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Could your nearly 13 year old do this? If so would you let her?

(28 Posts)
seeker Sun 31-Aug-08 08:39:11

We've just spent our 3rd summer holiday with friends in Scotland. The friend is an old school mate of mine that I re-met through Friends Reunited and we get all get on very well. Dd adores her and has adopted her as an extra aunt - but she's not someone she's known all her life. Friend is a very high level riding instructor with access to fab horses - dd is a riding nut.

Friend has suggested that, as she has a new young pony to bring on, dd should fly up on her own every 4-6 weeks over the year and ride, with a view to her riding this horse in competitions for her next summer.

I am absolutely certain that dd will be very well looked after and all that - but is does seem a very long way away. I haven't mentioned the idea to dd yet - not sure how she will take it - she's quite a homebody, but I know she would adore it if she could manage it. So what would you do?

AbbeyA Sun 31-Aug-08 08:47:54

I would first of all work out the logistics of it all(flight times, lifts to the airport, distance from the airport etc) and the cost. 10 or 12 times a year sounds expensive.
If you think it is affordable and manageable, then I should talk to DD. It is a wonderful opportunity but she might feel that she isn't ready for it.
If she is keen perhaps you could suggest a trial visit to see how it goes.

lillypie Sun 31-Aug-08 08:48:17

I would let her do it if she wants too.I regularly flew to and from Australia alone from when I was 12.

I really enjoyed the independence.See what she thinks,it's a great opportunity for her.

Freckle Sun 31-Aug-08 08:48:26

What about the cost of the flights? If your dd doesn't go, who will ride the pony? Every 4-6 weeks seems terribly often, especially as she is now at secondary school and has homework, etc. What about her social life at home? Would that be affected/pushed aside in favour of the horse stuff? I know my niece would jump at a chance like this and everything else would just fly out of the window without a second's thought.

AMumInScotland Sun 31-Aug-08 08:50:31

Wow, that sounds like a great opportunity for her - the way I'd think about it, if she was involved with a sport at high level through a club she might well go on a lot of trips with them at her age. Obviously it's different when it's just her and your friend, but if you're confident that she'd be looked after, then I'd be tempted to let her go for it. How long would she be away for on each trip? Is it just weekends, or am I right in thinking you HE?(Sorry if I'm muddling you with someone else!)

My DS is nearly 15, so a bit older, and to be honest he's such a home body that I don't think he'd fancy it, but that would be his choice, not because I had any problem with the idea.

seeker Sun 31-Aug-08 09:03:15

Apparently if you book in advance you can get very cheap internal flights - so the cost isn't an issue. Te to and from the airport isn't an issue either (only 30 minutes each end) Freckle - those are some of the reasons I haven't mentioned it to her yet!

AbbeyA Sun 31-Aug-08 09:10:05

I would talk it over with her and mention some of the down points like homework. You could put it to her as a suggestion rather than a firm invitation and just see what her feelings are before you go any further.

tigermoth Sun 31-Aug-08 09:18:18

Are you clear exactly what your friend expects from this arrangment? Is there any chance she might be too pushy or ambitious regarding your daughter?

Have you talked to her about why she wants your dd to ride this pony when there must be lots of other riders much nearer to her home who could do this. Is it just kindness - one riding nut to another - or has your friend got a plan? You say she wants your dd to ride the horse in competition next summer. Is this for your dd's enjoyment or is it more serious and competitive?

It sounds like a fabulous offer, if you can manage the time and money commitiment. I just think it would be good to be clear about everyone's expectations.

seeker Sun 31-Aug-08 09:33:02

I don't think she will be too pushy. She doesn't have children and there aren't any children in her circle - and in the area where she operates all of the pony mad children tend to have ponies of their own.

I think I might suggest that dd does the trip in a few weeks time and see if she wants to and can manage it without saying that it could be a regular thing.

AbbeyA Sun 31-Aug-08 09:41:51

I think that is probably the best idea seeker.

seeker Sun 31-Aug-08 09:44:04

AbbeyA - I do think you and I must have the same life - we always seem to be online at the same times!

AbbeyA Sun 31-Aug-08 09:48:37

I think it shows that we are on too often seeker!! I am resolved from tomorrow to wean myself off. It is a complete time waster!

WideWebWitch Sun 31-Aug-08 09:50:53

I'd let her go, it sounds like a fab opportunity. Agree with Tigermoth re expectations though.

Anna8888 Sun 31-Aug-08 09:53:24

This is just fine. My 13 and 11 year old stepsons spent a fortnight each in a different country to us, and separately from one another, this summer, doing courses. It did them a lot of good.

seeker Sun 31-Aug-08 09:57:49

Me too, Abbey. When I was a child I was never allowed to watch television when it was daylight. I intend to apply the same rule to the computer from Monday!

seeker Sun 31-Aug-08 09:58:37

I don't want it to do her good, Anna - I like her the way she is! I want her to have fun!

Anna8888 Sun 31-Aug-08 10:01:54

I meant, by do them a lot of good, that they enjoyed it.

AbbeyA Sun 31-Aug-08 10:05:36

Perhaps that is the best solution, seeker-I will try that. The temptation is too much. In RL people either don't ask my opinion or I am too polite.On here you get the chance to tell complete strangers what you really think!!
I will repeat to myself-not in daylight hours from Monday!

seeker Sun 31-Aug-08 10:16:23

OK - see you pre-sunrise on Monday morning!

Madlentileater Sun 31-Aug-08 16:13:19

before you do this, maybe calculate the carbon emissions of such a plan. Sorry if this sounds miserable, but short haul flights a big and avoidable source of CO2, and we have to start taking responsibity for that.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 31-Aug-08 16:21:22

If you can manage this, it sounds amazing. I'm sure she could take her homework with her. I would let her go, maybe the first time I would actively encourgae her to go.

mumonthenet Sun 31-Aug-08 16:21:59

she can offset the carbon emissions, surely? If this is part of the kid's education and character formation then it's justified.

Agree with you seeker, send her on a trial run - no commitment(sp?) on either side. And then discuss again. it sounds like a wonderful opportunity...just check what both sides expect out of it.

Madlentileater Sun 31-Aug-08 18:27:33

off setting is controversial- unfortunately, it's more a way of making us feel it's OK to carry on as we always have. Another way of thinking about it is, what are you prepared to give up to keep your personal emmissions at the same level (eg car travel?)

Starmummy Tue 02-Sep-08 15:01:34

It sounds like a great opportunity for your DD. DS(12) has been flying by himself for ages. Much easier within the UK than abroad because in small airports you can virtually see the children. If she has to go as an unaccompanied minor the low cost flights bump up considerably. go with her the first time so she knows where to wait, where to go etc. DH is always frantic that Ds will be on the games machines and not look ofr the flight. I always ring him to tell him its time to go to the plane and then he calls me from the plane and switches his phone straight off and calls me when he lands.Phew panic over.

Def you ned to find out what your friends true intentions are because if she has hopes for DD and they fail to materialise you will be the one left to handle the fallout. And dont forget a big comp next summer will need the full family support, that will take time and money that you might have spent elsewhere. If the competitons are in the summer then what about the run up to exams, and the run up to the competitions, there will have to be a big trade off between studying and competing.

What will DD be expected to offer in return? Just to enjoy the fab horse and the foc coaching or will she be an upaid skivvy (for want of a better word).

I agree with the others that a trial no comitment would be best. Having said that will your DD be riding mumsnet in the 2012 Olympics?

ThunderNut Tue 02-Sep-08 17:59:48

I think it's a great idea. I loved riding from the age of 4, and am still riding now. I would not have turned down an oppurtunity like this.

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