BO/trainer and the kid politics - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 07-24-2013, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrisr View Post
Ok, I can fill in some more details.....
There are basically 2 girls who are making it a little hard on my daughter, who is 11 and has been riding only a year. One of the girls is the one who told my daughter to ride here, and has been riding for several years, shes been at this barn for 2 years now. She goes to school with my kid.

The other is a year older, has been at this barn forever and goes to a different school.

My daughter is doing walk-trot and the others do short stirrup. My kid is desparately trying to catch up to them, and they are always in lessons together, hacking together etc.

I try and always stay at lessons, during the school year I do, but on weekends the girls "work" at the barn and I have seen these 2 walk away and tell my kid to "do something else" In summer I often have to work while lessons are going on.

I guess my kid complains, but its been worse lately and the BO/Trainer (same girl) is in her 20s and has no kids. I am not sure she particularly cares if my kid is happy, as long as her hacks and lessons are going well, (they are) and I pay my bill on time ( I do, lol)

So should I approach the BO/trainer or just work on it with my kid?
This brought up a couple more questions for me. If the girls are "working", do they have assigned chores that they're responsible to get done each day? Could that be why they're saying, "Do something else."? Kids that age are not known for being terribly tactful, so I'm wondering if your daughter is slowing them down or keeping them from their chores and they're just telling her to do something else while they do their work.

If they are, indeed, being snotty and bratty (so far what you're describing doesn't really fit the term bullying), then maybe having a chat with them can sort things out. Maybe even, talk to them alone, without your daughter and ask them why they don't like having her around. If they can tell you without fear of reprisal, they may and it might be doing you a favor to hear it. You can keep her safe but you can't fight all her battles. If she's doing something you're not seeing this could help her to stop being .......whatever that's annoying the others. Or it may just be that they are absolute little gold plated beasts and you need a new barn. But trying to get to the bottom of it, without being angry or defensive will help you see it for what it really is.

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post #12 of 19 Old 07-24-2013, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrisr View Post
Hello, I am not sure if this belongs in this forum, or not, feel free to move!

My daughter has been riding about a year, and we lease a horse at the barn. We like the trainer a ton, and she has been very good for my kid.

The other girls at the barn (10-13) not so much. They dont allow my daughter to hang out with them, and they are exclude her from helping at the barn. I am wondering if you were us....Is this something you might change barns for? The BO is a friend of the owner of the horse we lease, so this would mean leaving the horse and trainer behind. But honestly these bullies are making it so my kid doesnt want to go to the barn.
Should I talk to the BO/trainer? I feel like it may seem whiny.

I don't think that talking to the BO would help. This is a bullying problem with the kids. That's something I would almost have a friendly chat over with their parents. If I had kids and it affected them enough to make the barn unpleasant, that's something I would consider moving for.

The good thing if you stay, is boarders are not always long term permanent ones. If you can get your daughter involved with other things in the barn than those kids, there might end up being new kids at the stable who will move in.

That or I would also suggest your daughter to bring non horsey friends at the barn. Have start up her own hang out group.
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-24-2013, 10:04 PM
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As a teenager that just recently graduated from high school, I personally would change barns. School was stressful and drama filled enough. The barn was my place to relax and forget about it all. You don't want your daughter going from school, which even without bullying is tiring and annoying, to later head up to the barn to only deal with more drama. The barn is supposed to be a relaxing, stress-free, place that she is excited to go to, and if she really likes to ride then you shouldn't make her ride where she is going to be uncomfortable. I've seen so many kids get too caught up in competition nowadays. It has to be fun!
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post #14 of 19 Old 09-15-2013, 02:45 PM
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Ask the Kid if she wants to move or not. Let her make the call.
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post #15 of 19 Old 09-15-2013, 03:15 PM
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If the other girls are there to work, and your daughter does not have assigned chores, the girls may be trying to show responsibility for their assignments. Especially the 13 yo. She should be hitting the age where she learns the downside of not doing what is expected of her.

If the girls are there to work off their board or lessons, then your daughter should not be "hanging" around while they work. IF that is true, you could even the playing field by asking the BO to have your daughter assigned work. Now, the three of them can work together equally.

It's a tough call, because your daughter is friends with the one girl. But when the other girl is added to the triangle, it becomes circle and your daughter is on the outside of the ring of acceptance.

The 11 yo could be trying to gain approval of the 13 yo and the 13 yo is establishing her dominance. don't forget, the 13yo and 11yo were together and worked as a team for some time. Your daughter is the new member of the group dynamics. for all you know, the 13yo is afraid of being left out.

I would speak with the BO. I wouldn't use the phrase bullying, per se, but I would say that your daughter is often excluded and one benefit to this barn is your daughter is able to ride with girls in her age group; opposed to nothing but grownups hanging around. Focus on if the BO has any insights to the exclusionary behavior and what can be done to gently bring your daughter into the group's dynamics, without it being adult forced behavior.

Maybe you host the other two girls to a pizza party? get them out of the barn where territory has been established and in an environment where they can interact together, like a pool, beach, etc.

As an adult, I can say that this is a behavior that is not specific to children. I have a very good friend and while i try my hardest to bring new people into our friendship, it is different when it is not just the two of us. The first couple encounters with a new person is odd. The dynamics change. Now, remove decades of professional expectations in the workforce in dealing with others and it is like jr. high school all over.

Talking to the other girls parents' or them directly will come off much more differently than talking to the BO about the girl's work schedule and whether there are suggestions for bringing them together as a team.

My two cents. Good luck. If your daughter is insecure enough to start saying that she doesn't want to ride, I would find a new barn.

Just saw where the BO / Trainer is a 20 something. well, heeheeeheee, 20 something is not all that ahem, experienced. She is just a kid herself. with that information, I would still approach her. i guess I would expect a different reaction from her rather than a 40 yo woman who has had enough kids come through her barn to have "done that seen that."

Last edited by AQHSam; 09-15-2013 at 03:18 PM.
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post #16 of 19 Old 09-22-2013, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by maej23 View Post
As a teenager that just recently graduated from high school, I personally would change barns. School was stressful and drama filled enough. The barn was my place to relax and forget about it all. You don't want your daughter going from school, which even without bullying is tiring and annoying, to later head up to the barn to only deal with more drama. The barn is supposed to be a relaxing, stress-free, place that she is excited to go to, and if she really likes to ride then you shouldn't make her ride where she is going to be uncomfortable. I've seen so many kids get too caught up in competition nowadays. It has to be fun!

^I agree! I have changed barns because of drama . . . or most recently, had two girls get kicked out of the barn for their general rude and "bullying" behavior (it was them or me, my trainer/BO chose me).

I worked as a barn counselor for a local summer camp that has a huge horse program. We had several issues with girls being nasty or bullying the other girls, and if the girl didn't listen to myself or another counselor, we went straight to the parents. That typically made them knock it off.

The biggest thing I can tell you - DO NOT, under any circumstances, talk to the girls yourself. Just don't do it, they're 11 and 13 and not your kids. Call the parents (away from your daughters) or have the BO talk to them for you. I would recommend having the BO talk to them, personally, because things can get pretty heated between parents.

If your daughter really does not want to go to the barn because of these girls, move. It is not worth your daughter associating horses with drama and bad-feelings. There are other trainers and horses out there.

I also just realized this is an old topic, have there been any changes?

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post #17 of 19 Old 09-22-2013, 01:36 PM
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I don't see it as bullying. 2 kids usually get along better than 3. Are there no other kids there? Lets say you move and new kids do not like your kid? Or these kids move to where you are?
I would teach my kid some independence. If she doesn't go to them for attention they may accept her more and not feel like she is imposing. Why not just go to the lesson and then go home? It sounds like the hanging around time is the issue and the barn is not a sitter.
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-24-2013, 08:54 AM
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I would like to input as i am the one that usually gets picked on and bullied in any sort of social group thing. school, the barn, life. I'm the bottom of the totem pole and i know this. i don't think you should change barns, if the barn has any size to it there is always things to do away from the people who are being a problem and when i was younger adults always made my problems worse. have her find things to do around the barn by herself, she doesn't need these girls and she should be ok by herself in her own skin, she will catch up in time and i know it hurts to be alone but alone and standing strong is way better than in the group and miserable.
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-01-2013, 01:33 AM
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To me, the question would be, if your daughter left these girls alone, didn't talk to them or approach them, would they cause her trouble? If they're leaving her alone, then I don't think they're the problem. If they seek her out and bother her, then I'd leave.

It's rough being a kid. I know I was excluded a fair bit. I kept my pony at a self care boarding place only minutes ride from the riding school, but I was never accepted as one of "them". Even in lessons, pony club etc I was never one of their group. It wasn't particularly nice, but it was life. I've never had the "social gift" and it's meant that I've always been on the outside.

Perhaps its the way I was raised but I've never thought that kids have to get along. At 13, in high school, I can guarantee you that girl doesn't like all her classmates and not all of them like her. When she gets older at 16 it's going to be the same, people she doesn't like, and the people that don't like her. Then at 21 in university, it will be the same, then later at work, there will always be people who don't like you, and people you don't like.

If these kids don't want to hang out with your daughter then that is their choice. Just as your daughter could choose not to hang out with them. It's their leisure time, let them do what they like. I don't think it's bullying choosing not to hang out with someone, if they were adults you wouldn't even question it. sIt sucks for your daughter, but that is the way it is. It's not the BOs problem. She runs a business, she's not a baby sitter, she doesn't run a social club, she's a horse trainer and owner and that's what she does.

If your daughter isn't having fun where you are anymore I'd move because riding, as a hobby, is about it being fun.
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