I just joined this forum, in hopes to get some advice from other horse owning mothers. Me and my husband have 3 kids, and raise a few reining horses and run a boarding facility. Were pretty low key, we like to keep things drama free and simple. So anyways, my oldest is 15 and she's confusing me lately
. She started riding at a young age, and by about 8 we started putting her on quite reining horses, she hated it... terribly. Even though she had riding experience she didn't like the speed and quickness at all, so then she leased a pony and joined 4-H, started out just doing walk/trot and halter. Then when she turned 11 we bought her a finished western pleasure mare and she's been showing her competitively for the past 4 years. She did 4-H, Pinto Circuit and some open shows threw out the years. The main reason we wanted her to join 4h was to make friends that also showed western pleasure, since me nor my husband are really interested or knowledged in showing wp. Sadly, she only made 1 friend who did wp, and she is older than my daughter and will be moving out of state this fall for college. So now my daughter has lost interest in wp and the slow stuff and wants to try speed eventing (ie: barrel racing/poles). All her other friends do speed events, and I feel like since her only wp friend is leaving she feels like she won't have anybody to ride with (because you know mom and dad arent cool enough for her
). Anyways, my husband owns a 12 year old gelding, that we just basically use for ponying, trails, ranch work etc. We figured he would be the easiest to learn the feel of speed on, she's been riding him for about 2 weeks now and she just acts like he's to hot headed. Once again.. she seems afraid of the speed, im just clueless, I don't know what to do to encourage her not to get tense and nervous. In all honesty, he's not really a hot gelding, he likes to go, but whenever he speeds up his canter or anything she's instantly hitting the brakes on him. I guess my problem is I don't know why she's so scared, in all her years of riding she's never had a bad fall. Never got seriously hurt under saddle, so in my mind im not exactly sure what makes her feel afraid. When I try to talk to her she just says she believes she will fall off?? My daughter has a good seat, and is balanced, she looks fine in the saddle, I honestly think its just mind over matter. She has had a mentor and lessons, nothing seems to work. How is she suppose to do speed events if she doesn't even like a faster lope?? Im afraid to push her, because then I feel like she just wont want to ride at all. Right now she is doing walk/trot around barrels, however my hubbys gelding isn't a barrel racer, and my husband doesn't want him to become one either.
Ok, so now on to what i've been given as advice, everybody says get an old experienced barrel racer that can show her the ropes without her feeling like she's losing control. The problem is, I don't want to buy a horse that's near retirement, because im worried this is just a phase she will overcome within a few months. Then I just have another horse not being used because she once again "upgraded", we already put the wp mare up for sale since she doesn't even ride her anymore, and I actually had a boarder keep her in shape over the winter in exchange for costs cut on board. What should I do here?? She's already looking at horses for sale, im 100% if she wants to do barrel racing, that's not a problem but she's not grasping the fact that barrel racing is extreme speed. I've taken her to open speed shows, shown her videos, I even had her reading up on the dangers and demands a rider undergoes to barrel race. Yet she's still determined, but at the same time doesnt seem to want to push herself at all to succeed in this discipline. It would break my heart to just tell her to quit and that she's not going to go anywhere with this since she can't even gallop under saddle
. Any advice?