Teaching a rider

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Stormhorse23, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Stormhorse23

    Stormhorse23 Songster

    Aug 22, 2007
    My sister and neighbor are both wanting to learn to ride properly. I usually have no trouble with new riders. A little girl down the road is only about 8 years old and I'm working with her. Im a barrel racer, and I put her on my barrel horse (just to lead) and she is a natural. She was trotting that horse over stumps in two days! By herself! But my sister and the neighbor girl are so akward and unwilling to learn. They just want to ride. Any idea's on making them a little more in tune with the horse. By the way, they are on an old tennessee walker, not my mare.
  2. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    I was like omg, "thinking of her on your huge mare" lol

    hope everything keeps working out for you.
  3. Stormhorse23

    Stormhorse23 Songster

    Aug 22, 2007
    Quote:Haha! I know! the girl looks so tiny! Even I look small on my girl. By the way, I rode her today and we got to the field and she saw a barrel and...zoom! I just calmly rode along with it saying "you really dont want to do this, stormy." i said whoa and she bucked. so i proceeded to put my hand in the air...
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I say all the following with great trepidation, because if you do not carry professional liability insurance as a riding instructor, you or your parents risk losing ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING if an accident happens and the neighbor girl's insurance company decides to come after you.

    That said, if you're doing this anyway, on a bombproof horse, AND IT'S COOL WITH YOUR PARENTS, AND THE NEIGHBOR GIRL'S PARENTS, AND EVERYONE'S PARENTS ARE THERE: put a lead shank on the horse, go to a quiet location, put the rider on, and have her close her eyes as you lead her slowly around. This is a really good way for a rider to get more relaxed and in sync with the horse's motion. If they are confident and solid at the trot (riding normally, I mean) you can also do this jogging along at a slow trot.

    Another good exercise (assuming a quiet bombproof horse in a safe enclosed ring) is to use a piece of baler twine to tie the reins to the saddle so they can't fall down out of reach, and make a new set of reins out of thread tied to the bit. Have the riders ride simple slow patterns this way. It removes the reins as a 'crutch' and encourages riders to learn to use the whole body to guide the horse. (edited to add: the point being, if they try yanking or reefing around on the thread reins they will just break, so the rider must figure out how to use more subtlety). Talking about timing (when during the stride to use leg aids, for example) will help them figure out how to do this.

    However I have to say that if they are UNWILLING to learn, as in have no interest in this kind of thing, then unless you can get them interested in a 'challenge' sort of thing you are pretty much out of luck. You cannot MAKE someone interested in something, unfortunately. It may take a certain amount of wahooing around til they discover the interest or utility of the finer points of horsemanship [​IMG]

    Good luck, and PLEASE make sure everyone's parents are fully informed and agreeing,

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  5. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I'd say you're fighting a losing battle. Accomplishment only comes from putting in time and effort, whatever you're doing. Nothing worth doing is easy. They both need to learn this sooner or later.
  6. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    PatandChickens said it well. We carry extra insurance and still are cautious about who rides our horses.

    PatandChickens, I like your ideas. I think before anyone gets on the horses back, they need to be comfortable around the horse on the ground. I have them assist with grooming, putting on the saddle, etc. and even then, they may not ride until I think they are ready.
  7. kbarrett

    kbarrett Songster

    Nov 12, 2007
    Right out of highschool I was a barn manger for a small eventing barn, I also did all beginner lessons, children & adults. With the kids, I tried to make games as rewards for doing well on the repetitive balance work. To work on balance (walking on the end of a lunge line to start) they reached forward as far as possible towards the ears, then the tail, hands on hips for "frog legs" (raising knees in air, only contact is butt in saddle for 3 secs. then relax & repeat), reaching to touch toes, "airplane" (eyes closed arms straight out the side) and practicing two-point- which really helps getting them in the habit of heels down. A few of weeks of this gets them over alot of the awkwardness of sitting on a moving horse, I think adults are actually worse about being statue-like on the first few rides, it always reminded me of someone in a canoe...afraid to lean or move for fear of tipping over & capsizing. Some of the games the kids liked was the egg & spoon (be nice at first & used a hard boiled egg lol) synchronized riding (you can use a lead rope, each gets an end and you both have to navigate obsticals and get the girls to come up with games of their own or if your mares get along well take them for a trail ride for a change of pace.
  8. piecemaker

    piecemaker Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Centerville Texas
    loved all the ideas am working with my 2 gd who are 4 & 8 the oldest is my hard one can't wait to try some of these this weekend

    would like to thank everyone for all the fun and advice on this site
  9. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I took lessons a couple of years ago and some days all I wanted to do was sit back relax and go out on the trail, and not have to worry what the heck my feet were doing [​IMG]

    Perhaps you can take them out for a nice relaxing ride, some safe trail so they can have a little fun once a week or so.....
  10. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    My riding coach as a kid was right out of the old school when it came to learning ground manners (I'm speaking of human manners here, not horse manners [​IMG]) NO ONE got into the saddle until they knew how to approach a horse, work around him, groom him, feed him, lead him, pick out his feet, clean tack, and muck the stalls. All this drives home that the horse is a living creature with a multitude of feelings and needs, not a machine that you jump onto whenever you feel like and take off at top speed. Remember, we are fighting against all those cowboy movies where horses are treated like motorcycles...all those scenes where they gallop across the prairie at top speed, skid to a stop at the hitchin' post, and leave the horse standing there soaked in sweat in front of a hundred gallon tank of water...
    The greatest rapport between horse and rider is built on the ground, not in the saddle.

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