Teaching Kids to Ride

ppine

Forester
Messages
3,682
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113
Location
Minden, NV
My riding career is over after some serious injuries, but I am back in the barn teaching emotionally challenged kids to ride. We have a string of 9 really talented lesson horses, everything from rope horses, cutters, to hunter/jumper warm bloods. We teach the kids to handle horses from the ground, groom them, handle them and respect them. Then they get to ride. They start out bareback with a bitless bridle.

Some of the kids are in love with the horses after about an hour. It is obvious that love is missing in their lives. Horses are honest and very intuitive about emotions. Some of the kids as young as 8 pick it up really fast and learn to guide their horses with postive energy mostly using their legs and seat bones. They figure out quickly how to release the horse for doing the right thing. The intructors get more out of it than the kids. I find that just being around horses is great therapy for me, and most of the kids are very rewarding to work with. It is the adults that cause all of my frustrations.
 

ppine

Forester
Messages
3,682
Points
113
Location
Minden, NV
Winter is the quiet time at the barn. We give the horses the month of December off. I go over and feed them with my dog. There is no one around. Just the mountains, the critters and my best dog Ruby Begonia. Chopping ice, throwing flakes, and vixing some senior feed in a bucket with water is very rewarding. It is like a mental tune-up. Working with animals helps me deal with people.
 

jason

fear no beer
Messages
4,283
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Location
florida
Winter is the quiet time at the barn. We give the horses the month of December off. I go over and feed them with my dog. There is no one around. Just the mountains, the critters and my best dog Ruby Begonia. Chopping ice, throwing flakes, and vixing some senior feed in a bucket with water is very rewarding. It is like a mental tune-up. Working with animals helps me deal with people.
That has to be so peaceful. Animals can be so much better then people.
 

ppine

Forester
Messages
3,682
Points
113
Location
Minden, NV
Mis Amigos,
It is a standing joke around horse and cattle people, that spending time with animals makes it much easier to be around humans. They are honest and react in more predictable ways. Animals tend to make us better humans.

If I had life to live over, I would consider being a professional animal trainer instead of a forester. The great thing about trees is that they don't run away and they occur in the most beautiful places in world Peace.
 

ppine

Forester
Messages
3,682
Points
113
Location
Minden, NV
I like feeding in the winter so much I continue to do it one day a week. It takes awhile to get over there, but it is emotional every time. I miss working with mules though. They are smarter than horses and tend to be more emotional. I love all equines and their honesty.
 

ppine

Forester
Messages
3,682
Points
113
Location
Minden, NV
So now we have some really difficult kids to work with. Kids with fecal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, hyper-active kids and those raised by crack parents. It is overwhelming at times. I might need to take a break. It is a case study of why I am in favor of legal abortion.

Working with dogs and horses is easy. Most of the adults at the barn are very reasonable. Some of these kids are really messed up and it is difficult not to take it personally. It is no place for people with weak constitutions.
 

Northern Dancer

Moderator
Messages
557
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So now we have some really difficult kids to work with. Kids with fecal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, hyper-active kids and those raised by crack parents. It is overwhelming at times. I might need to take a break. It is a case study of why I am in favor of legal abortion.

Working with dogs and horses is easy. Most of the adults at the barn are very reasonable. Some of these kids are really messed up and it is difficult not to take it personally. It is no place for people with weak constitutions.
=====>When I began my career in earnest I worked, with what we called then, anti-social youth. Challenging in every way, I have numerous stories that I could share. I also taught street youth for five years and enjoyed every moment of it. But now? I don't have the motivation, tolerance, or desire to reach out. I admire anyone who can and appreciate the tremendous commitment one has to make. The rewards are few and far in between.

In our training, the question of "taking it personally", "dealing with disappointment," and taking care of one's self" were hefty courses that one had to take if one planned to be a "street kids worker".

All power to you and thank you for staying.
 

ppine

Forester
Messages
3,682
Points
113
Location
Minden, NV
Thanks ND, you obviously get it.
I have volnteered a lot in my life, school patrol, student council, tutoring, service clubs, and lots of conservation organizations.
What makes it easy to come back is if someone appreciates your efforts. Helping others is its own reward. Getting some thanks once in awhile keeps us motivated. Helping others takes us away from our own problems. It is how we invest in the community and grow roots.

This all falls apart as a volunteer when people are rude, they don't show up, and they don't communicate. I have been talking with some friends with experience in special ed which has helped. There may be a point where being disprespected, ignored, and told " I don't want your help" means it is time to take a break and recharge the emotional batteries. Thanks to all volunteers everywhere.
 

ppine

Forester
Messages
3,682
Points
113
Location
Minden, NV
Great meeting with a difficult kid yesterday. Time off helped. I got her horseback and a lot of issues went away.
I had her laughing and goofing off.
 

Northern Dancer

Moderator
Messages
557
Points
63
Great meeting with a difficult kid yesterday. Time off helped. I got her horseback and a lot of issues went away.
I had her laughing and goofing off.
-----> Fantastic. It's the little things that stand out as being the big things accomplished in a relationship.
 
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