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post #21 of 34 Old 06-26-2009, 08:53 AM
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I didn''t want to bring this because it may not be the issue. But a friend of mine's daughter had no confidence and was all teary eyed over everything. She ended up switching to a different barn (she came to my barn actually). Now, the instructor she had is very good and a great kid person BUT... for whatever reason, it turned out that the issue was in that the daughter for whatever reason, did not have the confindence in her Instructor. When she switched barns, for whatever reason, my trainer (who is NOT a kid person) will tell her to do something and she will do it... it turns out that she gains strength from the trust that she has in the trainer... so it could be that she and the instructor aren't clicking. I would save that as a last option though.. I'd hate for you to move barns and find out that was not the issue... but it is a thought.

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post #22 of 34 Old 06-26-2009, 03:11 PM
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Has she done around the world on a horse standing still. She gets on a horse just standing still bareback. She then turns a quarter of the way around so that she has both legs on one side of the horse, then keep doing that all the way around the horse, next facing backwords, then both legs on the other side then sitting normal again. She will fall off and learn that it doesn't necessarily hurt to fall off and maybe that will help her confidence plus the added advantage of better balance.
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post #23 of 34 Old 06-26-2009, 03:15 PM
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yes around the world always a favorite. I find sometimes the timid ones just take more time and that is okay
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post #24 of 34 Old 06-26-2009, 03:31 PM
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All very good advice. I also lean towards the same mount to help her build her confidence. Since she already has a great seat, riding different horses could be counter productive for her confidence.

My own daughter rode the same horse, they really clicked, and could ask him to do anything. He was very willing for her low pressure ways, and in return her ego got a huge boost because no one else could get the same repsonses from him.

Some riders are just a little more timid than others, that's okay. It's the joy of riding you want to encourage. Like what has been stated, to pressure this tempermant of rider could push her away from riding. Better to proceed slowly for the long run.

Good luck to you and your daughter. She is only 10 and each child develops at their own pace. Hope the instructor can see the individual and not lose sight .
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post #25 of 34 Old 06-26-2009, 03:36 PM
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One thing I noticed that you say her instructors say she might lack the confidence to go further and talk about how well she would do at a show. Is this a show focused barn? Its possible she is afraid to show and is afraid if she progresses too much they will talk her into going to a show? You might ask her. Does she take private or group lessons ? maybe if she had a friend that she rode with might help also..
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post #26 of 34 Old 06-26-2009, 06:51 PM
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I was a lot like her a year or so back. My fear was because I was riding a horse that I to much for me and I had a bad fall. Before I got that horse I was cantering and doing 6" jumps (if you can call them that). I spent 2-3 years being 100% afraid of going faster then a trot on that mare (I would trot my calm HUS gelding). Then I got with a really great horse and started to really ride again. Now ive been riding hot headed Thorughbred mares that still scare me, but I ride through it.

What I really think would help your daughter is to have her ride one horse and really get to know that horse and bond with him/her. That way the horse will trust her and she will trust the horse as well. I was in her shoes, almost the exact same position, it takes a lot of time. I really think her getting to know and trust one horse would help a bunch. Maybe look into leasing a schooly that can show her the ropes and stay calm while doing it.

Okay, im done with my super long post, hope I helped!

Also something that might help is doing emergency dismounts, just to know what it feels like to fall. I do them to help me get over any fears of falling I have, when I do/did. It seems to help. That way if the horse does start to freak out about something she knows how to get off fast.
Also putting her on the lunge line and letting her hold the grab strap will help. Thats what I did when I was first taking lessons, it helps.

Last edited by eventerwannabe; 06-26-2009 at 06:58 PM.
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post #27 of 34 Old 06-28-2009, 10:54 PM
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your daughter sounds exactly like me at that age. it took me over a year to get up the confidence to canter and even on the calmest horses, i would be worried every time they took a funny step. i still have anxiety issues with horses, though i love them more than anything. so really relate to your daughter. you'll just have to give her time. if her current instructor wont work to her pace, i'd suggest finding a new one. believe me, going through it myself, these things can't be rushed. i was pushed into jumping and now i wont jump at all. it just brings back so much anxiety i cant do it. and i dont want her to miss out on something. so i wouldn't be worried, i would just let her develop at her own pace. if you want to pm me, i can let you know of some other things that worked well for me on overcoming my irrational fears having to do with horses.
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post #28 of 34 Old 06-29-2009, 02:38 AM
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I used to be that rider.

I fell off when I was 8, and got pretty badly hurt. After that I didn't want to do anything that I deemed was "scary." That included cantering or jumping. Before the fall, I was nearly fearless.
I was that quiet kid that nobody yelled at because I was "too sweet" and "couldn't take it."
The instructor I got on with after my fall was a tough love kinda gal. She didn't take crap or excuses. BUT she never ever put me in a situtation she knew I couldn't handle. Getting through those sticky spots is what counted.
I cried a lot with her as my teacher. At some points I hated going to lessons, but I couldn't give up; riding is my life, and it has been since I was very small. I would also like to note that neither of my parents are horsey.
It was the tough love followed by hard-earned praise that got me to where I am now - I've been bitten, kicked (still recovering from my last boot actually), tromped on, stood on, and dumped by more horses than I can count, and I still get back on the horse, eager to do it all again because the reward of getting something done right is ... well, amazing.

I think it's a big balance between tough love and praise. If praise is earned too easily and readily, it becomes valueless. If tough love is given too much, that can make a person unresponsive.

That is my 2 cents on the subject, for what it's worth, from a former chicken.

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post #29 of 34 Old 06-29-2009, 04:41 AM
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I didn't read all the posts, so forgive me if I'm repeating someone.

I teach beginners, and one of my kiddos is 8. She is a GREAT rider. Has a very solid seat, does what I ask of her, and remembers it. She has her own horse who is not a dead broke babysitter like a lot of horses that kids learn on. Her horse gives her trouble sometimes, tossing her head, refusing to move, etc. She handles it like a pro, and gets her horse paying attention again.

However, if you put that kid on another horse - she cries. She gets scared. Doesn't want to ride. Doesn't want to do anything. It's bizarre.

Her parents have even called me asking why their kid is still scared of horses when they are paying me for lessons - and I don't have an answer for them. In our lessons, she's great, knows her stuff, and rides awesome. At home, she gets scared when her horse does something unexpected.

I haven't been able to get to the bottom of it. I think a lot of it is having a relationship with one particular horse, and the security of having an instructor present.

10 is very young still. I didn't feel comfortable around every horse until I was in my teens, and I've been riding since I was 5.

Some people need more time to be comfortable around all or most horses. Some little kids aren't scared of anything. Others need to be guided a little more closely through "scary" situations.

If she loves riding, there's no reason to let a little fear get in her way. Let her work through them on her own time.

Best of luck!
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post #30 of 34 Old 06-29-2009, 04:02 PM
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It sounds like she's just lacking confidence, which is pretty natural and I'm sure everyone else here can relate at least a little bit (especially for those of us who have had bad falls). Just let her take it at her own pace, as slow as she wants. Make sure she stays on horses that are a comfortable size for her and are well broke and reliable. And the more lessons she has, the better. Encourage her, but don't pressure her, if that makes sense.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be.
" Abraham Maslow, 1968
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