safety class?

    Well, I'm mostly a lurker here but I've read some amazing advice given by the people on this board so now that I'm in need of some sound advice myself I figured I'd try here.

    Okay, this may start off as half rant/half plea for help. Please bear with me...

    I board at a small, quiet, adult barn. Been there 12 years, work there, my mother boards there, my step-father boards there, all the boarders are good friends, BO is like family to everyone, it's a wonderful environment. A far cry from the boarding horror stories you hear about. Like I said, I've been there 12 years with never an unhappy day. Horses are happy, healthy, well-cared for and everyone cares for all the horses as they would their own. It really is a wonderful albeit small and far-from-fancy place.

    Now though, the BO has leased one of her horses to a 12 year old girl. Total beginner. My mother has leased one of her horses to the 12 year old girl's 11 year old friend, also total beginner. 11 year old girl has an 8 year old sister whom I am letting spend time with my old, semi-retired gelding, also total beginner. All the parents are non-horse people. It's creating an, um, unsafe environment. In the last week a normally dead-quiet gelding (leased by the 12yo) has violently broken 3 sets of cross-ties. 12yo brings all kinds of friends to the barn and gets out horses for them to ride without BO's permission (happens while the BO is away at shows). She tries to use towels-yes, beach towels- as saddle blankets, puts the wrong tack on horses, has broken a few of the BO's bridles, gets into everyone else's stuff, ties horses by the bridle, leaves stall doors open for horses to wander out, I could go on all day. The other two girls are very repectful and always ask before doing anything, and always look to adults for guidance. They take no liberties with the horses. I have noticed a ringleader mentality with the 12yo though as she encourages the other two to follow her lead and shirk the guidance of the adults.

    All the *Old Guard* at the barn is in agreement, we need to set the 12yo girl straight and really enforce some ground rules with her. We don't, however, want to single her out. We've decided the best way to go about it would be to have a safety class for all the girls. Like print out some basic guidelines for them to follow, have them sign a safety agreement and impress upon them that while we want them to enjoy their time at the barn they need to be wary of the safety of themselves, others and the horses while also being respectful of other people's property and horses. All the barn regulars are on board with it and the parents are in agreement also. And of course the BO although she won't be present (super-busy show schedule). I'm a tad miffed she isn't being a little more involved but it is what it is.

    So our little class is being held this Thursday. I'm in the process of putting some material together for the girls and I've got the basics addressing the major safety issues I've witnessed like wrong tack on horses, unsafe handling, using horses and tack without permission, etc.

    Can anyone think of anything to add? I've not got a lot of experience with kids not being a parent myself. Maybe those of you with kids or that give beginner lessons could give me some guidance? How do you wrangle the little buggers around the barn and impress the importance of safety into their minds? I just can't handle going for a relaxing evening at the barn and winding up running after this girl preventing accidents anymore. I'm at my wits end. Any and all help and suggestions would be appreciated I'd like to also add that I'm not an instructor and really have no pony in this race so go easy on me. I'm just a boarder concerned with the welfare of all involved and want to see this develop into a safe, happy, long-term situation for everyone involved-even the kids. I've also been at the barn the longest so it's kinda falling into my lap. Sorry this turned out so long and thank you for reading.

  • #2
    Don't be afraid to take off the kid gloves with the kid who needs to be straightened out - if you have to make an example of her to keep the two others on the right path, DO IT. You might just be saving someone's horse (or someone else) from injury. A lot of kids that age don't get subtle messages; they need to be told straight on when they are doing right - or not. And, don't be afraid to catch them doing right either....praise works wonders.
    Dee
    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
    http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh so been there and done this!!!

      http://ridinginstructoru.com/index.php/barn-safety-tips

      There used to be this awesome poster that showed a picture of a person leading a horse correctly, picking the feet correctly, sitting on the horse (with helmet) and grooming. I can't find it anymore and I wish I could.

      http://www.equisearch.com/horses_rid...s_kids_052908/

      There are a few safety videos out there that are 1 - 2 minutes long and then have the kids lead the horse through an obstacle course. Giving points to the safest one. At the barn DD and I ride at children aren't allowed to bridle horses and any child under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent for all horsey adventures. Clueless parents are shown the videos with their kids and the kids can help the adult do it correctly if they understand it.
      Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
      Originally Posted by alicen:
      What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

      Comment


      • #4
        See if you can get you hands on a pony club level D book. That should give you all kinds of ideas. They are usually available a tack or book stores.

        Comment


        • #5
          As the barn owner has leased her horse to the 12 year old ring leader I feel it is her responsibility to talk to the girls. It will have more impact coming from her. Since you and your mother own the other 2 horses you have the right to lay down the law. Make up rules that will be followed or the riding will END!

          The BO should take responsibility for the kids instruction as it is causing her long time boarder to be stressed and unhappy. That's the first step to losing clients. If she doesn't take this seriously, I know you said she is busy, it just shows how much she doesn't value you boarders.
          "Your best can be worn at any length"- Jason Mraz

          Comment


          • #6
            First off, I always have kids wear a helmet in the barn around horses. My little quirk!

            Now onto the question at hand:

            One thing I've had some luck with turning beginners into law-abiding-productive-barn-citizens-I-like-to-ride-with is to teach 'steps' to do things. Right down to turning on the lights when you come in the barn and turning off the lights when you leave.

            As you are not going to be giving regular lessons to the girls where they can practice the 'steps', write them out so they and, more importantly, the parents, can follow them.

            I tell the parents that once the kids learn the 'steps', they are the same 'steps' they will use their whole lives no matter what barn they are at or what horse they ride.

            Having the 'steps' ensures that they use the same tack from the same place every time they ride. They put the tack back in the same order exactly the same way every time. They get the brushes and put them back exactly the same spot. Get the idea? They do the same things the same way so that it becomes second nature. If it is possible to put the horse's name above their tack, that can also be helpful.

            In addition to the steps, I also talk a little bit about horse vision, body language and herd dynamics. Just enough so that the kids and their parents get the idea about why a horse would be startled if you popped out of nowhere, what a horse's pinned back ears mean, why it is important to shut the stall door.

            Good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you follow this link http://www.das.psu.edu/4h/horses/hor...safety-program you will find a ton of resources.
              ... _. ._ .._. .._

              Comment


              • #8
                How about also having a chat with the concerned parents of that 12yo? It is not because parents are clueless about horse that they are clueless about safety, rules, etc.

                How can a barn full of adults can't just say NO and reprimand accordingly?

                And please don't answer that they are doing so when no ones there because kids shouldn't be left alone unsupervised. Especially the ones known to cause trouble...

                I don't really see the point of doing a 'classday' for that. State out loud the rules, you can even write it down for them to study it at home (and keep the parents informed) and Voilà!

                Also, parents shouldn't drop their kids and their numerous friends at the barn thinking BO and other boarders have to look after them... MHO
                ~ 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

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks all! Great suggestions! The pony club manual is wonderful, thanks for reminding me of that. We are also going to discuss punishments for not being safe, the one I have in mind is if I see a kid causing a potentially dangerous situation I will untack the horse they are using and put it up for the evening. After all, they are there to ride so I think that would be a pretty good motivator. I was also thinking about holding a safety contest and with a board where they get a gold star for every evening of safe behavior. At the end of the month the kid with the best track record gets a little shopping trip to TSC to pick out a new halter and lead. Good idea or taking it too far?

                  As for the BO, sigh. I wish she would be more involved. It is hectic for her right now though and she is still adjusting from the loss of her husband of nearly 50 years earlier this year. Like I said, it is what it is and I love her dearly. She's went out of her way many times over the years to give my horses the best care and always been more than understanding whenever I've needed her to so her absence in dealing with this isn't a huge issue for me. I think my annoyance comes more from my own inability to wrangle in the little ones. I'm a fish out of water when it comes to kids.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Alibi, you are correct. I will not deny the parents are not enforcing safety and common sense as they should. But like I said I really don't want to single out one kid, and the one kid is the source of the problem. The other kids are also new to horses (as are the parents) so I figured a safety class would maybe be a good way to get everyone involved on the same page. Maybe all of them would benefit from a little knowledge? I thought it might be a good way to reel in the one that's a little too big for her breeches and prevent the others from developing bad habits. The parents would benefit from this also I feel...when I was there Friday the mother of the 12yo was trying to ride the BO's lesson horse in a twisted wire snaffle (he goes in a french link) with a western saddle (that didn't fit, plus the horse is an english horse and we don't have a western saddle that fits him) with the saddle postioned so far back over the horse's back she would have been sitting on his kidneys. With a towel for a saddle pad. Her kid had saddled the horse for her and she was along for the ride. Poor judgement on the parent's part? Absolutely. Horrified when I pointed out what was wrong and what could happen to herself and the horse as a result? She was. I don't think have bad intentions, they are just true beginners and they have not been properly explained the boundaries they need to abide by. That was a failure on our part that I am trying to rectify.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You all sound like a wonderful, kind, caring barn family - don't let these naughty kids ruin it! Keep your united force and lay down the law now! These kids are old enough, they certainly know better than to touch anything that doesn't belong to them. This isn't horse specific - this is just plain old bad behavior. They should not be at the barn without their parents, and there should certainly not be other children there! I would have your safety meeting, make it clear these are the rules we all follow, and then follow thru with the consequences - no riding/no horse time for blatent rule breaking. I would not reward good behavior - having a horse leased for you at such a young age is reward!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by saddlebum122 View Post
                        Poor judgement on the parent's part? Absolutely. I don't think have bad intentions, they are just true beginners and they have not been properly explained the boundaries they need to abide by. That was a failure on our part that I am trying to rectify.
                        The parent didn't had poor judgement. The parent doesn't know nothing about horses, (visibly neither the kids...)therefore don't have any judgement on any thing about it! You guys are the one judging and inforcing what is good or wrong.

                        Beginners should take lessons and never be left alone with horses, especially kids. Point blank! And you are doing the right thing to rectify it ASAP!

                        What about listing/tagging equipments that fits with each horses so no more 'mistakes'? How about lessons in general? And a rule that would state the tack should be checked by a knowledgeable adult before each ride? I couldn't care less about someone using a towel as a pad, pads only prevent the saddle from getting dirty and I've ride without a pad...but the girth being loose or wrongly adjusted might concern me just a tad more...(especially if you said the saddle was way off where it should have been...)

                        Would you give a 12yo kid your truck keys for a little unsupervised drive? Same goes with horses.

                        BTW, do you have any, or those kids, insurance plans covering all this?
                        ~ 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

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Alibi- Yes, the BO has necessary insurance. Equine Inherent Risk law is also posted at the gate and both barn enterances and liability release forms are included in leasing/boarding contracts and are required to be signed by all guests (although I've found myself chasing down the 12yo's guests to make them sign on 2 seperate occasions. I've since told her and her mother no more guests for now). As of now I'm pretty much just going up there for my evening feedings and walking into train-wreck after train-wreck of loose horses, broken cross-ties and tack strewn about. When I am up there to meet the other kids and supervise their barn visits I feel like I'm constantly running interference between them and the 12yo. The 11yo and 8yo really aren't a problem but I am concerned about them getting injured in a situation the other girl creates or them possibly beginning to follow her lead. But so far they have been nothing but courteous and even helpful with barn chores.

                          As for lessons, that is something that needs to be worked out. The girl leasing my mother's horse is a fast learner and very respectful and I think will do well with informal lessons from us. The smaller girl is just being led around on my old guy, pretty much just letting her get on the horse as a courtesy. She's just a sweet little kid that wants to sit on a horse and her mom doesn't even bring her there unless she knows I'm going to be at the barn. The other one that-yes, should be the BO's problem-really needs some lessons from a certified instructor that can handle her personality. I am neither certified nor do I honestly want to deal with this kid. Bringing in an outside instructor is something I will be strongly suggesting to her mother. None of the kids are interested in showing at this point but I am also going to suggest they all join a 4H club ran by a friend of mine who has over 25 years horse experience and 5 children of her own.

                          How do these ideas sound? And thank you for taking me to task and giving me some food for thought. I have a tendency to be a bit of a pushover.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As a barn owner who has had boarders, past manager of a co-op barn and mother of kids who were once tweens, my advice is to absolutely single out the ringleader and let her know that her actions will not be tolerated. You cannot allow one 12 year old to damage the positive barn atmosphere you have enjoyed for so many years, and she is putting all of you...and the horses...in danger with her behavior. And if the other kids are being bullied into following her, it is not fair to paint them with the same brush, but whatever the case may be, you must squash this behavior right now before one of the horses is injured or one of you or the BO has a lawsuit on your hands if a kid sneaks off on your horse and gets hurt. If the kids have no experience and there isn't a lesson program at your barn, it is really not an appropriate setting for them.

                            But if someone is willing to take it on, a simple safety class is a great idea for the kids once you make it clear to Miss Ringleader that any more behavior like that and she's out. I highly recommend using the United States Pony Club D and C Manuals as the basis for your lessons, as USPC is a safety-first organization.

                            Good luck. Hope it all works out for you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              First set the kids up for success. You can't expect them to know what is right unless you show them and I would bet once is not enough.

                              Assign a saddle, bridle, brushes etc to each horse. Label all and the kids must know to use only Smitty's stuff on Smitty - good practice for future as well. No other equipment, tack boxes etc are for their use except in the event of a first aid emergency that you have taught them to handle.

                              If it was just the BOs horse you have no control and might only be able to ignore. But you have given the other two kids use of your animals as well so you are right to step in. This will absolutely affect the vibe at the barn and you do have to be more present/aware about the horses. I'd start by setting up some rules that the horses aren't available without an adult around. Make sure they understand how your animals are to be handled and treated and the punishment for not following through is loss of use of the horse for some time unless it is truely a mistake

                              It's about the safety of the kids, the horses they are using, the other horses and you

                              I've always found it easiest if you lay down the law and be consistent. I Still can't walk behind a horse without running my hand along it or bridle/unbridle without having something around their neck - first lessons from my first barn.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                This is such a hard situation. I could have written this post, except my problem is 2 14yo girls and a 12yo boy. What is it about tween girls and the herd mentality, I'll never know.

                                A huge part of the problem is that teens and kids simply don't have the capacity to understand the long-range consequences of bad decisions, and do risky things because of it. They simply aren't developmentally capable...

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by saddlebum122 View Post
                                  liability release forms are included in leasing/boarding contracts and are required to be signed by all guests (although I've found myself chasing down the 12yo's guests to make them sign on 2 seperate occasions. I've since told her and her mother no more guests for now).
                                  If guests are minors, this is an issue. Minors can't sign a release, contract, etc. If the kids are going to be allowed to bring guests, the parents of said guests need to come along the first time and sign the paperwork.

                                  Imagine the nightmare when child guest gets hurt and parent says "I never said my kid was allowed to ride!"
                                  Flickr

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There are some great safety downloads/worksheets here: http://www.hm.ponyclub.org/HM_Just_For_Ds.html

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm a beginner teacher at a lesson barn. I also have children. My advice is to direct those kids to a lesson barn, because they will have a more complete, more fun experience. At a lesson barn they will be with other "little devils" that love horses too. But it will be a structured setting, which, IMHO, is what kids need around horses. No matter how quiet a horse is, something can go wrong.

                                      If there is no lesson barn available, then you and the other boarders are the their instructors by default. That being said, it is often very effective to coopt the ringleader and make them the responsible one. She obviously shows leadership qualities, so divert them from mischief to keeping the others in line.
                                      But, first, you or whomever, must teach her the correct way to do things, as well as set limits on what she is allowed to do, and involve her parent also. The other posters have already given you great resources.

                                      Having kids around, means that everyone has to watch out. Its not that they are there to be bad, but kids always stretch their boundaries, that's a part of growing up. If no one wants to tackle it, then perhaps you need to rethink including them at your barn.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think your class is a great idea, and I think your idea for rewarding safe behavior is a good one. But the reward doesn't have to be as formal as gold stars or a gift certificate or anything. Be careful with that kind of stuff, because kids can be jealous.

                                        I was a bad little kid once. I know, hard to believe, but it's true. I would never have admitted it at the time, but I acted up because I desperately wanted attention. My (extremely hardworking) parents were uninvolved with my after-school activities, and just like the kid in your scenario, would drop me off and leave it up to the adults in charge to handle everything.

                                        I always liked learning something new, even mucking stalls, because the trainer/barn owner would take me aside, one-on-one, and show me how to do it. I really looked up to her (still do!) and it felt awesome to be noticed by such a fine horsewoman.

                                        So my advice would be: When the kid does something wrong, show her how to do it correctly! Then, next time you see her following safety rules on her own, tell her good job or give her some kind of positive attention. This kid obviously craves it!

                                        Good luck, sounds like you have your hands full
                                        Last edited by The Centaurian; Oct. 5, 2010, 01:29 PM.
                                        The journey is the destination.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X