"Tweens" in the barn?
 
 

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"Tweens" in the barn?

This is a discussion on "Tweens" in the barn? within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Horses+tween
  • Teaching tweens to say i am sorry

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    09-02-2011, 09:32 AM
  #1
Weanling
"Tweens" in the barn?

At our farm we are very lucky and blessed to have a crew of horse owners who are great! We have a few families that have "tween" girls, and while we have a "riders under 18 must have immediate adult/parental supervision" rule, there are a few girls who we allow to come, as long as we are not busy, and ride.

The girls are between 11 and 13 and otherwise have pretty impeccable manners. However, to my way of thinking, even if they have butts like glue, there is a lot of wisdom regarding horses and training that is to be had in and amongst that age bracket. While we typically let the girls "do their thing", we have repeatedly asked a certain young lady to not practice certain "corrective measures" with her horse and even verbally offered suggestions. I get the feeling it goes in one ear and out the other, although I think perhaps (hopefully), most recently, it has maybe sunk in? This was after a demo with her mother present. We will see, the opportunity to know for certain has not come up yet. I'm not "supervising" in the capacity of trainer or instructor, but rather just offering adult supervision while they ride... I only speak up if I see a kid hanging off their horse at unnatural angles or when safety or safety and poor training techniques (combined) are present.

I am a riding instructor... just not these kids' "direct" instructor. I'm getting a bit frustrated to the extent that I feel like saying "I'm sorry, you are no longer able to come without your parents"... although I don't really want to. The kids are generally pretty respectful, but it is clear in their blank facial expressions that they think I'm full of crap if I say things like "What are you trying to accomplish with that maneuver?" I've also discussed and thoughtfully explained and demoed how to more effectively communicate with their horses with parents and their children.

Would it seem condescending to the parents of these kids if I say "Look, I really enjoy allowing your child the opportunity to ride on days when you can't be here, however we need to establish some new "rules"." I'd then spell out that any "tween sitting" will need to be in the capacity of "teacher and student" and if they don't like that, then the kids can only come with their parents? I'm not interested in defending my instructing techniques to them, and I guess I also feel as though they take for granted the opportunity they have to spend "quality" horse time because of me. We've also been doing this for free, and I've considered tossing in that the kid has to clean stalls to "earn" their horsey time without their parents... I think that might help them to NOT take it for granted. Thoughts? I'm a bit perplexed. I really try to be diplomatic and yet frank about things,. In this situation I am aware that it has gotten to this point because of a lack of "rules" directly relating to this situation, just our general barn rules.
     
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    09-02-2011, 09:38 AM
  #2
Green Broke
At our barn yes, the child who comes out, leaser, owner or not, must clean the stall of the horse their butt is on. Our trainer is also the barn owner, you don't follow her rules, you get off. If you are their instructor, they listen to you, period, Jo matter if you are being paid or not.
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    09-02-2011, 09:40 AM
  #3
Green Broke
At my barn if you lease or want to show we have a rule that you must earn a certain amount of points to go to said show,trail ride(off property) or whatever. This includes cleaning waters,feeding, cleaning stalls, running certain horses(the less used ones as long as they know enough to turn them out), and doing little chores around the ranch. My BO has a notebook that she marks down what we did that day and gives points depending on the job. It works fairly well I think and teaches them what taking care of multiple horses is really like hah.
     
    09-02-2011, 09:44 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemom    
At our barn yes, the child who comes out, leaser, owner or not, must clean the stall of the horse their butt is on. Our trainer is also the barn owner, you don't follow her rules, you get off. If you are their instructor, they listen to you, period, Jo matter if you are being paid or not.
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Good idea! Thanks... I guess I feel so "uh oh, this sucks" about the situation because normally I am very up front and didn't really foresee a problem with these children, even as minor of one as there is. I didn't initially establish a "without your parents, to you I am instructor and you must listen" rule, and I'm stuck on how to establish one now without offending the people. I'm probably being oversensitive, but then again I'm always acutely aware of how "horse people" can be, haha, and I don't want to bruise egos, which is what I think has already happened with this little girl when I marched out and said "Look, that isn't safe and while you are under my supervision, safety is paramount."
     
    09-02-2011, 09:45 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Reading your post your not coming across very well, but it sounds like your butting in, You say your not a trainer/instructor, but you giving instructions and upset they're not listening. Are you liable in someway for injury ? I know emotion and inflection doesnt translate well into type so maybe I am getting the wrong impression from your post but it sounds like you may need to mind your own business. If you let em come without parents, and the parents let em, then that's their issue.
     
    09-02-2011, 09:50 AM
  #6
Green Broke
I am a riding instructor... just not these kids' "direct" instructor

She actually did say she was an instructor ..just saying :]
     
    09-02-2011, 09:53 AM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
Reading your post your not coming across very well, but it sounds like your butting in, You say your not a trainer/instructor, but you giving instructions and upset they're not listening. Are you liable in someway for injury ? I know emotion and inflection doesnt translate well into type so maybe I am getting the wrong impression from your post but it sounds like you may need to mind your own business.
I am an instructor. I said that directly in the first post. I also said that I am not this child's "instructor" under normal circumstances. We allow her to bring in an outside instructor on occassion... she generally operates without one. I understand what you are saying, however. The problem is that as the barn owner, I AM liable, particularly when the child is under my supervision. I feel as though I should have established that while they are under my care, I am not simply "supervision", but also their "part time" instructor, like it or not. Due to the fact that I did not do that to begin with, of course I come across as "butting in"... however, at 12 years old, there is a lot to be learned. I didn't foresee this problem because the child wasn't having behavioral issues with her horse (that are exacerbated by the child's way of riding) at the time we started to allow her to come out under our supervision. Now I'm trying to figure out how to diplomatically inform them that unless the child is able to regard me as instructor in absence of her parents, the child is not allowed here without them. I hope that clarifies the misunderstanding from my original post :/
     
    09-02-2011, 10:06 AM
  #8
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
it sounds like you may need to mind your own business. If you let em come without parents, and the parents let em, then that's their issue.
The first time a child does something dangerous (to herself or the horse) and gets hurt, there will be a parent ready to sue because an instructor (or at least an adult) was there and did nothing to prevent it.

It is absurd to think that any responsible adult should not step in when they see a situation that could cause harm.

A child that is not listening or has an attitude should be disciplined in some way concerning their privilege at the barn - IMO. Remember it is a privilege not a right for them to be there without their parents.
     
    09-02-2011, 10:09 AM
  #9
Weanling
I should also express that even though I want to insist that the child regard me as "instructor" in the absence of parents, I want it to be a fun learning experience. At this point, I don't think that is possible because, like I said... there were no behavioral issues present in the horse at the time we agreed to allow the child to come to barn without parents. We didn't establish rules. The child *probably does* regard me as "butting in" because this wasn't established... which is what I think the "blank stare" thing this (otherwise) polite child shows is all about. So, while I think your initial statement that I AM butting in is off the mark, it is a good point in the grander scheme of things, so thank you! Now... how do I establish these rules? As a horse owner, how would you like to be approached about a "rule change" as it relates to you?
     
    09-02-2011, 10:12 AM
  #10
Showing
As a BO, I would sent out (as well as post) the new rules. If you have barn meeting, then that may be a good place to bring them up. Doing it that way, you are not targeting anyone in particular.
RitzieAnn, gigem88 and Calmwaters like this.
     

Tags
horses, kids, parental supervision

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