What direction to lead my dd with her horse.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by miss_thenorth, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    We have owned horses for almost two years now, and my dd is wanting to do more and more with her horse. I was never raised with horses, and don't know much about the "world" of horses. (All "I " want to do is trail ride. )

    My dd is asking about showing, barrel racing, roping etc.

    she is 10, has been riding since she was 4, , has had "formal" western lessons,--but at our place on our horse.

    What's all involved in showing, and if she were to get into barrel racing, would we need to join a club or anything.

    Can someone enlighten me on the "world of horses"?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Norman

    Norman Out Of The Brooder

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    Where in SW ontario are you? THere are lots of schooling shows, fairs, fun shows around for children and ppl who dont want to get to competitive. You could join a local pony/saddle club or 4H to get an idea of whats available in your area and meet ppl with the same interests. Has the horse ever shown? Does he/she trailer ok?
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Has her horse shown before, and recently? If so, what if you take her to a little local schooling show that has appropriate classes she could enter (only like 3 or so, and kept *well* within her zone of competence). She will not need fancy clothes for that sort of leetle introductory 'fun' show - you can call the show management and find out what, in practice, she should wear. Look for showbills on feedstore and tack shop bulletin boards and places like that.

    If not, I would suggest lessons (at a lesson barn, on lesson horses) and work up to going to a similar fun schooling-type show on one of the lesson horses. (You DO NOT want a kid's first show experience to be on a horse where there are significant question marks how it will react to a strange place, show atmosphere, jillion horses, etcetera. Really truly big-time).

    This will give her a taste of generic horse showing, and you can see what she thinks about it. Particularly the part where you do not win ribbons most of the time [​IMG]

    Be aware that if she wants to get 'into' competing, you are going to need a truck and trailer, a nontrivial amount of money (for coaching/lessons as well as for clothes, tack, entry fees, gas, etc) AND you will lose a significant number of weekend days on which you would otherwise be able to work or relax.

    FWIW, I would try to stay away from barrel-racing for now, or any other fast rough-and-ready results-oriented discipline. Reason being, in those disciplines it is REALLY REALLY easy to learn bad habits if you don't have good habits already firmly installed (even if you do, in fact!) and it is EVER so much harder to replace bad initial habits than it is to install 'em correctly in the first place. BIG TIME.

    The ideal thing, to my way of thinking, is for a kid to have a good long period of lessons (preferably on a variety of horses - you can't really learn to ride very well on just one) taught by someone who promotes good horsemanship, a good following seat, good body control, and relaxed happy stretchy horses. This includes some (but by no means all!) instructors in hunt seat, basic dressage, and basic western riding. If she learns a good, effective, strong-yet-relaxed-and-sympathetic seat on a variety of horses, when she is in her teens she will be able to make the transition gracefully to whatever specific discipline catches her fancy.

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  4. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    join 4-h
     
  5. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Quote:Right now, she is riding my horse, who has shown before, but not recently. My horse--an 8 yo QH, has been in all sorts of situations, like parades, etc. Before we owned him, obviously.


    Her horse is in "school " right now- he's a 2 yo paint/perch. This is probably the horse she will want to further her riding on. But his conformation is not perfect-does that matter?

    I really don't want to get into the whole "showing " thing, but I would like for her to experience some of it--does that make sense?

    Her (our) riding instructor (who is a Canadian cowgirl), teaches at a stable in Chatham, so I could probably ask her about some of this. (yes, I'm 41 and taking riding lessons)

    So, you would recommend her taking a variety of disciplines first, while she is young, and then after much experience, then she could go in any direction she would want to? My horse has only done western disciplines, but hers is a blank slate.

    I gotta say about my dd, she was nine when she bought her horse--saved up for a long time, and she's paying for most of his schooling. I'm quite proud of her!
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Nope. Well, his build may limit his athleticism and she may eventually 'outgrow' him in an ability/ambition sense, but that is not going to happen for a looong time. A 2-3 yr old will need to be unusually levelheaded to make a good mount for a ten year old, though (there are some in the world, and yours may indeed be one).

    I really don't want to get into the whole "showing " thing, but I would like for her to experience some of it--does that make sense?

    Sure makes sense to me, that's exactly how I feel about it myself for when our kids get older [​IMG]

    Little 'fun' schooling shows are really good for that -- in fact, moreso than 4H or pony club I would say.

    Her (our) riding instructor (who is a Canadian cowgirl), teaches at a stable in Chatham, so I could probably ask her about some of this. (yes, I'm 41 and taking riding lessons)

    That sounds like an excellent idea.

    BTW, I have ridden since age 9, have trained and shown a whole lotta horses, and have taught riding, and let me tell you, if I could afford lessons and had actual time for it on a regular basis, I would be right up there takin' lessons at age 43 *too*. There is ALWAYS room for improvement [​IMG]

    So, you would recommend her taking a variety of disciplines first, while she is young, and then after much experience, then she could go in any direction she would want to? My horse has only done western disciplines, but hers is a blank slate.

    If the goal is to have her become a good rider, honestly the main thing I'd recommend lessons at a lesson barn (NOT on her own horse). You really can't learn to ride very well on just 1 horse. Partly because you and the horse end up just adapting to each other's bad habits; and partly because no one horse is equally good for learning everything on. It takes a LOT of different horses to make a rider.

    If the goal is more just for her to have fun, sticking to her own horse (and yours) may be perfectly fine, but I'd recommend giving her a few more years' foundation in slow disciplines where the rider's seat and aids and understanding of the horse are emphasized. (By 'seat' I don't mean how it LOOKS, I mean how it WORKS - equitation classes are a whole nother thing and not really my point here at all [​IMG]). Stay away from the fast rough-and-ready things (barrels, poles, team penning, gymkhana type games, and entry-level jumper or eventing stuff) for a while yet.

    Sounds like a good kid btw, congratulations [​IMG]

    JMO,

    Pat​
     
  7. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    We took lessons on my horse, well, b/c I wanted to learn to ride on my horse. I will never go farther than trail riding on him. he is awesome. Her horse, while she may outgrow hiim, is extremely levelheaded, and good for her. I believe he is an exception, although only time will tell. for now we are really happy with him.

    Our lessons are almost done, so I will bounce a few ideas around with dd and our instructor, and we will take it from there.

    Would you recommend that dd take some lessons with her horse, or just ride him and get instructions on another horse at a stable. Thunder will be coming home in September.

    Thanks for the advice. I also did look up 4H, and the closest club is 40 minutes away. I will send them an email for more info, but IDK about that right now.
     
  8. lorieMN

    lorieMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2008
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    young horses and young and or green riders is a very bad idea,I realize it can be done and he may be a wonderful horse,and I have seen it done but really only succesfuly with VERY experienced horse people.and these kids ride the hooves off these horses,like 5-8 hours a day.2 year old horses are very easy to get them to do things,they still very much need a leader at that age,when he turns late 3 and on into 4 he may not be so nice to have around..4 year olds can be a handful,they are coming of age and have a mind of their own and know their strength..just be careful,might be a good idea to let her use your horse,and you can still trail ride him..4-H is an excellent start IF you have a good leader for your area...
     
  9. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Quote:Like I said, only time will tell, but as for right now, he seems stable and level headed. And even though she is 10, she is a "fairly" experienced rider. We are not done training him either. He will have alot of miles put on him by trainers. And by all of us here. and I;m sure she will definitely be riding my horse too. Right now she is riding about three hours a day, which of course might change once school starts. Oh, to be young again.
    Even though I know her and know the horse, I am still a mother, and i will not let her do anything that I think might jeopardize her safety. Which is one of the reasons I started this post. i want what's best for her, and I want to steer her in the best direction.

    ETA: once we get Thunder back home, she will be restricted to only riding him in our paddock, and after confidence has been built, then the pasture. Once we are secure, we will both go out on the nearby trails.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Personally I go for barrel racing or gaming/rodeo before anything else and mostly preferred that when I started showing 4-h. It tends to be less ribbon oriented around here. The people showing in pleasure classes and such can get so into winning that it's pathetic and the things children learn from them are not always so great. I quit showing all classes judged on looks and went to all timed or performance classes to avoid the rather unpleasant crowd that those classes attracted and their abuse of their horses. It also can turn into quite a contest of who has the most expensive and latest tack, clothes, and even horse. The gaming classes at our 4-h, saddle club, and local open shows were always more laid back, concentrated more on having fun with your horse, and didn't require really expensive tack and horses. Most of the time I run in the same stuff I trail ride in but with the required long sleeve shirt. Compared to the $200 attire and $1400 saddle (that's way on the cheap side!) I had to have to so much as place in pleasure and horsemanship classes. A timer doesn't judge on opinions, politics, or money. You can't win repeatedly with the same horse in barrels without putting in the effort.

    If you have a good instructor, a good club to show with, and you teach your daughter how to properly handle a horse (patience above all else!) they won't pick up bad habits from running gaming events. It's the parents who go out there with half trained horses not putting any work into them, throw them around the course while kicking and jerking on the reins, and then teach that type of riding to their kids that mess things up. If you take the time to properly prepare and handle your horse then any type of event will only be a good one. Alot of dressage is actually used on preparing a good barrel or reining horse and those who do it right spend several years preparing a horse before ever doing a full speed run. I just started my 3yr old this summer, she will do trotting and cantering runs next spring, and won't run seriously until the following spring.

    I say make sure the basic horsemanship is good and then go for whatever the child is most interested in. Like everything else if you do it right barrels and timed events will take time, effort, and won't give instant gratification. If you get into the win anything right now at any cost the lessons learned won't be so great no matter what type of class you show in. It should be understood that your first few shows or even entire first year is simply a training run. You and your horse get used to the ring and prepare to show seriously the following year. Any ribbons are just extras that first year. Otherwise unless your getting an already experienced well trained horse you'll likely be disapointed your first year. Even when I bought a very well experienced barrel mare that previously won the top competition in the state it took me 2 years to get both of us used to each other and running solid.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008

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