Dealing with a sensitive student? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 34 Old 02-12-2011, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Danville, IL
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Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
Why would you have him cantering before he is capable? That sounds irresponsible. He needs to learn how to sit the trot before he should be cantering. I am guessing with his position the horse may be going to fast for him
I'm not the head instructor; it's all up to boss lady and she likes to give people more credit than what they're worth. I'm going to try to have a conversation with her about his position and things I've learned here to help fix it. I also want to try a variety of other posture and "soft hand" exercises I know about. According to some of the volunteers (who has owned horses in their own past, I have not), I'm simply ignorant and can therefore not help another rider. Most of my tips (many of them I learned from those very people) are thrown over shoulders.

Example of the too-soft-heart: My boss took in a volunteer who claimed to be a competitive calf roper. His favorite horse (and the one he rode most often) was a Tennessee Walking Horse, smooth as glass. One day he was in the at-the-time-new round pen exercising this horse (who's our lesson horse); another volunteer had an Appaloosa, not as smooth, who was acting up. So my boss had the first boy (the "calf roper") ride this horse. When they began to trot, "Calf Roper" began to flop all over like a dead fish! (He would literally fall backwards and nearly touch his back to the horse's hip.) My boss then discovered: He duped her.

In my personal opinion this kid shouldn't even be trotting right now. I'd like to get him into the arena -- by himself -- and work him out a little more. He has the potential to have a fantastic seat but is, unfortunately for him, distractable -- so the seat he does have is lost in a matter of minutes.

Since he rode once or twice with us before he volunteered and rides with his grandfather (which, to my understanding, they only walk or gallop) I don't know how many times [with useless or no instruction], my boss took his word for it that he knows how to ride. If I'm starting to see that he's not what he made himself out to be, she should be too. Hopefully the coming discussion will help us sort this situation.

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." (H.G. Wells)
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post #32 of 34 Old 02-12-2011, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
Why would you have him cantering before he is capable? That sounds irresponsible. He needs to learn how to sit the trot before he should be cantering. I am guessing with his position the horse may be going to fast for him
I agree.
If he doesn't like being treated like a beginner, tough, he is a beginner. I would also insist on a helmet. He needs 1:1 lessons. I'd put him on a horse with reins on a halter, on a lunge line for starters. Then work on position & following the horse's movement at the walk until he had that down pat. Then move on to trotting 1/4 circles.
I'd kick Gramps out of the arena too but that's just me
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post #33 of 34 Old 02-12-2011, 02:10 PM
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Location: California
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Just one other thought - if your owners insurance says helmets till 14 and she lets students ride without them, then in the event of a fall she will be personally liable and open for one heck of a lawsuit. In letting riders ride horses they are not ready for she is open to accusations of negligence etc. As a trainer allowing this to happen, you may also be liable. I would put your concerns into writing and give it the barn owner to have on record that you have noted these discrepancies....even an email would be fine as long as you keep a record.

Remember that even if the student decides not to sue after a fall, the desicion to do that is the health insurance companies to reclaim costs...if they get a sniff of liability they will be after it like a cat on a mouse.
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post #34 of 34 Old 02-13-2011, 03:24 AM
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Everyone else has addressed anything that I would have said....but I completely agree with the fact that he shouldn't be cantering at all. My trainers say all the time " If ya' can't do it walking, you won't be able to do it trotting or faster."

However, I always manage to get a grin when I fire back that posting is -much- easier trotting. =-)
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