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riding student not listening

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  • riding student not listening

    Well, this is quite random but I have a riding student who is trying out one of my sale horses (not a lesson horse). She feels as if it's her horse and she knows it best although she has only ridden her a limited number of times. I have ridden this horse for a very long time and know the mare's tricks inside and out, and got her winning in the hunter ring. Whenever I explain how my student needs to ride this mare (the mare is very sensitive in the mouth), she says "it doesn't work". I do believe that things don't work for everyone, but I am certain she is not trying at all. I am very clear about it, so it is not a communication error. I have had problems like this before, but after a little talk the riders agreed to listen. However, that is not working with this kid. Any advice on how to make her listen to me? I am about to stop letting her ride that mare before she ruins her (still somewhat green.) And I'm afraid I might have to let her go as a student as I can't take on that kind of behavior.

  • #2
    How about sending her back to riding the lessons horses and not this particular sales horse? I don't think there is anything wrong with saying in a tactful way that you think it is not the best match.

    If she has the same problem on lesson horses (ie she doesn't listen to your suggestions), then have a serious sit-down conversation with her. Depending on how old she is, you may want to consider talking to the parents in private as well merely to express your concerns.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by hunterroy View Post
      I am about to stop letting her ride that mare before she ruins her (still somewhat green.) And I'm afraid I might have to let her go as a student as I can't take on that kind of behavior.
      I guess first of all you need to be sure that she's understanding what you are telling her to do. Maybe the problem lays with her not comprehending or you aren't being clear. If you are sure it's not a situation where finding another way to teach the concept might be the issue...

      If it were me, and I knew it wasn't a communication snafu, the first time I got "It doesn't work" would result in her getting off. Now. With plenty of words about why The second time she'd be off the horse and out of the program. Bye.

      I know it stinks to think about losing a client, but some folks turn out to just not be worth it when it comes to your sanity and your horse's sanity.

      I've had a client pull this kind of stuff. Talking and explaining didn't work. They are no longer a client. Sometimes someone just isn't "getting" it, which is my fault as an instructor. And sometimes someone is plain old stubborn and disrespectful and unaccountable. The former you can work with. The latter not so much.
      "Aye God, Woodrow..."

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      • #4
        Let her go. Maybe she will listen then. But definitely pull her from that horse.

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        • #5
          Riding students who repeatedly fail to listen to their instructor can wind up risking themselves, the horses, and other riders if in a group. I agree with those who say to at least pull her from the horse. If this is an ongoing pattern, it might be time to dismiss her as a student.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by hunterroy View Post
            I am about to stop letting her ride that mare before she ruins her (still somewhat green.) And I'm afraid I might have to let her go as a student as I can't take on that kind of behavior.
            Doesn't the HORSE mean anything to you? Do what is best for the horse. As for the "student", i can't call her that when she won't OBEY you. Just someone getting rides...

            ETA: When you tell her to do something and she doesn't do it, telling you "it doesn't work" and you KNOW she didn't even try, you're being PLAYED.
            Last edited by nightsong; Aug. 8, 2012, 04:25 AM.

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            • #7
              This seems like a no brainer.Back on lesson horses. If she still can't listen, then drop her.

              Why risk her messing up your sales horse?

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              • #8
                I know you hate to lose a client, but this one not worth it.

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                • #9
                  As someone who has had to deal with the after effects of a rider not listening to her instructor and ruining a pony's once-soft mouth, get her off that horse immediately. Not worth spoiling a nice horse, for sure.

                  And when she asks WHY you won't let her ride "her" horse anymore, explain as calmly as possible and be honest. If the rider won't accept it, tell her she can go elsewhere. Why have a student when the student won't listen to you? I know nobody wants to lose students but it won't do any of you any good.

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                  • #10
                    go with your instincts. she may not ride the horse, and you might need to let her go if she refuses to follow instruction. safety and liability are the reasons.

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                    • #11
                      I had an old trainer who used to shoot us with the hose if we didn't listen in a lesson. Makes you smarten up right quick.

                      I agree with everybody else, drop her if she keeps acting like a brat.

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                      • #12
                        Ugh. If you are sure she understands what you want and is just refusing to do it, get tough with her. Take her off the horse. Talk straight: "This is MY horse, not yours. Since you refuse to make an effort to ride her the way I ask you to, you are off the horse. My suggestions aren't working because YOU aren't doing it right." If you want to, you can put her back on lesson horses and give her a chance to redeem herself, by showing you that she is making an effort...if she give you attitude "fire" her.

                        I'm assuming student is a minor (at least I hope she is, given her immaturity), you could also try talking to the parents and explaining why you are taking her off the horse.

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Canaqua;6486109]Ugh. If you are sure she understands what you want and is just refusing to do it, get tough with her. Take her off the horse. Talk straight: "This is MY horse, not yours. Since you refuse to make an effort to ride her the way I ask you to, you are off the horse. My suggestions aren't working because YOU aren't doing it right." If you want to, you can put her back on lesson horses and give her a chance to redeem herself, by showing you that she is making an effort...if she give you attitude "fire" her. [QUOTE]

                          This, more or less. I had a student that was pulling the "I can't- it doesn't work" thing with me, on her own horse. I tried to get her to explain what she was doing, and what sort of reaction she was getting, but she failed to do that correctly. So I laid it out- "I'm giving you the best instruction I can. Each time I provide an instruction or suggestion, you tell me you CAN'T, and that it doesn't work. I'm afraid I have run out of things that you can do, or that will work for you, so I suggest you find another instructor who can provide instruction that fits more with you and your horse's capabilities." I dismissed her early, and since she was a minor, she couldn't ride without an adult in the ring, so she had to call her mother to pick her up early.

                          I received a text from her mother with an apology about an hour later, and an apology from the student the next day when she texted to schedule her next lesson. She did a complete 180, too. She was never a bad rider, just a grumbly teenager (and I say this as someone who practically invented the concept of "emo" ).

                          But yes, get her off your horse, first.

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                          • #14
                            Why don't you just tell her that she rides the horse your way or not at all? Seems pretty simple to me!

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                            • #15
                              "My horse, My rules: Off the mouth or off the horse... last chance." And stick to your guns.
                              Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...
                              http://www.wvhorsetrainer.com

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                              • #16
                                Adolescence. This too shall pass. Your game, your rules. Make your expectations clear, let her know the consequences up front, and follow through.

                                I'm dealing with one right now who's pushing her limits and is heading for (another) sit down conversation with mom present, to clarify expectations and spell out consequences. At her last semi-private lesson I basically told her that if she couldn't get herself under control, she could walk around the ring for the remainder of the hour and I'd give all my attention to the other student; she chose that option. Next time the choice will be participate in class or put your horse away.

                                Having watched a whole bunch of teenagers over the years, good, bad and ugly, they have to go through the know-it-all stage in order to come back out of it. They don't have to do it with your horse, in your lesson, or necessarily at your barn. Some of the worst know-it-all 15-year-olds return as motivated college students and wonderful young adults. Nobody stays 15 forever, thank goodness.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by betsyk View Post
                                  Next time the choice will be participate in class or put your horse away.
                                  I've had that happen and girl put horse away while having a fit and crying in a you can't make me put away my own horse kind of way. Her mother was THRILLED and informed daughter "Oh, yes she can!".

                                  Ahh, the teenage years. I don't miss them and wonder how I survived my own hormonal highs and lows.
                                  "Aye God, Woodrow..."

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                                  • #18
                                    Pull her off the horse. Are you that desperate for a possible sale that you're willing to jeopardize the horse's training & welfare because of one bratty kid?

                                    I find it hard to believe you even have to ask this question.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by khorsem View Post
                                      Why don't you just tell her that she rides the horse your way or not at all? Seems pretty simple to me!
                                      Yep.

                                      I would have a CTJ talk with this rider. Sounds like a spoiled brat in desperate need of boundaries. I would also ask why just in case it's lack of ability.
                                      Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

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                                      • #20
                                        Take her off the horse. Back to schoolies.
                                        Flickr

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