Mom stressing me out...
I have a new horse who is 4yo. She has the basics and I'm training her to be an eventer with the help of my trainer. In my lessons, I feel like I ride perfectly; I don't get frustrated, Sunny (horse) shows that I'm doing something right, and the big thing- MY MOM DOESN"T WATCH. When I ride by myself, my mom watches me and thinks it's okay to give her 2 cents. My mare is a tad stubborn and some days are a fight. Comments like "Just be done, you're not going to win" and "She looks a bit crazy today; you sure you can handle that?" just make me more frustrated. When I'm frustrated I have zero patience, for my mom and the horse. When I ride without my mom watching (if I'm riding with friends etc.) I can work through the stubborness and move on. When my mom is there, I just end up snapping at her (and getting in trouble) and being counterproductive while riding. I've tried asking her nicely and not so nicely to sit in the car, or the barn, or talk to someone else while I ride, but she doesn't listen. I've told her that she is what frustrates me, but she laughs and says that I picked the wrong horse (when we were buying her) and not to take it out on her b/c it isn't her fault.
I don't know why I can't ride well in front of my mom, but it might have something to do with the fact that everytime we have one of "those days", she threatens to send my horse to a training facility in Virginia where "people actually know what they are doing". Unless it's my mom, I can leave all feelings behind when I ride and just focus, no matter what drama is happening at school or at home or grades or anything like that.
At this point, I'm just hoping that then next year and a half goes by really fast so I can get my license and drive myself to the barn, but untill then - what can I do about this problem?
Take a deep breath, smile, and just keep doing what you're doing. You can't make your mom be anyone other than your mom :)
Instead of letting her words get into your head, block that frustration with a smile, and work through it. Like all things, easier said than done.
If that doesn't work, ear plugs :)
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It wasn't my mom who thought this way, but when I bought my second horse (first was actually a pony!) about 7 yrs ago I was sort of in-between trainers. My trainer at the time was moving barns, so I starting working with another trainer who trained where I boarded. Long story short, my horse was green (especially over fences, and was not honest over fences-- never was 100%), and a few lessons in... the new trainer stopped me and told me I should sell the horse and find a new/better one.-- Mind you, this was AFTER he refused to ride the horse again, after he rode him about 2 times and the horse reared with him.-- It was also interesting because he refused to ride him again, but still offered to give me lessons. Umm....?
My response to his idea of selling the horse was to tear up while riding out of the arena, ignoring his recommendation, and stopped riding with him all together. I started working with a new trainer, and the horse slowly improved. Due to barn issues, we went trainerless for a few years, but finally hooked up with a great trainer who helped start to show the horse's true potential and we BOTH started to really learn/improve.
Due to injury, I recently retired that horse, and am now starting fresh with a 3 yr old OTTB, but moral of the story is I knew we could work through the issues, and eventually we did. I could have very well listened to the trainer who was afraid of my horse and said to sell him, but thankfully I didn't, and we have had some great moments and a lot of fun together instead.
Keep doing what you are doing with your girl and if you see improvement with your trainer, that is proof you can do it and that you guys are on the right path. NOT saying anything negative about your mom in particular, but there will always be people who think negative thoughts, think you are in over your head, and express doubt... in both cases of if you actually are in over your head and if you are actually not in over your head.
I really like the blog you have of your progress with Sunny. Just ignore your mom's comments and know you know what you are doing. You can even tell her "we overcome these issues in our lessons with our trainer, so I know we can overcome them now, it's not that big of a deal". Instead of boiling over the negative comments your mom is giving you, turn them around on her with your actions, in continuing to work hard to be able to show her the improvement you are, and will be, making.
I kinda know how you feel. My mother seems to have it stuck in her head that I can't ride certain horses, but for the opposite reason to you - because she rarely sees me ride. In the last 10 years, she's seen me ride perhaps 3 times. Because of this, every horse I look at I get the whole 'this one isn't right', 'you can't handle that'. Plus, last time she saw me ride was on a clydesdale cross who I presume was sore, because he was snorting, doing little pig roots, and was just clearly not up for it, and he had behaved perfectly the first time I rode him. First sign of trouble, she freaked - understandably, this was only 6-8 months after my bad fall, but still. The horse was being difficult and yes, I believe there was a reason behind it, but he was a spoilt horse and I wasn't going to let him get away with it, so I made him walk the few more metres back to where we would untack him, even though he seemed on the verge of rearing or bucking. Once I got off, my mother was all over me 'Oh you shouldn't have done that', and worst yet 'I could see that you were terrified'. I wasn't. I was the calmest I'd been on a horse since the fall.
I've come to the conclusion that parents just want what they think is best for us. I think you need to try to explain to your mother that yes, you struggle with your horse sometimes and yes, it misbehaves sometimes, but you are really getting somewhere with it. Maybe even have your trainer talk to her, tell her that you are working through your issues and that you've already come such a long way.
Does she ride? I'd offer the horse to her to ride and "show" me how it is done. I am older though and yours is being negative.
First- My mom is still a beginner rider (I'm teaching her to ride my older horse). If I put her on this mare, she'd be on the ground with a broken something in a second- if she actually got on...
Second- LostDragonflyWings: I'm glad you like the blog :) As you can see- we do make progress, but it's so hard to get to that "sweet spot" in the ride when you achieve that goal when I'm so frustrated with my mom.
Third- Tracer: I'm thinking of asking my friend to video tape my lesson so I can show my mom, but I almost think that would be letting her expect too much. Without someone to watch on the ground, it can be harder to get what I have in lessons when I ride alone. I'd be afraid that my mom would think that every ride should look like the lesson.
I think the best solution for right now is to use her negativity for encoragement. I did it before when a previous trainer told me I'd never be good enough to ride novice. I worked my butt off all winter and ended up getting second in our first novice show. Best part was seeing her face after dressage :)
I agree with Katbalu about "taking a deep breath and smile" - that will help diffuse things instantly. Then, try to tune your mother completely out during the lesson, focusing on you and your horse. Visualize your excellent riding as a success that's already happened. Nothing else in the world should matter more than you, your horse and your lesson. As far as the other "critiquing"? Calmly stop, look at her and simply say in your most mature manner, "Thankyou for your opinion - I'll consider it" and ride on with confidence. :)
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