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Mom watching lessons (not mine!)

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    09-16-2010, 11:37 AM
Green Broke
I watch Sarah some days and some days not. There are times that her instructor looks to me to discipline her and then I do.
My money pays for those lessons, and if I don't like how they are going i'd pull her off the horse and take her home, and that's how it will be. If you've never mothered a girl, you have to understand how it works, it's an odd relationship.
I say leave it be. But let me tell ya I understand the mother. Paying for a lesson where a surly child doesn't learn deserves a child getting consequences at home. Money doesn't grow on trees and lessons are not cheap.
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    09-16-2010, 01:10 PM
I have seen many parents watching their kids lessons and all except one behaved well. Stayed there on the bench quietly chatting with others and if their child would look at them they would smile for reassurance or say something like "You're doing fine / looking great !"

Only once have I seen a mother whose protective instincts probably wrecked a bit the lesson. Her girl was very young - 5-7 yo maximum- and she was learing trot on the lunge line.
The pony spooked at another horse and she fell off. I still remember that moment precisely:
1. She looked at the instructor, the instructor smiled and was preparing to help her get up. The child was fine, just confused and was NOT about to cry.
2. Then Mom runs in yelling from the top of her lungs MY POOR BABY! OMG! DON'T CRY MOMMY IS HERE
3. The kid has a few seconds of pondering and then decides to start crying her head off.
4. Instructor insists of getting the kid back in the saddle. Mother notices some dust on the girl's arm and starts yelling again "IS IT BROKEN? CAN YOU MOVE IT?" and then starts rubbing the child's arm thoroughly (lol I doubt you would do that to a fractured limb but meh...)
5. All of a sudden the child's aunt, father, grandma pop inside the arena and start shaking the kid and rub him. The kid of course since she's about to die ad cries till her face turns blue.
6. Some dude comes running as well saying I HAVE MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE LET ME IN and start feeling the girl's arm again (she had absolutely nothing)
7. After this, the mom suddenly turns to instructor's side (the instructor had already given up and looked like she had a migraine) and tries to convince her daughter to get back in the saddle (after scaring the crap out of her) with these horrible words: "Don't embarrass me in public! Get back on that horse! Everyone says you;re fine! Get back now or we never come back here again"

I know its not a good idea to interfere in mom - daughetr relationship but that day I really felt like saying a few things to that lady. I didnt, I walked out. 15 mins later the mom went to her car jerking the little girl "We'll never come back here you sissy! Stop crying" seriously :(
    09-16-2010, 01:14 PM
As a girl who has a grumbling mother I would tell you to lay off if you began intervening in how we speak to each and our relationship. Even though you may feel you know them really well there are some places you don't put your nose unless someone has requested help.

This mother wasn't disrupting as you said, you simply feel sorry that the mom may be making confidence isssues in daughters mind bigger? I like whoevers idea it was to help boost daughters self esteem. Tell her good job and find something to compliment her on a little more often and point these things out to mom once in awhile too. Moms are tough on kids. My mom is, if I did something wrong I was told all about it, you shouldn't stop that in a parent IMO.
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    09-16-2010, 01:56 PM
These responses are interesting to me, I guess I was just lucky as a kid.

My mom dropped me off 30 minutes before my lesson (to tack up), came back about 15 minutes after the lesson finished. The time between the drop off and pick up was about learning more than riding - it was also about learning how to interact with people and gain independence.

No parents were there. Instructors and maybe a couple barn hands were around to help. If I had any problems, it was between the instructor and me, my mom was never there to step in. My instructor had all the tools she needed (amazing what cleaning extra tack, or not being able to jump that lesson, might do to make a kid behave).

Only if something went beyond my instructor's ability to handle would she have a "talk" with my mom after the lesson. (And you'd better believe that if she had a "talk" with any of our parents, we would be in a lot of trouble when we got home later.)

Every so often we'd have a parents' day where we'd get to show off - "teach" our parents about how to groom the horses, have them watch us ride, take tons of pictures. But not during the normal lessons.

I wouldn't trade the knowledge I gained from that experience for the world. It was a chance to step away from my mom and learn some independence.

In addition, even if the parents don't get in the way, the kids often still act different. Haven't you ever seen a teen who is polite as can be until mom walks up, and then all of a sudden turns snotty? That attitude makes it into the ring, too.

The last place I boarded (before I moved) was the same way as how I grew up. The instructor wouldn't let parents hang around except on special days. Any other time, kids were dropped off and picked up later. Amazing how well the kids behaved.

I guess I just thought all barns were like that...
    09-16-2010, 02:29 PM
I have to admit, if I was a parent and they said I was not allowed to watch I would probably not take my kid there.

I have no problem with rules regarding the parents not making noise, etc. If you break the rules then you are asked to leave. But a blanket rule that does not allow any parent to watch is just wrong.
    09-16-2010, 02:31 PM
Green Broke
My kids are not allowed places I am not allowed. Period.

I'm in a very different situation barn wise, we are all one big family.
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    09-16-2010, 02:35 PM
Originally Posted by cakemom    
My kids are not allowed places I am not allowed. Period.

There is one gymnastic place near me that has a 'no parents' rule. I suppose I can see it for the really advanced kids. But why does a starting out pre-schooler have to learn to focus, which is the reason they give for not allowing parents to watch the classes. Parents are allowed to come watch the last class of each session to see how their kid has progressed.

Just crazy if you ask me.
    09-16-2010, 02:35 PM
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
But a blanket rule that does not allow any parent to watch is just wrong.
My first thought would be they're probably doing something to the kid or to the horse that they don't want me to witness. Call me paranoid but that would be my first thought if such a rule would be.
    09-16-2010, 02:37 PM
My first thought would be they're probably doing something to the kid or to the horse that they don't want me to witness. Call me paranoid but that would be my first thought if such a rule would be.

Mine too. I would definitely think they were hiding something and would not allow my child to participate.
    09-16-2010, 02:41 PM
Originally Posted by inaclick    
My first thought would be they're probably doing something to the kid or to the horse that they don't want me to witness. Call me paranoid but that would be my first thought if such a rule would be.
Ok, maybe I should clarify it. It wasn't absolutely not allowed. Maybe "strongly discouraged" would be a better term.

Is it really that unusual? I've been riding 27 years, at several stables, and that's been the norm from what I've seen.

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