problems with the in-laws & son's riding
My 9 year old son has been doing lessons for just over a year now. He rides hunter/jumper style & he LOVES it. Our instructor says he's got great balance & is a natural at this. He just recently asked our instructor to "get him show ready". He's ready for her to start pushing him. I know nothing about english, but this is what makes him happy & I'm all for it.
The problem is my FIL. He beleives that english is "sissy, girley stuff" & doing everything in his power to get my son to switch to western. My son wants grandpa to come watch lesson & see what he can do, but grandpa tells him "when you actually start riding the right way, I will". FIL harasses him constantly about this & has actually tried to bribe him to switch. To his credit, my son wont budge, but I can tell it hurts that he can't get his grandfathers support & aproval. FIL has even yelled at me about it.
All I can do is continue to support my son, but dang this has me wound up.
Sorry about the rant, but it feels better to get it all out
That's ridiculous. Show your FIL some videos of Olympic men who ride in 'girly' saddles wearing 'tights'...English is not sissy stuff! It isn't my preference, but truth be told I'd probably be a better rider if I took some English lessons. The first time I ever fell of (after 2 years of riding) was my first ride in an English saddle. Why? I'll admit it...I was depending far too much on the 'stickiness' of my western saddle. Whoops!
Good for your little guy for standing his ground!
Littrella, I wish I had a great answer to help you. I am so sorry that your son and you have to deal with this. Parents and grandparents are so important and their opinions can have great impact. I am glad your son has you on his side.
Sounds darn stupid to me, but I doubt you will change your father in law. You might point out that folks are much more likely to be hurt jumping than riding western, but I doubt that will convince him either.
You could also try pointing out the the girlie, sissy-boy US Cavalry taught riding with a forward seat:
or send him this video of sissies riding with a forward seat:
but I doubt you will change his mind.
If I was going to show your FIL videos or pictures, I'd show something more current.
This first video is from the 2012 London Olympics. Only men were in contention for medals at the end for show jumping
These videos show McLain Ward winning the HITS Million Grand Prix twice
We sound like we are in a similar situation. For us though it is MIL that belittles him. FIL tells people he races like the Kentucky Derby..... My son is happy and tells her western saddles are for sissies. I'll give it a few more years before I correct him. DH though gets upset to the point he wants to buy a western saddle and give him lessons now. I think she does it just to start crap between everyone.
Your FIL is worried that your son is gay and that somehow riding western will fix him. I think he is also more afraid of what other men will say. He'd probably be delighted if your son got into hockey - a guy sport. It's his loss if he can't accept your son's choice of sport. You need to tell your FIL to either button it when around your son or he won't be able to see or talk to him. Remind him that your son is living his life, not your FIL's.
I'd also have a conversation with your son on his level about why/what grandpa is saying and encourage him to do what HE likes.
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OP your son is being bullied and your FIL needs to stop this destructive behavior. If he was striking your son you would prevent him from contacting his grandson. Verbal abuse can be as harmful emotionally.
What I am not seeing in your post is how your husband thinks.
If he is supportive of his son then IMPO both of you need to tell your FIL that his bullying WILL stop.
Your son is 9 years old. It is your responsibility to protect him.
You have to be brave to jump those fences on a 1200 pound horse while he gallops. Nothing sissy about anything involving riding.
This is not about riding this is about control. Your the parent if you do not have a problem with your son riding an english saddle why should your FIL?
He wants to influence how you raise your son. Are you going to allow him to have a say ? Shalom
If I one day have children (or grandkids) I'd just be thrilled to see them that ambitious about riding and showing, regardless of what discipline they chose. Keep this nonsense away from your boy, even if it means keeping Grandpa out of his riding life altogether. Tell him that if he wants to discuss your son's riding with him that it is to be strictly in an encouraging, non-degrading manner. If he can't do that, then don't let them discuss horses. If he just can't avoid bringing it up, then you may have to make some hard decisions about how much time he spends with Grandpa. Comments like these can make your son change from viewing English riding as a fun, joyous experience that he's proud of to something that a role model in his life views as shameful. Don't let that happen- nip it NOW.
BTW, how does your son's father play into the picture? Grandpa might take it a little more seriously if his son comes down on him for this than if you do.
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