Help for Mom of rider!
My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking english riding lessons for a year, as well as gone to horse camp for a week...we also have horses, although her Dad is the big rider and he rides western. My problem/question is this....her position, the way she sits, looks, etc, look fantastic--her instructor says if she were to go into her first show right now, she would sweep every first place there was! But....she still can be fearful at times, more than her instructors think she should. Hroses that are sweet, dead-broke, can sometimes causer her fear...she doesn't like it if the horse moves too much, or trots too fast. She LOVES horses and everything about riding, but I guess I'm worried that she isn't "tough" enough or confident enough to ride (maybe I'm feeling that way because her instructors have said that maybe she shouldn't ride if she can't get over her fear). There are 6 year olds in her barn riding huge horses without any problem, and they will give my daughter a small, dead-broke, calm horse and she will fear him....not all horses, just some...
Sorry to be so long, but am I worrying over nothing, or does it sound like she will never be a horse rider because she doesn't take to every horse naturally??
Thanks for any advice, good or bad, that you can give me:):cry::D
Sometimes it takes longer for a rider to overcome their fears. Has she fallen yet?
It's natural. I would just not push her. Let her go at her own pace. We have one at our barn that has a killer seat, perfect equitation and rides beautifully... cries when a horse flicks it's ear... she's funny because when she's in the mood, she can ride with the best of them but when she's "off"... good golly can that child be stubborn! She's been dealing w/ fear issues for a few years now but she loves the horses and loves to ride so... I think eventually she'll get over it... and to be honost, a little fear in a child is a really good thing. Because she'll remain cautious when others will let their gaurds down...
This isn't too common, but with me, I buckle when someone is looking over my shoulder while I'm doing something. When all eyes are on me, I can't draw, I can't play guitar, I can't hammer a nail in.... and I'm NOT a good rider. lol I used to ditch school *kid,don't try this at home* just so I could be alone with my horse and have a good ride. I was able to bond with him without any distractions and I was able to get in the 'zone' without pressure.
Fear can either make you lose control, or it can make you focus. When people weren't around, that's when I was able to make the best of my fears. Not saying you should let her ride alone, of course! Just suggesting a possible stem.
She has not fallen yet, and I guess that is what she is ultimately afraid of...I don't know. Last week her instructor talked to me and wanted to know how to proceed--should she push her, or ease back....she felt like she has been riding long enough to get out of the trot stage, but could tell that she was fearful (although she says she really, really, really wants to canter and jump!). I thought maybe she should give her a little push to see how she responds, but that isn't working...
Do you have to be tough and a natural around horses, or is it possible for her love of horses to help her overcome her sometimes fears??
I am wondering something similar. Maybe she is "overwatched". Not enough just play time with the horse. Are you often there when she has a lesson? Here is a thought. Is there a very low key instructor in your area. We have a wonderful 4-H leader who is non competitive and does lots of fun things with the kids and horses. Builds their confidence tremendously. I would see if you can find a more play environment for her as well as her english lessons. Tell her this is "her time" and be sure you leave though, actually drive away. So she is not feeling any pressure, even unintentionally from you. Also, if you are not there she will feel more independant, like she has to take charge of her own fears. Just a sugggestion, not sure if it is helpful.
Maybe for the first few canters, she can ride a lesson horse that has a slow, steady canter. The instructor will probably know which horses would be best for that.
They have told her next week to ride one of their slower, calmer hroses and she is going to do that....I guess I just feel like they think something is wrong with her because she still has this fear after being around horses with them for a year, and at our own house (although none of ours are able to be ridden).
I do stay in a room away from where she rides, and I really don't watch her.
You have all made me feel better and I have tried to let her know that she just needs to go at her own pace, but I feel like there is so much pressure for her to advance.
After what you have said I still think there maybe some pressure she is not liking. Remember, if she can stand up to pressure from others and do things her own way she will be WAY ahead as a teenager. :) I have mentioned this before but will again about working with cows. Is there anywhere in you area to take lessons sorting cows? People and horses, for some reason, love to chase cows. You might start out nervous but quickly you become so absorbed in chasing the cow that you forget you are riding. I know John Lyons daughter teaches fearful riders team sorting because she noticed the same thing.
she needs to fall off one time! LOL...Have you talked to her about her fears? Can you bring her out to ride on her own? as backinthesaddle said...if you let her ride and just watch her, no lesson... moving at her own pace, she might be able to over come some stuff on her own...
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