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FINAL UPDATE. Facing a Sad Reality, Your Child & Horses

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  • FINAL UPDATE. Facing a Sad Reality, Your Child & Horses

    Just sad and could use a COTH shoulder to cry on.

    I've reached the point where I can't ignore reality anymore. My DD really is, in so many ways, a wonderful young lady. She's worked hard in school, has a good head on her shoulders, and has never given us any trouble.

    But her disposition SUCKS, and I absolutely cringe at the way she treats her horse. She's NOT abusive. But her frustration level is several shades BELOW zero, and if things don't go her way, its always the horse's fault, or my fault, never her own. There is no patience, its all about her ego. I really don't think she'll ever gracefully accept that setbacks just happen!

    She's a very good rider, but frankly I'm tired of paying for HER lessons and worrying about HER horse, and trying to make it all work for them, while my own horse and riding skills slowly go down the toilet. I don't want to sell him out from under her, but I also can't stand to see such a sweet guy be so taken for granted and treated like less than the wonderful soul he is. And now she's about to go into the workforce and says she expects to take on his expenses and assume full control over him, and I'm in a panic, because I just don't think she cares enough to really be a 'good horse mommy', and the guilt will kill me, but I don't want to be a control freak either.

    I'm very frank with her about her attitude, I'm not the type to pretend everything is wonderful. When she's a beoutch, I call her on it. I've suggested as diplomatically as possible that she might want to 1/2 lease him or consider selling him, which will give her more freedom. He's a nice horse. A little green, but easy to ride, and she swears she LOVES working with the babies the most, but then gets irritated when he doesn't act like a push button horse.

    So I feel I have only 2 choices. I can go the tough love route, sell or lease the horse and and cut her out of my horse life. She'll resent me for it the rest of my life, but I'll feel better about doing right by the horse. Or, I can just let go completely and look the other way when she's unkind and impatient and it breaks my heart.

    How do you give up on either the kid or the horse when you feel they're both your responsibility.

    UPDATE: Just wanted to let all know that DD has received a job offer. Start date is pending a security clearance. She is also still looking while she waits. Things have gotten MUCH better, especially the attitude! Mom is being more businesslike about our arrangement, and its made a huge difference. Hopefully all that is left is to get her some income rolling in so she can take over expenses for her horse.
    Last edited by razalter; Aug. 25, 2010, 11:47 AM. Reason: Update

  • #2
    How about a third set of eyes on the situation?

    Your daughter may be reacting to something else in her life when she acts frustrated with the horse.
    Find if that is so and what it is and then you may have a chance to help both, her and the horse.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow tough position, but right now the horse is under your control. I think she may learn how to act if her horse got taken away.

      I am young, and I am not a mom, So I have no experience there, but I do know that it straightened me up if my parents threatened to take my horse away.

      Stay strong, you will get through this. You can cry here!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Oh, she is definitely frustrated with life in general right now. Four years working her butt off in college to get 2 degrees with a 3.8 GPA,and not a job offer in sight. Its one of the reasons I'm trying so hard to be supportive, but at some point she just has to learn that she can not take all of her frustrations out on me, her horse, her dad, the cats and the dog. I understand that she's ready to grow up and get on with her life, she worked hard in school to get into her chosen career, but, still, she has a lot to be thankful for. Even with no immediate job prospects, she has a family who is willing and able to give her moral and financial support, she graduated from college debt free, I pay her to take minimal care of the horses for the summer, so at the moment her time is her own to job hunt and work with her horse, and hang out by the pool with her friends. Wish my life were so tough, .

        I just feel so helpless to find an answer that will work for both her and the horse, and I'm ready to just stop trying. I've put my own ambitions on hold for 6 years now, and all I get for it is the attitude that "if you know so much, why are YOU doing it?'.

        Because all my time, money, and energy have been spent on trying to make HER horse life perfect.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't suppose you could find a trainer that would break it off on her whenever she's like that to her horse?

          Maybe you should video her and show her just how UGLY it is?

          But you are right to worry about her horse. Why bother being diplomatic? Tell her attitude improves or the next time she unfairly punishes her horse, he's gone. Nothing else seems to be working. And she won't change if there are no real consequences.

          SCFarm
          The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

          www.southern-cross-farm.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Riding is an earned priviledge and not a given. The horse is a living being and we must be kind and considerate in their handling/riding.
            I used to come down hard on my kid and there were a few times where I told him point blank to get off the horse. He didn't follow or listen to instruction because it came from mom.
            We NEVER take it out on the horse. He isn't a machine but a living being. I didn't let him ride for a week. When there is an error in riding 99.9% of the time it is rider error. We don't blame our horse especially if he is a well trained mount for your kid to learn from.
            He had to learn respect for me and for his horse and treat him better. I think he grew from the experience. I also got him lessons on other horses with a coach just for him. That seemed to help too.
            I'd lay down some ground rules for sure.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm very frank with her about her attitude, I'm not the type to pretend everything is wonderful. When she's a beoutch, I call her on it. I've suggested as diplomatically as possible that she might want to 1/2 lease him or consider selling him, which will give her more freedom. He's a nice horse. A little green, but easy to ride, and she swears she LOVES working with the babies the most, but then gets irritated when he doesn't act like a push button horse.

              So I feel I have only 2 choices. I can go the tough love route, sell or lease the horse and and cut her out of my horse life. She'll resent me for it the rest of my life, but I'll feel better about doing right by the horse. Or, I can just let go completely and look the other way when she's unkind and impatient and it breaks my heart.
              If she's a minor and you paid for the horse...no need to diplomatically suggest anything.
              Law down the law in black and white and leave out every single shade of grey.
              Not really tough love so much as a big bite of reality.
              She earns the horse with her attitude towards the horse. Sit down and explain horsemanship to her. Not riding. Not training. Not being an equestrian. Horsemanship.
              The rider *earns* the riding time, the cost of the sport and the horse itself by treating it right in and out of the saddle. If the rider can not do this 100% of the time without frustration, the rider forfits the animal.
              No need to be mean about it, just explain it calmly. If she can't control her emotions and can't take the time and be humble enough to understand horses are not out to make her look bad and that it's 90% the rider's fault for the animals' misunderstanding then she doesn't need to have a horse at this time. Not until she matures enough to handle the emotional side of the sport instead of just the physical one.

              Also film her riding, a ride that has all of her emotions on display. Wait 2 days (for her to forget the ride a bit) and sit her down and watch it with her...point out her overly emotional responses to normal green horse behavior and/or unclear riding cues. Then calmly explain that the horse will be leased out to a more sympathetic rider so it's training continues on a positive note and that if she wants to lesson with a trainer until she learns some self control you'll allow that for now and that you hope she can grow and mature as a rider enough to get her horse back.

              Never look the other way when a child is mistreating animals. bring it to their full attention...weather the emotional storm that might happen when teens are given the truth they don't want to hear...later discuss it adult to growing adult and let it be a learning experience for her. That her emotional responses will have serious consquences in the real world and she needs to control them. That empathy is necessary and not only when she;s in a good mood. And that what MOM says...goes. Period.
              And no, she won't hate you for life. She might say she will. She won't. They rarely do...many this age just thrive on drama. You'll be doing Good Mom work and she'll be learning Good Horsemanship skills.
              You jump in the saddle,
              Hold onto the bridle!
              Jump in the line!
              ...Belefonte

              Comment


              • #8
                lemme guess.... 15 years old?

                Something happens to girl's hormones at 15 that makes them evil. She needs a stranger to reality check her attitude. Nothing like some random stranger yanking you off your horse and setting your 'tude straight.
                www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                chaque pas est fait ensemble

                Comment


                • #9
                  Per the OP's second post, her daughter is a college graduate.
                  <><

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    wanna adopt me? I'll promise to be kind to your horses!

                    Yes she has a lot to be thankful for and she needs to address the frustrations...before she takes it out on her (future) child , a (future) husband, someone at the job she'll eventually get. Or if she can't do that...maybe still the horse, the dog or cat.

                    Learning that bad behavior has results is an important lesson.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry mom, but she sounds like a spoiled brat. Quit giving her everything she wants. I think the lack of appreciation for her horse comes from not having to work for it. I've seen it a million times. Find the horse a new home and toughen up with your kid. You'll be doing her a big favor in the end.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        At first I thought you were talking about a 13 year old child!! Then I read on, she is not a child. She is an adult and behaves like a 13 year old out of control teenager. I'm sorry, the horse sounds lovely and like a good boy, but if you allow her to keep it, it is at her mercy and can't defend itself.

                        I think you are responsible for the weaker being, the one who has even less control over its life than your daughter! She needs to straighten up and do what is right by the horse.

                        I don't have children, but your daughter is not a child, what is she going to do when she does get a job and gets frustrated with co-workers or managers? Throw a fit? I'm sure you are proud of her accomplishments at school but she is not in control of her emotions. There is no place for that kind of stuff with horses. They don't understand everything we want, they don't "do" things to piss us off, and deserve only our best.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                          lemme guess.... 15 years old?

                          Something happens to girl's hormones at 15 that makes them evil. She needs a stranger to reality check her attitude. Nothing like some random stranger yanking you off your horse and setting your 'tude straight.
                          Nah... she's 21! If she were 15 I'd be sending her butt to her room sans phone, tv, and computer, and make her read Klimke or something.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by springer View Post
                            Sorry mom, but she sounds like a spoiled brat. Quit giving her everything she wants. I think the lack of appreciation for her horse comes from not having to work for it. I've seen it a million times. Find the horse a new home and toughen up with your kid. You'll be doing her a big favor in the end.
                            Yeah thinking the best thing for you and the horse and HER is to stop supporting her - after college my parents expected rent (a paltry $100 a month, but in 88 it made their point clear - I was expected to carry my weight from then on) and cover any expenses for non food/shelter/healthcare on my own, or give up said luxuries.

                            Seems high time DD had the weight of that reality set (gently, I'm sure) upon her competent shoulders. She can start with some applications at McDees or farmers' for fruit pickins, if things are that tough - hell, 25 years ago I did it, is it too good for college grads now?

                            Don't think so, and don't let her continue to think so, you're not doing her a favor, and sure as heck not making your life (or your horses' lives!) easier by sheltering her from the tough realities of life...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              After your second post, I say your daughter needs to find a job and get to work, no matter if it is at a fast food place, while she is looking for the kind of job she thinks she deserves.

                              In her situation, having the joy to play with horses at all seem like a luxury she is sure not earning or deserves.

                              I think this is going to be a hard lesson to her, that she should have learned long ago, but will have to learn sooner or later.

                              Never too early to teach self discipline, better start now.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                College grad here. Graduated '09. No job offer either.

                                BUT I pay for all my dog's expenses. All my cat's expenses. All my horse's expenses. All my car's expenses. I am allowed to stay home free of charge, but am expected to vacuum every other week, cook dinner 2x/week, and take the garbage out every week. I had one month (June '09) of not paying expenses. After that, I was an adult and my parents became "roommates".

                                When I'm doing something wrong around the house, we have a roommate discussion - not a parent discussion.

                                I agree with others who are saying seems spoiled. Even though I haven't had a "career" offer - I worked "jobs" and "internships". I've managed to work my way into an intern position that pays, offers 40 hours/week and also has bonuses. Didn't find it until January of this year, but definitely worked my butt off to make MY ends meet until then. Parents have no financial stress, but feel that I should pay my keep.
                                CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
                                Serving North GA with high quality clips.
                                --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
                                --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by caper View Post
                                  I used to come down hard on my kid and there were a few times where I told him point blank to get off the horse. He didn't follow or listen to instruction because it came from mom.
                                  I have to agree - I didn't have a horse when I was younger, but we had dogs in the family, and while normally my parents went the 'talk calmly and explain' route with issues, any HINT of not properly considering the dog's needs and situation was grounds for some type of parental smackdown. (Not literally, but there were no ifs, ands, buts, or 'reasoning your way out of trouble' options.)

                                  If the horse legally belongs to the OP, then ultimately there's more responsibility to the horse than there is to a more or less grown adult.

                                  Given the threads recently about some harsh clinicians - anyone coming to the area you could 'gift' her with a clinic with who'd give her an earful if she behaved that way in the clinic? Or with a trainer who'd do likewise? Sometimes people need to hear it from someone other than a parent.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by springer View Post
                                    Sorry mom, but she sounds like a spoiled brat. Quit giving her everything she wants. I think the lack of appreciation for her horse comes from not having to work for it. I've seen it a million times. Find the horse a new home and toughen up with your kid. You'll be doing her a big favor in the end.
                                    Agree, she's a spoiled brat, but not becuase we haven't made her work. She just does not know how to handle frustration.

                                    To be clear, she's not abusive. She never hits him, she's not violent at all, she's just not able to hide her frustration and it spirals down to where she doesn't THINK about what she's TEACHING HIM! And of course, I jump in, which jsut makes her throw the reins at me and stomp away.

                                    There is a local trainer that is fantastic with her students, children and adult. She takes no nonsense but they all adore her because she's calm and turns them into great riders. I've tried to encourage DD to go back to her, but she's resists. Partly I think because she's known the trainer most of her life and feels embarrassed that she is so far behind the other riders her age at the barn, and partly because trainer and I had a mildly chilly relationship for a short period of time, which to me was no more than a blip and never changed my total respect for this trainer, but DD seems to have taken it personally. But I think ti would do wonders for DD's confidence to take some lessons with other adults and see how we ALL struggle. She only sees the 16 year old hunter princesses that are better than her and is so frustrated and embarassed by that that she doesn't even bother to see that they'd be more than happy to hang out with her and be friends and cheer her on as she brings her boy along.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by razalter View Post
                                      Oh, she is definitely frustrated with life in general right now. Four years working her butt off in college to get 2 degrees with a 3.8 GPA,and not a job offer in sight.
                                      I had to stop reading right here. She is OVER 18 and you are putting up with that? No way. I have a law degree and a bar card, plus 3 years of litigation experience, and I've been unemployed for almost a year...to the point where I'm going to teach high school for awhile while the legal market ramps up again (IF it does...), and then start my own practice. Not having a job prospect is no excuse for that attitude. Working hard is no excuse either.

                                      My trainer has a saying...it is NEVER the horse's fault (we all know SOMETIMES it is, but very, very rarely!). She needs to realize that life is just that...life! Nothing is really anyone's fault, least of all yours or the horse's!

                                      Most of the moms at my barn pay for riding up until age 18, and then you're on your own. That is the way my parents were too (different sport, same idea).

                                      On a side note....where were you when I was in college? Seriously, I'm up for adoption...
                                      "Look, I'm trying not to test the durability of the arena with my face!" (Because only GM can do that.)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I would strongly suggest she lease this horse out and work on her anger. I get frustrated easily too and I hate it. It is not fair, it is not fair to me or whomever I am frustrated with. Somehow she needs to come to terms with the fact that she has a short fuse and how unfair it is. This horse deserves better and she needs to understand that, thoroughly. Somehow you need to figure out if YOu want to be the one to teach her that, or is allow her to learn the lesson on her own. Either way, the lesson needs to be learned, for HER sake. Good luck, I wish I had the miracle solution. Jingles to you, she and her horse.
                                        ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
                                        *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
                                        *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
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