Wow, while I must say it's a little crazy to just buy her whatever she wants I also think it's crazy to just jump in and say she's a spoiled brat who gets everything she wants..15 is a tough age, and if she's trying to stick with her friends or make new friends by switching disciplines so what? If she has to WANT to do it and work for it, I see it as character building. It would suck to be the only crazed hormonal teenage girl who is already having some confidence issues, and she's just trying to fit in and keep up with her friends...Do you blame her?
That said, I think she just needs a dose of self confidence...Dad needs to stop picking on her and encourage her.. You both need to basically say "For us to get serious with you about running barrels you're going to get serious also, you can't expect us to pay for the horse and all of the things you're going to need and you just sit by. You have to get over this hump and try harder.." Honestly, it will probably benefit her to fall one time..Once that fear is gone and she gets back on she'll be a MUCH better rider..The ground isn't as hard as she's made it seem to herself.. Don't baby her, make her do it.. and if she wants to stop WP I would tell her, in order to have a barrel horse, "you need to sale your WP horse. The money you have from your WP horse will go towards your barrel horse, but for us to take the barrels seriously, you have to show us you're serious."
Don't tell her how dangerous it can be over and over again..She knows, but as soon as she gets scared and tries to close up. MAKE her push through it..She'll probably cry a good bit..but it is SOOO much better and easier on you all to buy a finished horse who already knows his job. She'll just get frustrated with the whole deal riding a horse who doesn't know what it's doing and she's a beginner also. That said, a finished barrel horse doesn't have to be old or near retirement..There are other horses out there who are suitable for a beginner who are great confidence builders...
The biggest piece of advice I can give you both is to make her push through that fear, even if you have to get harsh with her. That will make her push harder..MAKE HER WORK FOR IT. Let her groom, clean stalls, work around the barn..The whole deal..She isn't a princess and has to do her share.
While some young riders may be successful with training their own horse, a 15 year old with confidence issues is NOT capable of training her own horse, much less for barrels.
This coming from a serious barrel racer who went through that same stage and lack of confidence.. You can PM me if you like, I'd love to talk to her.
I am Sparkly Meanie Doodie Head and I approve this message!
Last edited by DrumRunner; 03-19-2012 at 10:56 PM.