HELP! My daughter is wanting to quit :( - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 40 Old 02-04-2010, 04:41 PM
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Let her do what she wants. Really, the more you push the more stress/anxiety/etc.. you are creating.
I know a girl who is absolutely passionate about riding and has the ability to do it. She hit a rough patch and took two months off, put her big fancy horse in a field and just walked away. Now she is back, way more motivated and sees things from a clearer point of view.
I find in my riding if I get frustrated the best thing I can do for me and my horse is to take a few days off, focus on school and I'll come back into it with a way better attitude.
I think the same goes for everyone. She just needs to chill out and re-focus.
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post #22 of 40 Old 02-04-2010, 09:54 PM
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I can honestly say i was just like your daughter. I fell off my big haflinger gelding and then i made every excuse in the book when my mom was like you need to ride if you want to do it at the local shows and what not. Then when it got closer to our one local fair i realized i wanted to ride again but was scared still but then when i got to the show and everyone was like "awh why are you riding?" and by the end of the week the two girls there were like YOU ARE RIDING and my dad lead our haffie mare around while i rode at just a walk and it made me rediscover my love and want for it. I'm not so sure you should push the issue but let her come back into it in her own time perhaps? I definately think taking it slow would help. I hope she does get back into it though because it would really be horrible if she stopped completely. Keep us updated! But def. let her know she's not the only one out there and even someone who's gone through the same thing as she did : D
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post #23 of 40 Old 02-05-2010, 03:11 PM
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I liked what Kevin had to say. I grew up in a very active family. My dad was always the kinda guy to throw a kid in the water and say "learn how to swim". I was swimming at 3 months, my brother at 5 months. I was dirtbiking by age 5, slalom skiing (water) by age 7. If we ever showed fear, we had to hit it head on and get through it, with his help of course. Shoot, I can remember skidding across the water on my face thinking "dad said not to let go of the rope!". Is it the most common form of parenting, no, and many experts would probably disagree, but my brother and I both learned that the only way to make fear go away is to do whatever it is that you are afraid of.

Riding was my passion (and still is), but not my families. But of course they were supportive. My dad and I worked at my trainers house every weekend in exchange for me leasing a horse. I was 13 when I rode a qh mare named Mom. Mom had chucked me into jumps multiple times, and fear was starting to take over. The jumps started getting lower, I became more tense and more fearful. One day, dad came out to watch me ride. By the time that ride was over, my face was soaked in tears and that mare was going over every jump in the arena without a glitch. Fear wasn't an excuse. He wasn't a horseman, but he also wasn't going to let his daughter back out of something that he knew she was capable of. It wasn't long after that that I started working with problem horses.

Was it a risk, yes, but if the passion that I had wasn't strong enough, I wouldn't have stayed in horses anyway. His confidence and faith in me is what made me know that I could ride that horse through anything, if he had backed off, then I would have known that there was reason to be afraid.

I'm not saying to scare the stuff out of your daughter to eliminate her fear, but I am saying that you have to challenge her, like Kevin said. For me, I could walk, trot, and canter all day long, but those jumps terrified me, so that was the line he pushed. Find her line and push it just a little bit each time. Make her believe in herself and that horse. If her line is getting on the horse, that is what you work on. It just has enough to keep challenging and keep building confidence. It has to be something to keep her wanting more. If she has lost interest after one fall, then the true interest was never there to begin with, and I would encourage her to pursue her dreams instead of yours. Lack of interest is a reason to quit. Fear is a reason to learn and try.
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post #24 of 40 Old 02-05-2010, 04:07 PM
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I've gone through my own times of being afraid to ride. My advice to you and your daughter: just do it.
If she honestly lost interest in riding/horses, I would not support you "forcing" her to do it, but in this case, because her reason for not wanting to ride is fear, I really suggest making her, and here is why:

Last year, I fell off at a show. First time I'd ever fallen off at a show, and at the end of my class at that. Long story short, three horses came thundering up behind me in a huntseat eq. class, my horse panicked at the horses being right on his butt and took off. Made it half way around the ring, lost a stirrup, he swerved and I kept going straight. He's not "unsafe", it was a freak accident. Had it been one horse we'd have been just fine, but he had one coming on the outside, one right behind him, and one on the inside, all thundering away and his five year old mind lost it.
I didn't get hurt - I actually stood up laughing - but after I rode him around in the warm-up pen and then put him back in his stall... I lost it. I was absolutely terrified to ride anywhere near another horse.
Later that day, I got back on and went in my western horsemanship class. I was a nervous wreck, constantly looking behind me on the rail and telling people not to run up on me. I paid absolutely no attention to the fact that I was showing. We started loping one way and my horse "scooted" as a horse passed us. I was so scared I started crying and began walking to the middle, the judge watching me. My trainer was furious and happened to be standing on the fence by me and told me I had better get back on that rail and I sure did. Amazingly, out of 10-11 horses, I got 5th.
After that class, my trainer hauled me out behind a trailer and yelled at me. Made me cry more, blah blah blah. He told me to stop messing up my horse, to get out there, do what I'm supposed to do and just leave my horse alone so he could do his job. Next class (western pleasure) I did just that. We got 2nd.

My point is, your daughter can't let this fear stop her from riding her horse. What happened was an accident and she needs to understand that her horse was not doing anything to try and hurt her. If you allow this to stop her, you will be making the problem much bigger than it is. Make her ride. Have her do things she's typically comfortable with and try to keep her mind working so that she can't just sit up there and freak out. Make her focus on something.

Got spurs?
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post #25 of 40 Old 04-12-2010, 07:29 AM
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I am also having a issue with my 5 year old daughter.she has grown up on the back of a horse as we have a pony.she has always loved it and could not wait till her 5th birthday so she would be old enough for lessons at the local riding school. she has been going there since september and loved it and had progressed greatly to cantering and very small jumps. a few weeks ago on her lesson she did not want to canter as she was on a pony with a very bouncy canter yet her instructor ignored her and made the pony canter. since then she has got very nervous and freaks out when on the back of a pony yet she still wants to ride just the fear takes over when on the back of the pony. Does anyone have any ideas how I can help her get over her fear. She has also fallen off a few times but got straight back up and wasnt that phased by falling
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post #26 of 40 Old 04-12-2010, 11:06 AM
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My advice would be for you to meet with a psychologist. To help your daughter you must understand her problem. The fundamental issue is that her fear, over which she probably has little control brings tension, rigidity, anger and eventually panic - all of which are lethal when riding horses. Let the psycho explain.

The loss of the relationship with the horse and the associated lifestyle may eventually persuade her to ride again. But only time will tell.

Give her sufficient time and lots of understanding. An awful lot of riders experience this sort of problem in their riding lives and many never recover.
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post #27 of 40 Old 04-12-2010, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sdunne86 View Post
. a few weeks ago on her lesson she did not want to canter as she was on a pony with a very bouncy canter yet her instructor ignored her and made the pony canter. since then she has got very nervous and freaks out when on the back of a pony yet she still wants to ride just the fear takes over when on the back of the pony. Does anyone have any ideas how I can help her get over her fear. She has also fallen off a few times but got straight back up and wasnt that phased by falling
I'd start by getting a new instructor and put her back on a lunge line for a lesson or two. My 8yr old fell off back in Dec. (horse had a stroke and hadn't given any indication until she got on) and although she was more than willing to hop on, she was cautious and very nervous. I just found her a new instructor this week and it was great. Put her on a lunge line and very, very slowly got her walking and trotting while talking to her the entire time. She didn't canter this week (would have been too much all at once for her) but she'll get there and just to see her happily walking/trotting without a death grip on the bucking strap and forgetting to be nervous was great!
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post #28 of 40 Old 04-15-2010, 06:06 AM
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Thank you for your comments they are all very helpfull. Over the past week she has had one on one lessons and although only walking with maybe a short trot she has begun to enjoy it again and is laughing rather then having a small panic attack! hopefully if we keep taking baby steps she will be back to where she was in no time.
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post #29 of 40 Old 04-15-2010, 09:09 AM
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When I was 6 I got thrown off my horse and it mad me more mad than scared so I got back on and rode again, 5 mins later a dog came out barkin and spooked my horse again, I fell. Then I got scared. my daddy reminded me that it was my horse and he looked up to me for love, carein, shelter, and most of all safty. So after a week I put the saddle on him and got on and rode him. . . every time he would act like he was gonna spook I'd stop him, git off and walk him by or over what he was gettin spooked by and not only did it build his confidence but it built mine as well.

hope this help

***I ride wild, I live free, I love my Quarter Horse***
*** Cowgirl-Up & Start Livin ****
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post #30 of 40 Old 04-15-2010, 01:04 PM
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Why does someone have to ride?? My wife doesn't ride, my son doesn't either. In fact most of the people I know don't ride.
Riding is a hobby. It is done for fun. If someone doesn't find it fun why push them.
Horses cost money, smell bad, can hurt you, dangerous,,did I mention costly???

If my daughter didn't want to ride don't force her. there are lots of other things in life.
I don't golf, tried it many times but doesn't interest me in the least? Is my life going to suffer because of it???

give the kid a break to decide for herself what she wants out of life.
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