Teaching Kids to Ride

Northern Dancer

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Excellent news - it helps keep people like us motivated and focused. I've had similar results using dogs. On one occasion I had this tough teen "teach" the dog the commands. He finally got the connection. He was the dog. He saw his beaviour much as he saw the dogs. He was also smart enough to see there were rewards to socially acceptable behaviour. Nice to hear the report "Pine", I'm interested in hearing more.
 

ppine

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Our outfit is now better funded. We have new volunteer meeting this weekend and 24 people are signed up. The program is free so it is available to everyone. I am going to be named on the insurance policy as an instructor soon.

We have great horses but there is always some risk. Safety is the biggest thing with the program. We want kids to interact with the horses in all kinds of ways. We have to impress upon them they can still react to stimuli. I like to demonstrate in the round pen the amount of snort and fart that even old horses can have especially in winter. They do some bucking and snorting getting warmed up at the trot. We recently lost a 29 year old gelding that still moved like he was 10.
 

ppine

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I now teach three teen aged girls each week. They all like horses which makes them much easier to teach. They are polite and don't have much attitude at all. This is how it is supposed to be. Very rewarding to be around horses and kids when they all have a good outlook.
 

Northern Dancer

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I now teach three teen aged girls each week. They all like horses which makes them much easier to teach. They are polite and don't have much attitude at all. This is how it is supposed to be. Very rewarding to be around horses and kids when they all have a good outlook.
-----> This is really a great project, and it looks like it is good for you too. I think it's fantastic that you haven't put yourself on the shelf and you are very much active. I haven't done any instruction in anything for a while - sort of miss it and looking forward to programs resuming.
 

ppine

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There is plenty of talent on this forum.
I urge people with skills and knowledge to share them.
Teaching forces us to understand the subject on a different level.

Some days I came away from the barn, driving past the snow covered hills, herds of black cattle and lots of raptors.
My feet don't touch the ground. I have thought about this a lot. First I get to be with horses, good broke ones that have been around. Then I get to be with kids. I don't see my own grand kids much because they live in Florida. Then I get to share 50 years of experience with young people. Most of them appreciate it a lot.

Nothing like walking up to a horse that knows your voice and getting the soft knicker. Then he puts his head on your shoulder. Then you get the big exhale of relaxation. Horses are honest, when they make a gesture like that, they mean it.

What is your legacy? What are you going to leave behind?
 

Northern Dancer

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I was just sailing along with your written words "Pine", nodding my head, here and there, and agreeing with you and then. You ask me a very pertinent question about legacy. My legacy. That's a tough question and I'm not sure I have an answer.

I can tell you I am a certified teacher and have taught at the community college level, I've been an administrator and have headed up youth agencies and summer camps, I have a degree in social work among other qualifications, I am an ordained Episcopal Religious [Benedictine], I'm a thanatologist working with the dying and their families. Like you, I've done a whole whack of things, but all my life has been people-centred. My legacy? I would have to leave that in the hands of the people who know me.
 

ppine

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It is kind of a life stage thing ND. I am 71 so all that is left is some volunteerism and thinking about legacy.
Younger people are still out in the work force accomplishing great things.
I urge this group to consider how your life can be a positive force in someone else's life.
 

Northern Dancer

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It is kind of a life stage thing ND. I am 71 so all that is left is some volunteerism and thinking about legacy.
Younger people are still out in the workforce accomplishing great things.
I urge this group to consider *how your life can be a positive force in someone else's life.
----> Like yours!
 

ppine

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Recent update. After hanging around for 5 years, I have finally earned the right to get the kids who are really interested in riding. Yesterday I started up my relationship with a 10 yo girl that lives for horses. She was cleaning the feet on the big Warmblood and doing some beautiful turns. She is very confident and now learning to use her lower body more. Mom likes to watch. Fridays at the barn are quiet and it was just the 4 of us. Rascal the Warmblood, a little girl, me and Mom in the shadow of the big mountains in a huge outdoor arena.
 

Northern Dancer

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Recent update. After hanging around for 5 years, I have finally earned the right to get the kids who are really interested in riding. Yesterday I started up my relationship with a 10 yo girl that lives for horses. She was cleaning the feet on the big Warmblood and doing some beautiful turns. She is very confident and now learning to use her lower body more. Mom likes to watch. Fridays at the barn are quiet and it was just the 4 of us. Rascal the Warmblood, a little girl, me and Mom in the shadow of the big mountains in a huge outdoor arena.
=====> Now if that statement doesn't express satisfaction and acceptance I don't know what would. Glad you are doing things - it's good for you and good for us.
 

ppine

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ND,
When you have the time, I urge you whole heartedly to get involved in working with others.
You have a great bundle of skills to offer.
 

Northern Dancer

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ND,
When you have the time, I urge you whole heartedly to get involved in working with others.
You have a great bundle of skills to offer.
=====> Thank you so very much "pine". Most of my life's work is being invited into situations and people's lives. I'm not sure if you know - but Northern Dancer? is really Brother Mark. I'm an Episcopal Benedictine serving in the Diocese of Huron. I'm a thanatologist, meaning I'm a person who works with people who are dying and with their families. I've just about done everything, from working on the streets when I was younger to directing summer camps and more. My love for the outdoors has always been my stabilizer and afforded me an opportunity to escape the rigours of life. I've been so very fortunate in meeting great people along the way who have richly contributed to the fabric of my life.
 

ppine

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ND
You are an expert in one of the hardest things to do which is deal with death. You have my complete appreciation for what you do.
Since Covid began, I have lost an unbelievable 13 friends and family, three horses and a good dog. The level of grief has been something new, and very tough to deal with. Tomorrow is my Dad's 98th birthday. When he passes I will be devastated.
 

Northern Dancer

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ND
You are an expert in one of the hardest things to do which is deal with death. You have my complete appreciation for what you do.
Since Covid began, I have lost an unbelievable 13 friends and family, three horses and a good dog. The level of grief has been something new, and very tough to deal with. Tomorrow is my Dad's 98th birthday. When he passes I will be devastated.
=====> I've waited a while to respond to you as I thought deeply about your circumstance.
These are human experiences that are so incredibly profound it difies the catch-all phrases and sentiments that are often expressed.
My response is attentive silence, as I think of you.
Beginning Sunday, October 16th at approximately 10:35 PM [Eastern Daylight Saving Time] for a period of five evenings, I will think of you, and your Dad.

 

ppine

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Two years later.
Sometimes the hardest thing is to just keep showing up. After 6 years I am now getting the horse crazy kids that are really into it. It is totally diiferent. They are enthusiastic. One of my kids now writes me letters that I put on the refrigerator. I am like her Grandfather. The whole family shows up to watch. Patientce grasshoppers.
 

Northern Dancer

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Two years later.
Sometimes the hardest thing is to just keep showing up. After 6 years I am now getting the horse-crazy kids that are really into it. It is totally different. They are enthusiastic. One of my kids now writes me letters that I put on the refrigerator. I am like her Grandfather. The whole family shows up to watch. Patience grasshoppers.
-----> It's all good stuff Pine, and you are a part of it all! Stay in the saddle for as long as you can. Read your other post too - Between Horse and Human. Lots of heart here.
 

ppine

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I got a new kid yesterday. A 10 year old kid named Violet. Holy Cow. I am inspired by the positive attitude and appreciation of kids. This one is a good listener and very athletic. She likes to ski living at Lake Tahoe. . Her Dad is there for support.

Yesterday she learned to sit a trot bareback. Very impressive. Never under estimate kids and what they can do. They are a source of inspiration every week.
 

ppine

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Hi ND,
Took most of January off. Back in the barn teaching on Sat. 11 yo loves riding. We are making great progress. This spring will start using a saddle more and move from a rope halter to a snaffle bit or trad hackamore. Sun we had a training session with about 15 people. I have a new 12 yo starting next week. S is very bright and loves horses. She has ridden else where in the past. But she is very serious about everything and my goal is to get her to relax and lighten up.

Kids are fun to goof around with. I do things like bursting into a Gene Autry song like "Back in the Saddle Again" while we are working a horse. The critters are honest. Once you learn to speak horse you can see what they are thinking. Movement of the ears, head carriage, licking and chewing, the big exhale. Kids and horses together are a powerful combination. I encourage everyone to spend time with animals every week. I live with three dogs.
 
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