Wibu to ask that dd doesn't get put on this pony for a while?(29 Posts)
At one of dd's riding lessons she often rides a particular pony who is known for being quite tricky
Dd is the most advanced rider in the group so when this particular pony is in the lesson dd almost always has her.
Dd loves riding her as she's very forward-going and apparently she's good to get in an outline but at the start of the lesson she often bucks a lot - think rodeo-style bucks ... dd's usually glued to the saddle but last week it was the first evening lesson in the outside school and the pony was wildly overexcited. She did a series of enormous bucks and dd came off. She got straight back on again and the pony was apparently well-behaved for the rest of the lesson but dd had jarred her back quite badly and ended up missing two days of school.
WIBU to ask the instructor not to put dd on this particular pony for a while or is it all just part and parcel of learning how to ride?
Not unreasonable at all. Your daughter is there to improve her riding she should be riding a variety of horses. She is not there to just try and tame this particular horse.
I was always the kid out on the tricky ponies and looking back now I enjoyed it however at the time I remember wishing I got the good ones occasionally.
In this instance I would be questioning the suitability of that pony for lessons. No rider should be expected to put up with that while learning.
It doesn't really sound like any student should be riding that pony TBH.
Dd loves riding her .... apparently when she's good she's very very good ... she can do dressage stuff that the other ponies can't do, so if I ask the instructor it would be against dd's wishes, however I really don't want her hurting herself!
I'd be questioning how much exercise and/ or turnout the pony has, if she's that excited to start and then calms down. If she were privately owned, she'd be lunged before anyone go on her. I think ask that she isn't put on that pony, though they might be funny about it.
It doesn't take long to have a life changing injury. And whilst that can happen with any horse or pony, there's no point in courting disaster.
I'm not sure that pony is suitable for a riding school. Never seen anything like that at any riding school i attended or DD's current riding school.
The pony sounds cold backed and need warming up prior to a lesson
When you ride you expect to fall off from time to time however I would be concerned that this pony may have a problem be it physical or psychological. The trouble with that is if it is not investigated/ treated things can get dangerous. Your daughter sounds very gutsy but I would be asking them to have the pony checked out.
Thank you - I'll definitely have a word with the instructor
Dd is 14 and absolutely fearless (at the moment) - everyone else in this particular lesson is an adult which is another issue but she likes the riding school as they do a lot of dressage and she can walk there after school (she can only get to her 'main' riding school if I drive her).
Because she's fearless she does tend to get put on the nutters - she's doing an in-house dressage competition next week on a pony who only has two paces, fast and very fast
Could she have private lessons there or is that hideously expensive/ impractical? IME a horse that goes from a competition environment into a riding school can blow up when asked to work as part of a ride. They can be a lot calmer if it's just them, or one or two others, in the school.
Of course they can be well used to working with other horses around them in the warm up arena, so it's not that. Something about being almost nose to tail and following the horse in front seems to set them off.
As your DD is 14, I really think it should be up to her.
Coming off from time to time is a hazard of riding. It is likely to happen more frequently if your are overhorsed, but it sounds as if she isn't - she is up to that level of difficulty and a fall is rare.
When I was young (before I discovered playing Rugby at weekends aged 13). I used to ride at the weekends. Like your dd I was often given the difficult ponies and horses. My nick name was Super glue. Dispite my reputation I did come off a couple of times. One hitting my back on the school fence on way down. But you brush yourself off and get back on. As a parent it is completely up to you to what level of risk you are comfortable exposing your children to. But often the safest road is also the least rewarding and least valuable. Personally your dd sounds competent and confident dispite the fall. If it was me I would let dd continue with challenging ponies and develop her skills.
I agree that learning to ride more difficult horses/ponies brings on your riding skills. There is however a huge difference between a horse who is excitable/ exuberant and a horse who is in pain etc.
I'd be concerned that the riding school weren't looking into the cause of the bucking. It's not on.
I would bring your concerns to the attention of the owner of the riding school in writing. Does she have a hat and body protector meeting current uk standards? She should wear both every time she rides.
I used to own horses (young arabs were my passion) and understand completely the fun of riding a difficult horse. But riding stables have a duty of care and have to provide "safe" horses/ponies. Any horse/pony can have its moments but this is completely different from the situation your describing. If your DD or AN Other client fell off and severely injured themselves when this pony did his usual bucking "rodeo style" (Im assuming it really is rodeo style) at the beginning of the lesson the school would not have a leg to stand on as they would have to admit that they knew it happened regularly (or their clients would testify to this) and it is likely that any court would say they were negligent and failed in their duty of care. It doesn't matter that it goes in a nice outline once its settled. I appreciate that your DD likes riding it but that is what the law states. I have ridden at numerous riding stables over the years and the good ones have tightened up significantly on this, years ago horses that were genuinely tricky e.g. bucked/reared etc badly and on a regular basis were only ridden by students (0f which I used to be one); it was how we gained experience of problematic horses but now I noticed that rightly or wrongly these sort of horses just don't exist at good riding schools in fact dull as ditch water is now very much the norm at most stables. So OP I'd be concerned that any stables I was having lessons at was putting my child on that type of pony if they're failing in this aspect Id be worried what else their failing to do.
You need to put Dd safety first.
A pony that challenging shouldn't be given to a student.
If the pony only does that in the first part then ask the instructor to take the baby out of it first before she had to ride it?
I would personally be asking for another pony.
She was lucky this time but what if she landed badly and broke her back?
Just to clarify when I say "student" I mean someone over 16yrs whose working/training at a riding stables usually for BHS precessional exams not clients (of any age) turning up for lessons.
Agree with others that this doesn't sound like a good pony for a student to be riding.
Two things to consider if you haven't already. Does your DD wear a body protector (won't necessarily prevent injuries but may help lessen the severity), and have you taken out insurance to cover her if she's injured?
Ask the instructor to ride the pony for 20 minutes before your dd gets on.
A riding school pony shouldn't be bucking. An occasional bunny hop if they are excited out hacking or jumping maybe. But not regularly and persistently displaying what is a vice. Health and safety would crucify them if anyone got hurt.
That pony sounds like all my favourites when I was a teenager. I think at 14 it's absolutely her choice.
If you or she don't trust the instructor/yard to ensure that the pony is well and not in pain then you should't be giving them your money in any case.
All horses may buck, it is a risk of riding, but a habitual bucker is not suitable for a riding school. The riding school should be calling the vet out to figure why the pony bucks and, if it is purely out of excitement, they should be managing the situation, i.e. the instructor gets on first, the pony is lunged.
I am not entirely certain that riding wild ponies makes anyone truly a better rider. Quite a few training systems (German, Spanish riding school) put beginners on the lunge, no stirrups, no reins but on a very well schooled and balanced horse for a couple of years until they get a feel for balance and harmony. When they get a younger horse they can then recreate that feeling of balance by remaining themselves in the right position. Trying to stay on a bucking horse may lead the riding to develop all sorts of bad habits just for the purposes of self-preservation.
If your daughter is interested in dressage she would benefit more from a horse that could give her a feeling of impulsion from behind coming into a steady contact in the mouth, with a nicely engaged back.
The pony looks to be in fabulous condition and my dd says she's beautiful to ride once the initial bucks have subsided so I don't think she's in pain. She's quite young and has only been in the school for six months or so. I will have a quick word with the instructor today to see what he says. I'm in two minds .. on the one hand she's getting to the age when she needs to start making her own decisions about the risks she's prepared to take, on the other hand she's a teenager and doesn't pay much heed to possible consequences (hence the fearlessness)
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