How do you give a young rider confidence?

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How do you give a young rider confidence?

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    01-26-2011, 01:48 PM
Question How do you give a young rider confidence?

My current situation: I live in NM and because of life's circumstances My horse is boarded in AZ near my mom and dad and siblings. My little sister has been working with him (he is a 15 yo, QH/Arab, gelding) so she can do 4-H showing with him at the county fair. I am fine with this because I would hate for him to just sit out here and never do anything.

The other day I went out to teach her how to get him into the correct lead (starting by telling her how to watch his legs to figure out which lead he was on) As I was teaching her it came up that "He can't back up straight..." "He can side pass!?!?!?!" and "You can get him to go that fast!?!?!?!" I was stunned. I went out with her again yesterday (I am in town baby sitting for 2 weeks) and got on myself, aside from being horribly sore in the hip at the time and in the arms and legs later (from not riding for so long) He was so..... behind. I had to work very hard to get him to back at all let alone straight, I couldn't get him to lower his head, He would not side pass and getting him away from the gate was near impossible. Lunging before riding started with him trying to run away from me but once we fixed that he was great!

I know my problem is one that my little sister didn't know he was capable of doing cretin things that he did with ease last time I was on him, 2 she is inexperienced, 3 she lacks confidence, and 4 she gives up too quickly. I wish so badly that I could be here with her and teach her (and retrain my horse) but my situation just does not allow this. My parents have decided to buy her a horse of her own, a barrel horse. I am worried that Taylor (little sis) won't be able to handle it and want to build her confidence some how before this new horse arrives (not known when new horse will come). Any suggestions? Should I tell her to sign up for this forum to get ideas when she needs help?
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    01-27-2011, 12:20 PM
I think no matter what I'll be starting at square one with Dallas when I get him back..... This sucks I want my supple, light horse back..... He never did everything with ease but I haven't had to fight him like this since he was 4........
    01-27-2011, 12:35 PM
I think if your parents can afford to buy her a barrel horse, they can afford a good instructor/trainer. It makes a lot more sense for your sister to be better educated before she gets an expensive and finely tuned horse. Convince your parents to have her take lessons for 6 months to a year on your horse before they buy her her own. If you can. Also, if there's any way at all YOU can afford a trainer, have someone come out and ride your horse a few times to tune him up for her and teach her some things.

As far as giving her confidence without professional help, yeah, the internet is a good source, but there's just nothing like having an experienced teacher around. I rely heavily on mine. Is there someone in the neighborhood that would be willing to mentor her in exchange for chores or something?
kizmet likes this.
    01-27-2011, 12:44 PM
Originally Posted by horsplay    
I think no matter what I'll be starting at square one with Dallas when I get him back..... This sucks I want my supple, light horse back..... He never did everything with ease but I haven't had to fight him like this since he was 4........
You can't expect her to train the horse if she herself is untrained. Maybe find someone that will give her lessons while you're gone and teach her proper riding, and then later teach her how to "train"? If that's not an option, show her yourself while you're there what to do. Teach her how to make him sidepass and back up properly. Really it isn't her lacking the confidence to do it, she just doesn't know what to do.

I know when I was doing 4H and working with my horse, I "gave up" when I felt there was nothing more to do (nothing I KNEW how to do, anyway). I got bored. It's very possible she is getting bored, and if you show her all the things you want her to do with your horse, she will actually have a goal every ride instead of just getting on and playing it by ear. I think you are mistaking her lack of confidence for boredom. If she is in fact genuinely lacking confidence, make her do things she doesn't think she can do (but you know she can). Control the situation though. Whenever I feel lack of confidence, I do something that proves me wrong. Every single time I give a fresh horse their first ride, I get this feeling and start losing confidence, like "What if all the ground work wasn't good enough? What if they take off and throw me?" But I swing up anyway, and as soon as my butt hits the saddle, my confidence is regained. I know it's weird. But it's true! It's like a big scary rollercoaster. You WANT to ride it, but you're afraid to. Then, once you suck up and ride it, you realize you can ride any scary rollercoaster in the park.
    01-27-2011, 02:09 PM

1 a ridding teacher: I am trying to get my parents to give her lessons again but not being very successful at the moment. She dose have a very good rider/trainer doing 4-H with her and her friend but it doesn't seem to be steady and she doesn't seem to give her anything to work on between meetings. Tay is a good rider but you may be right she may just not know what to do. I showed her 2 days ago how to work on lowering his head, side pass, and back. My time is limited because of my daughter and handicapped brother have to go with me and neither can sit still very long. And she can only go after school which gives us a little time if it's not too cold. I am doing all I can to help her while I am here, but she is 16 and sometimes I feel like I am talking to a brick wall.

2 Trainer for horse: Sadly I cannot afford to hire someone to come ride him right now esp without being here to watch them ride the first time. The other problem is my sister and horse are kept in a very small town where not many people ride and those that do are usually not very good.

3 she has teenage friends. The place I have Dally boarded is all I can afford right now and it is also a place where 3 other owners have their horses. These other owners know literally nothing about horses or caring for them, everything they know I have told them. I won't go into detail but the other day I caught one of the girls "lunging" (chasing her horse around with a whip) on the ice. The whole area she was lunging on was solid ice and you could tell the horse was on tip toes and nervous and this is a horse that is already nervous of people, I suggested she stop but she chose to ignore me. I told my sister to never ever do that and told her to hook dally to a line and take him to solid ground or don't lunge at all. I just am fearful of what these girl who know nothing are teaching my sister who wants to learn the right way to ride and work with horses.

I am going out with her as often as possible to teach her what I can and hoping some of it gets through. I am also hoping that when she gets her new horse they will move mine and hers away from these people who don't know what they are doing and refuse to listen to others. It's dangerous. For now I will teach her all I can and try to convince my parents to find a riding coach for her.

I grew up teaching myself almost everything I know. My parents never bought me a horse and the summer after my senior year I worked to part time jobs to save for college and another to earn my horse. My parents told me not to get a horse and told me if I did they would not pay a dime to help me care for him. I worked hard through my days at college to learn and pay for my horse. My little sister is being handed everything in my opinion the wrong way. My parents even told Tay that I was not as into horses at that age and that's why I didn't get a horse. Where as I went to rodeos and any place I thought I might ride my boots where always on or in the car. I did the best I could with what I had and I want my sister to have more at her disposal for help..... Blah sorry I am ranting. I guess it just rubs me the wrong way to see girls turned out with horses and know help from any one that knows what they are doing, it's not good for the horses or the girls....
    01-27-2011, 02:10 PM
Green Broke
Alot of positive might need to correct her in some areas but always try to be upbeat about "You did this really well, but next time lets try this and see if it's a little easier, don't worry, you'll get it." things like that and then praise gave my little sister alot of confidence..I was in a situation somewhat like yours, I do live with my sister though..
    01-27-2011, 02:13 PM
Snookeys your right
You can't expect her to train the horse if she herself is untrained.

I never expected her to train him but I expected her to keep him "tuned up" I guess I didn't realize before hand that she did not have the knowledge I thought she had, she used to take formal lessons so I thought she had the basics of backing and trotting and cantering on her but I think I was wrong. Now that I think about it, I worked for her instructor and bought my horse from the same lady and it explains why My sister doesn't know as much as I thought she did.
    01-28-2011, 12:22 PM
Here is a picture of my little sister working with Dallas

Dally and Tay.jpg
    01-28-2011, 12:44 PM
#1, why isn't she wearing a helmet?

#2, why is she cranking on that rein? She has no leg on him but has that rein in her fist

#3 why is she looking at his head?

Sorry, I know that a picture is just a second in time but that one speaks volumes.

I'd love to see a video.......that would show how capable she is or isn't
    01-28-2011, 01:06 PM
Originally Posted by G and K's Mom    
#1, why isn't she wearing a helmet?

#2, why is she cranking on that rein? She has no leg on him but has that rein in her fist

#3 why is she looking at his head?

Sorry, I know that a picture is just a second in time but that one speaks volumes.

I'd love to see a video.......that would show how capable she is or isn't
This picture was taken before I got here and saw how she was riding so it's not a great example but....

1 not sure why she is not wearing a helmet but no one forces her to and I never did growing up so she has just never been taught to wear one. Yes she should be wearing one though I know.....

2 once again I didn't take the picture so don't know what she was trying to accomplish, but it explains why he has such a hard mouth now...

3 once again.... not sure, she needs help and right now I am doing all I can but I only have 2 weeks in town and 4 kids to watch while I'm here as well as teaching her.

I would love to put up video and I am so mad at myself about this because I wanted to get new pics of dally and some of my daughter but I left my Camera at home... grrr at me. Lol

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