Seriously - DD's riding lesson today was one of the longest 45 minutes of my life. She rode the same pony as last week, only on that occasion I was in Tesco rather than having conniptions at the side of the arena. Fine at a walk, but whenever the pony was asked to trot she tossed her head. A lot. And continued to do so. She seemed to toss her head down without fail when DD was out of the saddle in rising trot. Then one of the school staff asked the new instructor if she knew about this pony, that she really should be at the back as she WOULD kick if crowded, and then there were some other mutterings I didn't quite catch ...
Thing is ... DD was absolutely fine. Happy. Said she liked the pony (nutter). She looked totally in charge, and evidently she didn't think she was as close to falling off as I did (I did tell her that things like that usually look worse to a spectator, as when you rode you know where your centre of gravity is, and how close you are to a spill, while someone watching can't tell). And the best thing was her instructor today used to teach her at a different school, and hasn't seen her ride for about six months, at which time DD had a tendency to cry if her pony cantered a bit too fast.
So I was really proud of her, but OMG ... I used to ride, and I was never this scared on my own account. In fact I do want to find somewhere to hack out with her this summer, but I fear that my anxiety for HER is going to translate itself into nerves on my own behalf.
Any tips on how to stop being neurotic, or any to hand on to DD about handle a bonkers pony, gratefully received ...
I know the feeling re head tossing! We had a nutter pony who would do that in trot,prior to broncing until DD2 hit the deck.The pony wasn't a Shetland x Dartie was it? Even now,head tossing makes me tense up in preparation for DD2 being launched skyward.
I don't have any advice I'm afraid,but it does get easier as they progress/get older,small girls especially seem fearless .DD2 seems to have bad luck with ponies and has been bucked or thrown off more ponies than I care to remember,and has been bolted with on the road twice.She still gets back on and I've had to learn that if it doesn't bother her,it shouldn't bother me.
Naughty pony is 14hh, so probably not a Dartmoor/Shetland cross But who knows, I have a brother who's over a foot taller than me, genetics is a funny old thing.
I think I'm quite good at internalising my worries - today involved a lot of smiling and looking enthused whenever DD was heading towards me, and a lot of texting OMG OMG to my mate as she trotted (bounced) away.
Don't look! Make her as safe as you possibly can. Good hat, boots, safe environment, fluorescent when hacking, a good pony, a good instructor, and just pray! Dd has had her own pony since she was 5. She started with me never more than a ropes length away, and I've been right there with my heart in my mouth. As soon as I could I stopped watching! The moment she and her best friend hacked out alone for the first time is absolutely terrifying! I've decided that not being there worrying and fussing is safer!
Well, I hope she's got the safe environment now - the instructor told me she'd quit the old place after an accident, she'd ended up with a load of kids, an ambulance, an airambulance and no one else (snarky comment about 'if that happened at your riding school you shouldn't just carry on with your shopping, which I guess is what the owner did) so glad we got out of there.
No videos, definitely! DH accidentally took one of her nearly breaking her neck on a bouncy castle (of all things) when she was about 5, that was bad enough!
Think how my poor mum felt. My sister was epileptic and the doctor didn't even want her to ride. The two of us used to disappear off over the Downs all day and there were no mobiles then! She must have been worried at times but she never once let on.
I was videod once watching my kids ride - I took every jump with them ! It's so hard to watch them but I do agree - the first time they go off on their own is worse. I'm very glad mobile phones are around !