Riding lesson gone wrong! - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 41 Old 08-29-2015, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
That's a bit unreasonable IMO. Agree the child is too young for lessons, but why is it mostly Mum's 'fault' that this terrible experience happened?? She obviously didn't realise it was a bit early for the daughter(yep, been there, just not with horse riding off lead - was a bit over cautious there('you can let go of me now Mum'... 'No, I don't think I can darling' ) but if this person was any kind of decent instructor, she would have informed OP of this, that lead line lessons were likely prudent for a while longer, let alone having the child off lead, let alone trotting, let alone hitting horse & causing the... mess.



OK, so maybe I wasn't so over cautious compared to some...



'green' bones actually heal quicker if broken, and can often just bend, not break(green stick fracture).
My mother has a lot of stories (first kid lol!) of injuries inflicted upon me as a child that she freaked about only to have the doctors shrug it off. Crushed fingers, bent toes (backwards!) etc. The only one that was actually any "real" damage was a green stick fracture at I think 5? (good ole fall down stairs). That I don't even remember aside from that day (I was scared and got a cast! lol) so I assume it healed pretty quickly!

None of those had any lasting damage whatsoever.

While we all shudder to picture a child flying through the air it is a lot safer than an adult. My biggest worry would be her hitting her head. So glad she is OK!!

Got roped into doing a "lesson" for a 5 year old who had never ridden. Longest 15 minutes of my life. "This is how we hold the reins...no like this...so look where you want to go...don't let go of the reins....yes I know that's a pretty butterfly". Much more interested in watching the other lesson than focusing on his horse!!

At that age children are also very different. Some are practically toddlers others are quickly growing up some want to ride but can't focus and others want to learn everything (sometimes to the point of not focusing lol). My barn was typically 6+. I started lessons at 7 myself.

The saddest thing was a little girl.. 6/7? who was SOOO good. She was w/t independently on the best school pony ever and learning crossrails (with an instructor jogging alongside). She really was a natural and progressing amazingly quickly. Her grandfather pulled her out of lessons after weeks of HIM complaining because she "wasn't doing enough". The ONLY drawback this girl had was her age, she was already doing so so well and loved every second of it. What did he expect?? He wanted her jumping independently... Yeah cause we're totally putting up a 2' vertical and running the pony at it... Safety first.

Last edited by Yogiwick; 08-29-2015 at 11:23 AM.
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post #32 of 41 Old 08-29-2015, 12:24 PM
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Kids heal faster then adults it's pretty cool like that. When I was 10 I ruptured my right kidney and the only reason I was allowed to keep it was because of my age so it would heal naturally.
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post #33 of 41 Old 08-29-2015, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogiwick View Post

At that age children are also very different. Some are practically toddlers others are quickly growing up some want to ride but can't focus and others want to learn everything (sometimes to the point of not focusing lol). My barn was typically 6+. I started lessons at 7 myself.

The saddest thing was a little girl.. 6/7? who was SOOO good. She was w/t independently on the best school pony ever and learning crossrails (with an instructor jogging alongside). She really was a natural and progressing amazingly quickly. Her grandfather pulled her out of lessons after weeks of HIM complaining because she "wasn't doing enough". The ONLY drawback this girl had was her age, she was already doing so so well and loved every second of it. What did he expect?? He wanted her jumping independently... Yeah cause we're totally putting up a 2' vertical and running the pony at it... Safety first.
Very true about the differences in young children. I have had some automatically sense being slightly off balance and adjusting themselves while others seem totally unaware of it. Coordination varies and so does attention span. I say be content with a very young child enjoying themselves and getting some sense of what riding is about

Sad about the little girl that was pulled from lessons. I had a similar experience with a girl about the same age except that fortunately she was allowed to continue. She was very short (and pudgy) and had extremely short legs in proportion. It was uncomfortable for her to get her legs in a proper position so she sat with them way too far forward. We were working on that and she was improving. Otherwise, she was a great student. Good attitude, balance, hands, and control of her horse. She was ahead of the other two children except that posting the trot was going to be almost impossible for her until she got her legs right. The child would be all smiles during the lesson and afterwards her mother would start on both her and me about her not posting. I tried explaining that she physically needs to develop her leg muscles and can do other things the other children couldn't like a sitting trot without stirrups, so she just needs some more time. The mother would hear none of it, and always made the girl feel that she just wasn't trying hard enough. I am not talking about months of lessons here, it was after four weeks of one lesson per week that the complaining started. It took another four or five lessons to get the girl sitting correctly and posting.
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post #34 of 41 Old 08-29-2015, 03:31 PM
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I had one boy who had his first sit on a pony when he was about 18 months. Brother, could that child scream when you lifted him off!

Children are all different and learn at a different speed. I had two experienced 'horse' mothers who asked me to take their sons for lessons. I had three boys and a girl in a group lesson. Two boys the brothers, didn't really want to ride. The third did but he wouldn't post to the trot or canter. The girl was by far the best though had a dirty little pony!

I knew the only way to keep this little group of very diverse 7-10 year old children riding was for them to have fun.

I knew why the one wouldn't post, the pony he had was so smooth there was no point. I made them swap ponies and the moment he was on a choppy striding pony he posted perfectly!
The other two boys had been nagged by their mother to do everything correctly and they just wanted to charge around so, we played a lot of gymkhana games. The non poster or canter boy was soon cantering all over the place, the others were having fun and the dirty pony was enjoying the fun and behaving.

The two mothers were disappointed that I hadn't made them ride correctly, this was whilst the boys went to get a drink, when the boys came back they were reliving the games and asking if they could have another lesson later in the week.

The main thing was for the boys to enjoy themselves, then they would continue to ride and they weren't going to do that if they were nagged at the whole time.

A year later the non cantering boy was out with his mother following hounds. A couple of seasons later he would say to his mother, "Follow me Mummy, I'll give you a lead!" And go charging into fences he couldn't see over.
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post #35 of 41 Old 08-29-2015, 05:50 PM
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That so-called 'instructor' needs to be reported. Definitely spread the word to anyone you know about her unsafe behavior with your little girl. You may help save other children from harm. Even though children do heal more quickly than adults, their necks aren't as developed as adults compared to the weight of their heads, so injuries to their necks can more easily snap them (if you want to freak yourself out, watch those car seat videos).

I've been riding since I could hold my head up on my own. However, my parents out me in front of them on their saddle. I can still remember thinking the latigo straps on the western saddles were my 'reins'. This was in addition to always being around the horses on the ground and learning all sorts of safety things at my parents' knees. Eventually, I was given the reins while mom or dad rode behind. Then I was given a fat, short pony to bounce around behind the big horses my parents rode. I think I was 5 when I rode that pony for the first year or so bareback because we couldn't find a saddle that fit him. I outgrew him by the time I was 8 or 9" so I got a 'horse-pony' of 13 HH that was an absolute babysitter. My little pony taught me balance and persistence since he was a naughty pony. My 'horse-pony' taught me everything else - she was awesome. In a perfect world, I think that's how all children should learn to ride.

Without horsey parents, the best thing seems to be lead-line rides for a long time with lots of ground interaction with a HUGE emphasis on safety. Then a graduation of sorts to longe line before finally graduating to independent riding on a reliable horse in a controlled setting initially at only walk and trot before finally easing into cantering and galloping. Then and only then is a child ready for independent riding in the 'real' world at all gaits. I don't think age has much to do with it except as a general guideline since every child is different and progresses differently. If you hold back a bright child with a natural incination to riding you're likely to sour them before they have a chance to really explore their talent. But if you push too hard too soon, you'll likely do the same or injure them. It requires a very talented and patient eye to bring on young riders - probably even moreso than it takes to bring up young horses.

OP I'm glad your daughter is safe. Take her to the nearest barn just for some horse loving, nose patting, and treat feeding. Tell her what a big girl she was to do what she did. Most of all reassure her that all riding is not like that and that when she's ready to continue, you'll find her a better place to learn. Then give her a great big hug from all of us here at The Horse Forum!
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post #36 of 41 Old 08-30-2015, 05:57 AM
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All this talk about kids being forced to excel... reminds me of the mother of a child in kindergarten(4yo) who had her child diagnosed as ADHD & on drugs because he couldn't concentrate on 'important stuff' for more than 5 minutes(!!)

I had an Auchwitz style prep teacher for whom nothing was good enough & my mum told me that I became withdrawn & actually stopped learning(Mum said I could write my name, count to 20, etc before I started school). I hated school and just muddled through, doing the least necessary to pass... until the last year at a different school. Had teachers that treated me with respect, encouraged & motivated me... & I finally learned to love learning! I've known of many people who took up hobbies... for fun, because they wanted to do something they loved, being put off by teachers who expected the earth.

I'd say my experiences were more common than not when I was a child, and I was actually a bit terrified of the whole school question. Until I discovered a local small school with a great reputation & walked into the younger years class to be confronted by a huge sign that said 'young children must play to learn'. I relaxed! I'm a great believer in motivation & encouragement first, & the academic stuff, or sports skills will come naturally. But all the 'knuckle rapping' in the world won't make someone excel.
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post #37 of 41 Old 09-05-2015, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the replies. Here in South-Africa, the kids start their riding lessons at 18 months! My daughter is considered "old" to start!!! We have found a new yard where my daughter loves the pony. Pepper is now her best friend. She is only lead on Pepper and everything is very "informal." My daughter doesn't even notice that she was actually told how to hold the reins ect.
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post #38 of 41 Old 09-05-2015, 08:05 AM
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3 is too young for lessons. Growing up in a ranching family, or family of trainers where daily riding is part of life, would be different, but a kid this age is too young to learn much.
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post #39 of 41 Old 09-05-2015, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heleen Strydom View Post
Thank you all for the replies. Here in South-Africa, the kids start their riding lessons at 18 months! My daughter is considered "old" to start!!!
Wow! That is young. Well, there are different 'circles' to associate with, but you might have to search, & sometimes it's invaluable to go find something 'outside the box'. Personally I have problems with the conventional pony club scene for a number of reasons, but I found a great private 'pony club' for my daughters, run by people who truly care about the horses and the kids, and treat them - & teach the kids to treat the horses & eachother - with respect. With safety & fun (for the horses too) being the focus. Just wish that was the norm rather than the exception... Glad to hear you seem to have found somewhere good for your daughter now.
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post #40 of 41 Old 09-05-2015, 11:51 AM
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So glad everything has worked out well. My son started riding in front of me at 13 months. At age 4, he took over his dad's horse (being ponied on a rope), but he absolutely refused to listen when I wanted him to hold the reins correctly, mount from the left side, etc. I found a wonderful lesson barn and he got 3 lessons at age 4. The pony they used was a mini, and they mostly focused on horse care, tacking and untacking. He probably rode only 20 minutes. My son got 3 marvelous lessons from that barn. He was a beautiful rider from that day on. I let him start riding by himself at age 6.

I started my daughter in front of the saddle at 9 months, because by the time she was born, I was very confident in taking a tiny one in front of me. My daughter never needed lessons. She listened to everything I told her and did it. She also came off the pony rope at age 6. This summer she started a 3 year old filly she raised and is doing a lovely job of riding and training her.

I think if a child has grown up riding horses, 4 is not too young for lessons, but it depends on the child. It made a world of difference for my son, and my daughter never needed formal lessons.
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