Was I wrong? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-11-2014, 07:55 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,863
• Horses: 1
I pretty sure that I cried at every show I went to from the ages of probably 10 - 14. It was sometimes just crying in the bathroom but it was the stress, and the expectations, the fear of not being good enough, of people watching, of not doing my best.

Your cousin is a child. Of course she's not the best at handling horses! She's a kid, she's never done all this stuff before. She is still learning how to not just handle horses, but how to write properly, do math, be responsible, make decisions.

If you want to be the adult it doesn't just mean standing there telling her what to do - it means teaching her. At her age she is not the responsible party, you are, or her parents are or whoever has gone there with her. People aren't born understanding horses or horse behaviour, they are taught it. When you saw she didn't know how to free lunge you should go in there, explain to her how body language works and show her what she can do to be in charge. When your horse acted excited make it sound fun, tell her it's just like he's been kept in school all day and it's finally recess and he just wants to run around or something. Horses are big and scary, and I've seen grown adults run away from a horse just because it slowly meandered up to them. Horses only become not scary when we understand them, and understand how to handle them.

From what I read in your post, it doesn't really sound like you're "mad" or "angry", more frustrated. You thought you were doing your cousin a favour and instead she's just been crying all week. It's hard sometimes to put yourself in someone else's shoes, but instead of being angry, be kind. Talk to her, watch her, tell her when she does well, and teach her things along the way. No one comes all prepared for a new experience, they learn along the way, there will be stress, and tears and everything, but take it as a challenge, an opportunity to teach your cousin, to help her succeed. Look at yourself not as an "adult" or a "cousin" but a mentor. You have the opportunity to help shape the life and future of your cousin, teach her the right way to do things, help her grow confident and brave.

Maybe set up a weekly time where you can start teaching more about horsemanship so for the next show she'll be really ready!
Saskia is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old 08-11-2014, 08:12 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 4,439
• Horses: 3
Saskia beat me to it.

I was going to suggest that you take the time, at home, to teach your cousin the correct way to work a horse on a longe line. And any other aspect of horse-handling she's still having difficulty with.

As others have also said, the nerves that come with a first show or a first anything, for that matter, are intense, even for an adult. Having to do it all by herself, and knowing she is unprepared and being watched, AND having you correct (scold, in her mind) her in front of others is embarrassing - doubly so because she so wants to do her best! So...

Make sure she IS prepared for next time, so that if you do have to correct her from a distance, she'll understand that you're only reminding her of what her nervous-little-self has temporarily forgotten. I think you'll both enjoy the Next Time much better, that way.
Change is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old 08-11-2014, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 132
• Horses: 1
Thanks guys. I really appreciate all your input. Unfortunately, her parents aren't going to let her show in the fair again because it was stressful for them. And my parents don't want her to be showing my horse.. I'm okay with that honestly. I really was frustrated with her because I didn't understand why she was acting the way she did. Now that I look back on it, I understand a bit better. I was in her shoes once, but now I'm here, but I didn't have what she has so it was different for me.
I've never been that type of person to have that.. idk "instinct" with people. It's always been with animals. Sounds crazy, I know.. I've never shown horses in real shows before, only smaller animals (goats, poultry, dog, etc.). But knowing where the horse world is in shows these days, I get just how much more stress it is with horse shows instead of a goat show.
I don't want her to fail with horses.. But I honestly don't want her to fail with MY horses. Guess I'm protective like that :/
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Notanequestrian98 is offline  
post #14 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 02:18 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 103
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I don't think you really need to give up on her. Just work with her or have her watch you while you work with your horse. She will pick it up or she won't and she will move into something else. I'm sure she looks up to you and teaching her without the stress of a show and an audience will help her out a lot.
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Soccergoalie322 is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 90
• Horses: 2
Kids will pick up so fast, I wouldn't completely drop it. Even just hanging around at the barn doing chores with you, she'll learn body language around horses and some stuff that just takes experience to figure out. :)

If she really wants to pursue horses and showing, I'd give her another chance; but, I do understand you not wanting it to be at the expense of your horses. Is there a certain time you could set aside where you're with her whenever she's around your horse? Is she considering ever purchasing a horse of her own? It can be tough "sharing" horses with anyone, especially family. If this is something she's genuinely interested in, it might be just as good of an investment for her to look into buying! Good luck, whatever you decide! :)
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