Help! Tweens and Children Trainers! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKButtermilk View Post
This doesn't sound like a kid who has any interest in riding, honestly. I have never seen a kid who didn't have a disability essentially "zone out" around a horse, let alone on one. I think you are trying to push your hobby on her (out of love obviously) but you need to know when to call it quits and find something you both have in common. If you keep pushing it you'll drive yourselves apart. Maybe as she gets older she will come into loving horses but it isn't for everyone. My sister is a perfect example. She likes horses, but doesn't have the passion for them me and my mother do.
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hahaha - trust me, this is not a push sort of thing. I would rather have the barn to myself. When she is around I have to maintain the parental responsibility instead of self-indulging myself.

My own riding suffers on the weekends she is with me.

I leased the horse because she asked how much it would take to own peanut and offered her $42 to the barn owner to buy the horse (it was cute).

C is not like me and I respect that she is different. When C showed an interest in horse ownership the only way to determine the full extent was to expose her to horses. My horse is way too green for an inexperienced child. The pony solved the problem of getting her near horses.

Thanks for your comments, but I think you misunderstood my posting. This isn't driving us apart. I just need a technique to break down the complexity of horse riding to an 8 yr old who has never engaged with a horse before.
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post #12 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 04:57 PM
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She's 8. Enough said. My niece is 7 and loses her attention span quickly. Basically exactly what you've described. Keep the lessons and the work short, quick, and involved.

As I suggested above if you'd like to keep her interested when she's in the saddle give her things to do with her hands/arms/legs. It'll teach her correct balance and help improve her seat.

Here's an example of what I do with my niece (who is extremely horsie). Get the horses, groom them (I help), and explain everything. Now we do a little mini test on the parts of a horse's leg. Next we get on. I explain where to put her leg and how to sit. Correct her where needed, praise a TON. Lunge line at a walk. Have her sit correctly and move her arms around, then her legs. Tell her she's incredible. Let her trot on the line a little bit. If she feels up to it does the same exercises as she did at a walk. Then I'll let her "direct" the horse while I'm walking next to it's shoulder. The riding time is about 15-20 minutes. Then we untack and she gets to help feed and give treats. She probably spends an hour MAX with me at the barn.

ETA - I want to add that my energy is really high and positive while we're doing this. I'm laughing and teasing her, she's giggling and being silly, but paying attention. I'm making it fun.

Last edited by MN Tigerstripes; 01-23-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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post #13 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jumanji321 View Post
I was younger than her when I learned to ride. I learned really fast because I enjoyed what I was doing and wanted to do it. Maybe she needs more time to get used to the pony and really get in to riding.
Thank you. She seems comfortable, but maybe she is not. That is a good perspective. Plus, I am so afraid of her mom going nuts if she gets hurt I have stressed safety when grooming and make C stand away from the pony (a mare with a huge bubble) when other horses are moving through the barn.
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post #14 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 05:05 PM
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My impression (before I even read everyone else's answers) was that either

a) she is just not interested or

b) she is so used to being led around that she feels totally safe and bored with being led.

I can't imagine any concious soul on the back of a horse letting go of the reins and looking around or sitting on their hands when they don't have someone walking next to them controlling the horse (at least not a total beginner).

So my only idea would be if the pony is trustworthy, stand in the center of a small area like a round pen and then she HAS to hold the reins and control the horse.

I kind of think horse people are born. No one in my family had or liked horses. I was just born that way. And I would cry every time my family drove past a horse because I wanted one so bad. I would have peed my pants for riding lessons. I never did get any, but at age 17 finally got my own horse. It was hard because we lived in the city and did not have horse property so we had to board. But ever since I was about 5 years old it was my life's mission to get a horse. I'm not sure if "C" has that.
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post #15 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes View Post
Two questions:

-Has she had any experience with horses before?

-Is this something SHE has expressed interest in?

If she doesn't have any experience you probably moved too fast for her. If she hasn't expressed interest, then she probably isn't really interested.

If she's interested I would take it down a notch. Continue to work on the groundwork and leadline stuff, but when she's on a lead work on her body position. Give her "games" to do in the saddle. I have my nieces raise their arms up, out to the side, behind, etc. Use imagery to get her to sit up straight, I tell my nieces to imagine someone is pulling a string through their body up through their head.

Once she is more confident and comfortable move to lunging so you can get a better idea of her position. Use the same kind of games to work on her stability in the saddle. Teach her that her hands are NOT for holding on. You can also speed up a little to trot for some fun.

If she does well with that, THEN move to self directed movement. Don't walk around in front of her, it's impossible to see what she's doing and correct her quickly. Set up a cone, tell her to walk to cone, halt, walk around cone, halt, and walk back to you. You need to break it up into manageable pieces and give her real tasks to do.

Last of all. Make it fun! Jump on the horse with her and ride around a little bit, go a little faster and do some fun things with her. Spend 20 minutes putting ribbons in the ponies mane or glitter on her hooves. She's 8 and has a pony, make it a fun thing for her, not all work. Good luck!
I just read your post! Thank you!!!

To specifically address your questions:

1. No. Other than a 5-minute pony ride at a carnival, no experience whatsoever.

2. She asked for this. She tried to negotiate halloween candy and $42 to buy the pony. I had to take her to the barn a few times while dad was working on the weekends or I missed my weekend visit. My idea was to let her help me with my horse. She met this pony and started talking about her own horse. I made it happen but only after she put the idea in my head.

I will take it down a notch this weekend (we have her this weekend also). I will halter only and have her work on arms out balance.

I also love the grooming ideas. It's a mare, so C would enjoy putting some pink ribbons in her mane.
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post #16 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
My impression (before I even read everyone else's answers) was that either

a) she is just not interested or

b) she is so used to being led around that she feels totally safe and bored with being led. Bingo. That was my worry. That as long as I had the lead she could tune out. I did notice a change after I let go of the lead, but by then I had made her cry too. Would like to avoid the ittybittyteenytiny feelings meltdown.

I can't imagine any concious soul on the back of a horse letting go of the reins and looking around or sitting on their hands when they don't have someone walking next to them controlling the horse (at least not a total beginner).

So my only idea would be if the pony is trustworthy, stand in the center of a small area like a round pen and then she HAS to hold the reins and control the horse.

I kind of think horse people are born. No one in my family had or liked horses. I was just born that way. And I would cry every time my family drove past a horse because I wanted one so bad. I would have peed my pants for riding lessons. I never did get any, but at age 17 finally got my own horse. It was hard because we lived in the city and did not have horse property so we had to board. But ever since I was about 5 years old it was my life's mission to get a horse. I'm not sure if "C" has that.
Agreed here too. I lost sleep over horse fantasies.
Everybody keeps talking about me pushing horses onto this little girl so we can bond (more or less). But, what do I do if it is opposite?

C is doing horses to be with me?

Also, this is an overnight thing for her. She heard me talking about buying a horse for 2 years. Then, one weekend she comes to our house and it is, "Hey, guess who bought horse?" For her, it was an overnight ordeal. For me, a lifetime.

But, she asked her dad when would I take HER to the horse. I hadn't planned on it. It was my time, but when he said she asked him if I would, I couldn't say no. (Well, I could, but I'm not THAT cruel and selfish).

Next thing I know she is joining me at the barn almost once each weekend they are with us.
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post #17 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 05:17 PM
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OP, some kids just like being around horses, not independently riding them. I've seen a lot of those kiddos and they never wanted to progress past a walk (they had trotted before but if left up to them, just trail rides.)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #18 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 05:24 PM
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Advice to avoid hurting tiny human's feelings: Remember she's just a kid. Think of her like a foal or a puppy. Short attention span, easily confused, and clumsy. You don't want to overload them either. Same concept.

Maybe she's a horse person at heart, maybe not, it's really hard to tell this soon into it. If she is, she'll thank you years from now for helping her. If she isn't, she'll thank you years from now for caring enough to let her try. As long as you control your temper and keep it fun.
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post #19 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 05:26 PM
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She may not even want to have anything to do with the pony.(although i've never met a little girl who doesn't love ponies! lol) I've been in love with horses since I was six so I was thrilled to get riding once I was 11. My first lessons I took with my younger sister. I was very eager to learn and spent every second I could with the horses. As for my younger sister she didn't like horses once bit. She was a passive rider and really could care less what she was doing. It was as if she were along for the ride just because of me. So eventually she gave it up and i'm still riding strong! I hope this helped a bit! Just don't force her into riding,maybe sit down with her and ask her how she feels about the pony and riding and such.
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post #20 of 44 Old 01-23-2012, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
OP, some kids just like being around horses, not independently riding them. I've seen a lot of those kiddos and they never wanted to progress past a walk (they had trotted before but if left up to them, just trail rides.)
Wow. Those kids exists? I guess that is the concept behind owning living lawn ornament though.

Not me, I want to canter down a snowy covered mountain... oops. I'm projecting again.



I have learned a LOT from this thread.

1. I have to be more engaging. I am all business. That's what happens when you toss a professional 46 yr old project manager in the room with an 8 yr old. We gantt chart the play date.

2. I am going to focus on identifying her confidence level. It took her an entire summer of training wheels before she had any confidence with her bike. And the no-training wheels experience the next summer was pretty tense for the first several rides. I think of her having much more confidence than she probably does because she can be so bossy and competitive (if that makes sense). But, push comes to shove she really is not a confident kid when trying new things.

3. I am going to let her be silly with the mare and maybe we will experiment with braiding that beasties' mane.

I will also not forego my riding on Sam. The last few weeks I have been focusing on helping C and the pony, but maybe if she watches me riding at the trot and doing maneuvers she will gain osmosis confidence.

Thanks everyone!!!!
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