Pearl I'll also share this experience as it has made a big difference for the best (we already had a good relationship but there comes a point when children do what children do) in the relationship I have with my child. It may or may not be something useful for you at this time. The situation may be a little different but something to consider. When mine was at that point where he felt listening (especially to me - the authority figure) was optional I put him in riding lessons. I basically function as a single parent and needed back up. With no family around she gave that extra boost and reinforcement to smooth the transitions from child to preteen and now to teen. I had known and ridden under this instructor so knew how she handled children. It improved his attitude and willingness to listen in all aspects of his life - not just where horses were concerned. He has grown in maturity as well as put some years on since he started lessons and at this point she is who funds his savings as she pays him for jobs around the barn and is a big part of teaching him financial responsibility. Don't overlook the older mares. They too can teach much needed life lessons. Not that I don't like geldings just haven't had the experience with them that I have with mares. So glad things are going along so well with Sunshine. My child's first horse was a 10 yr old western playday horse. He put many a mile on her just trailing around. Then once lessons started and he knew what he was doing she got an English education. It is a source of frustration that she'll still do a sliding stop when asked for a halt in the dressage arena as well as doing spins instead of vaulte(sp?). He's considering western lessons to see what he can do with her as she obviously remembers her training.