Barn troubles. Need advice?
 
 

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Barn troubles. Need advice?

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        01-02-2014, 11:41 PM
      #1
    Yearling
    Barn troubles. Need advice?

    So I have been riding at the same lesson/boarding stable since I was 4 years old, and I am now almost 18. I love the BO and trainers like family, they have always done so much for me. My horse is well taken care of and happy there... But my problem is, I'm not sure if I'm happy there anymore.
    I recently started taking some English lessons with my horse at a barn down the road (the one I board at only offers western, although I will keep my horse there). Ever since I started doing this, I have been looked down at. The other girls my age (and even younger) have been making snide comments, and alienating me from activities. All because I chose to try to be a better rounded rider and try something new.
    It's very hurtful, today I ended up going on a trail ride by myself in tears. The BO/my main trainer said she would talk to the other girls, because it's not okay to treat someone like this. But they haven't stopped at all.
    The BO told me that if I ended up leaving and moving my horse to the other barn, she wouldn't be angry or think any less of me, I told her I had full intentions to stay. But being alienated and looked down at has been hard. I don't find any joy in going out there anymore. This barn has been my main source of joy for over 10 years. But, now it's not the same.
    I'm proud of myself for trying new things and working towards the goals I've sent, but I'm also tired of hurting.
    What would you all do in my position?
    Sorry for the long rant
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        01-02-2014, 11:49 PM
      #2
    Yearling
    Well all that matter is that you will learn different techiques and probably will be a way better rider then they are! So prove it to them, show them that you are just as good as them or better or ask them to do something English and lets see if they can do it. I am personally not an English rider but I don't think there is anything wrong with it if done correctly. Yes, I may not believe in a few things but that doesn't me that I don't think I can learn anything from English.
    KigerQueen likes this.
         
        01-03-2014, 01:29 AM
      #3
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SaskGal    
    Well all that matter is that you will learn different techiques and probably will be a way better rider then they are! So prove it to them, show them that you are just as good as them or better or ask them to do something English and lets see if they can do it. I am personally not an English rider but I don't think there is anything wrong with it if done correctly. Yes, I may not believe in a few things but that doesn't me that I don't think I can learn anything from English.
    Yeah you're right. I guess I'm just torn between staying at this barn or not.
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        01-03-2014, 03:09 AM
      #4
    Started
    You need to think of your situation in a new way. The people who are teasing you (your aggressors) are likely petty girls who feel some sense of power when they discover your insecurities and prey upon them. It feels like a small victory or "reward" to them every time that they see that something they say has either hurt or upset you. You need to take the reward out of the equation. Think of this as a training situation.

    My mare has a terrible habit of pawing when she wants her grain. It is an extremely rude behavior. If I give her her grain when she paws, then she's getting just the thing that she wants. She is being rewarded for pawing and is more likely to do it in the future. In fact, not only is she more likely to do it -- she's more likely to do it harder and longer than before. What happens instead? She gets ignored when she paws. She can paw until she's dug a hole knee deep as far as I'm concerned, but she won't get her grain until she stops. I'm ignoring the undesirable behavior until she offers the desired behavior (not pawing) at which point she is rewarded.

    So let's apply this to your situation.

    Your aggressors feel a (sick) sense of reward when they see that they have upset you. If you become angry or emotional after they have called you a rude name, they have received their reward and they are more likely to do it again in the future. As with my mare, not only are they more likely to do it, but they are more likely to be even more rude and aggressive. While I have no doubt that this will be exceptionally hard, what you need to do is ignore their unwanted behavior. They can be as rude as they like for as long as they like, but at the end of the day they won't have gotten their reward and if you're lucky they might even start to realize how nasty they sound when they only have their own words to listen to and no response from you. IF your aggressors start to treat you with more respect, you can begin to "reward" them by offering your own signs of respect in return. If for example one of your previous aggressors comes in one day and tells you that your horse's coat is looking especially shiny today, you can reward her more desirable behavior with a friendly smile, a thank you, and perhaps an offer to show her your "secret" brushing routine for bringing out the shine in your horse's coat.

    So there you have it -- you mostly just need to attempt to (subtly) "train" your unruly aggressors. It won't happen overnight (my mare won't stop pawing overnight) but gradually they might start to figure out that it's not rewarding to treat you poorly. Training is an ongoing work in progress. Sometimes we make mistakes along the way and sometimes it feels like we aren't making any progress at all, but that doesn't mean that we can't persist and finally achieve the desired result.
         
        01-03-2014, 03:20 AM
      #5
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eolith    
    You need to think of your situation in a new way. The people who are teasing you (your aggressors) are likely petty girls who feel some sense of power when they discover your insecurities and prey upon them. It feels like a small victory or "reward" to them every time that they see that something they say has either hurt or upset you. You need to take the reward out of the equation. Think of this as a training situation.

    My mare has a terrible habit of pawing when she wants her grain. It is an extremely rude behavior. If I give her her grain when she paws, then she's getting just the thing that she wants. She is being rewarded for pawing and is more likely to do it in the future. In fact, not only is she more likely to do it -- she's more likely to do it harder and longer than before. What happens instead? She gets ignored when she paws. She can paw until she's dug a hole knee deep as far as I'm concerned, but she won't get her grain until she stops. I'm ignoring the undesirable behavior until she offers the desired behavior (not pawing) at which point she is rewarded.

    So let's apply this to your situation.

    Your aggressors feel a (sick) sense of reward when they see that they have upset you. If you become angry or emotional after they have called you a rude name, they have received their reward and they are more likely to do it again in the future. As with my mare, not only are they more likely to do it, but they are more likely to be even more rude and aggressive. While I have no doubt that this will be exceptionally hard, what you need to do is ignore their unwanted behavior. They can be as rude as they like for as long as they like, but at the end of the day they won't have gotten their reward and if you're lucky they might even start to realize how nasty they sound when they only have their own words to listen to and no response from you. IF your aggressors start to treat you with more respect, you can begin to "reward" them by offering your own signs of respect in return. If for example one of your previous aggressors comes in one day and tells you that your horse's coat is looking especially shiny today, you can reward her more desirable behavior with a friendly smile, a thank you, and perhaps an offer to show her your "secret" brushing routine for bringing out the shine in your horse's coat.

    So there you have it -- you mostly just need to attempt to (subtly) "train" your unruly aggressors. It won't happen overnight (my mare won't stop pawing overnight) but gradually they might start to figure out that it's not rewarding to treat you poorly. Training is an ongoing work in progress. Sometimes we make mistakes along the way and sometimes it feels like we aren't making any progress at all, but that doesn't mean that we can't persist and finally achieve the desired result.
    Thank you for your advice. That's really helpful, and makes me feel a lot better. :) I'll work on that.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    stevenson and Chasin Ponies like this.
         
        01-03-2014, 03:30 AM
      #6
    Started
    One thing to keep in mind: Don't "shut down" completely either. If you go to the barn and ignore absolutely everything that everyone says, it may exacerbate things. Literally only ignore the actual words or phrases that are out of line. So if you go to the barn and one of your aggressors greets you, you'll want to smile and greet her in return. If the next words out of your aggressor's mouth are: "How are your prissy princess pony English lessons going?". You can ignore this or say something nonchalant like "We're working a lot on posting the trot. I think I'm really starting to get the hang of my diagonals." And leave it at that.
         
        01-03-2014, 03:34 AM
      #7
    Started
    I know how you feel. Im in a western area and when people see me riding english my "friends" LOVE to make snide and sometimes mean remarks. I (only because I know them and don't care if they get ticked at me) basically say "well that's nice, at least I ride my horse more than once every other month, and my horse is NOT cooped up in a stall for weeks on end." They shut up and go away. Eolith is right. Ignore them. Heck even practice english in the same arena and basically ride circles around them. That might shut them up.

    Don't let them get to you. You are 18, think of them as rude little children, because that's how they are acting. If it keeps getting worst talk to the BO again and possibly their parents, I bet they would NOT be happy to hear how their children are acting in public.
    Chasin Ponies likes this.
         
        01-03-2014, 03:34 AM
      #8
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eolith    
    One thing to keep in mind: Don't "shut down" completely either. If you go to the barn and ignore absolutely everything that everyone says, it may exacerbate things. Literally only ignore the actual words or phrases that are out of line. So if you go to the barn and one of your aggressors greets you, you'll want to smile and greet her in return. If the next words out of your aggressor's mouth are: "How are your prissy princess pony English lessons going?". You can ignore this or say something nonchalant like "We're working a lot on posting the trot. I think I'm really starting to get the hang of my diagonals." And leave it at that.
    Okay thanks! That helps a lot. I feel a lot better about going there tomorrow now. I was really beat down today.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        01-03-2014, 03:39 AM
      #9
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KigerQueen    
    I know how you feel. Im in a western area and when people see me riding english my "friends" LOVE to make snide and sometimes mean remarks. I (only because I know them and don't care if they get ticked at me) basically say "well that's nice, at least I ride my horse more than once every other month, and my horse is NOT cooped up in a stall for weeks on end." They shut up and go away. Eolith is right. Ignore them. Heck even practice english in the same arena and basically ride circles around them. That might shut them up.

    Don't let them get to you. You are 18, think of them as rude little children, because that's how they are acting. If it keeps getting worst talk to the BO again and possibly their parents, I bet they would NOT be happy to hear how their children are acting in public.
    You are right, I know I'm getting far too old to let things like this get to me, but these are the people I've grown up with my whole life, and their either seniors like me or juniors. And it's just getting old, ya know?
    Maybe I will practice in the arena with them. I mean, they're jacking their horses up on barrels, and I'm making mine more well rounded.
    I don't see why what I'm doing is so wrong in their eyes.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Eolith, egrogan and KigerQueen like this.
         
        01-03-2014, 03:42 AM
      #10
    Started
    When it gets hard (as I'm sure it will some of the time) just try hard to remind yourself of how petty your aggressors are being and find a way to make light of it. Go ahead and compare them to that bratty pony who makes a big fuss and pretends he's "all that", but still doesn't get his way if it makes you smile a little to yourself.
         

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