Horse trading, anyone?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  April 1, 2010 06:00 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Barbara, I have a 12-year-old niece. My parents are raising her. She is very interested in getting a horse. My sister's husband has an uncle who will provide a horse and training. My question is, is it safe for her to be having lessons with him? He stated that he does not like children and yells at people. My parents are still willing to let him give my niece a horse. My niece told him she is not a child. Again she is 12. Opinion please.


From: Denise, Longmont, CO

Hi Denise,

Is there a history of abuse here, sexual or verbal? Or is this just a guy who's a little rough around the edges?
 
I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, unless there's a history. If there is, explain to the 12-year-old why he is not suitable as trainer and mentor. Otherwise, I'd do two things: 1) talk to him about his reputation as someone who doesn't like kids and yells and ask him how he's going to keep that in check. Be specific, asking him not to use adult language, and to be patient. 2) Talk to the 12-year-old by saying that Uncle T can sometimes be gruff, not to take it personally, and to be sure to let us know if she doesn't like working with him. At 12, she's old enough to understand that people have different temperaments and moods. I think it's a good trade, a horse and trainer in exchange for some life lessons.

Our culture has a heightened awareness these days about the dangers of sexual and verbal abusive, but that doesn't mean that every imperfect adult is likely to be abusive, or that children should be so protected from life than they don't learn to cope with differences in personalities. Have you heard of the SnowPlow Parent? Unlike the Helicopter Parent who swoops in to rescue their child, the SnowPlow parent removes the problems before they happen, preventing a child from ever getting experience dealing with the real world.

I answer a question from a reader every weekday. If you want help with some aspect of child-rearing, just write to me here.





This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

4 comments so far...
  1. More information from the LW would definitely be helpful. Not liking kids doesn't mean he won't be a good trainer (especially if by 'kids' he means younger ones). Yelling at people isn't the worst thing either. As long as he is not abusive and is willing, why not? I agree, just make sure the girl understands that the Uncle has a temper, he does yell, and it's nothing personal. Make sure the Uncle will watch his language. If he is difficult to deal with, well, then the girl will get practice dealing with difficult people -- there are plenty of those in the world, after all!

    Posted by jlen April 1, 10 09:03 AM
  1. As I very experienced horse person in the New England hunter/jumper world, I have to chime in here. The LW gives some very vague information regarding the situation but I will do my best. Barbara has hit the two major issues that need to be addresses, 1) he's just a bit on the gruff side and 2) is everyone sure there is no real abuse.

    If this uncle is willing to put time and resources aside for his niece to learn to ride, go for it. Horses are the single most expensive sport to be competitive in so if she can get started through family, all the better. Trainers in general tend to yell, though I haven't met many who use lots of profane language. Not only do they have to shout in order to be physically heard out in the ring with all their riders going in different directions, they have to be very commanding and authoritative too. Not to say that any of the yelling is mean ... I know lots of trainers who yell at their five year old proteges on their $50,000+ ponies and all of these kids understand that its not personal, it takes dedication to learn to ride and a level of seriousness.

    Riding can be a serious sport (as can any). Though it's is tons of fun and exhilarating, you also put yourself up on a big strong animal with a mind of its own so you have to respect that. That's were some trainers can come off as gruff.

    Posted by Sarah April 1, 10 11:34 AM
  1. My ballet teacher as a kid was a yeller. SUPER strict, hard to please, made you bust your butt.

    I've never liked or respected a teacher more.

    Posted by C April 1, 10 12:23 PM
  1. My expertise is in both horses and relationships. The first red flag that was raised as I read this question was about the fact that the uncle is short of patience and acts-out by yelling. While this is a concern for the 12-year old, it is a matter of safety when you introduce a horse. Horses do not think like humans, and do not react well to people who cannot control themselves. I would be afraid that not only would the horse be ill-served by this man, but your niece could be injured.
    Do your niece a favor - suggest riding lessons from a reputable trainer. Many times the first bad experience ends what could have been a lifetime of blessing with a horse.

    Posted by Lynn Baber April 6, 10 02:10 PM
 
4 comments so far...
  1. More information from the LW would definitely be helpful. Not liking kids doesn't mean he won't be a good trainer (especially if by 'kids' he means younger ones). Yelling at people isn't the worst thing either. As long as he is not abusive and is willing, why not? I agree, just make sure the girl understands that the Uncle has a temper, he does yell, and it's nothing personal. Make sure the Uncle will watch his language. If he is difficult to deal with, well, then the girl will get practice dealing with difficult people -- there are plenty of those in the world, after all!

    Posted by jlen April 1, 10 09:03 AM
  1. As I very experienced horse person in the New England hunter/jumper world, I have to chime in here. The LW gives some very vague information regarding the situation but I will do my best. Barbara has hit the two major issues that need to be addresses, 1) he's just a bit on the gruff side and 2) is everyone sure there is no real abuse.

    If this uncle is willing to put time and resources aside for his niece to learn to ride, go for it. Horses are the single most expensive sport to be competitive in so if she can get started through family, all the better. Trainers in general tend to yell, though I haven't met many who use lots of profane language. Not only do they have to shout in order to be physically heard out in the ring with all their riders going in different directions, they have to be very commanding and authoritative too. Not to say that any of the yelling is mean ... I know lots of trainers who yell at their five year old proteges on their $50,000+ ponies and all of these kids understand that its not personal, it takes dedication to learn to ride and a level of seriousness.

    Riding can be a serious sport (as can any). Though it's is tons of fun and exhilarating, you also put yourself up on a big strong animal with a mind of its own so you have to respect that. That's were some trainers can come off as gruff.

    Posted by Sarah April 1, 10 11:34 AM
  1. My ballet teacher as a kid was a yeller. SUPER strict, hard to please, made you bust your butt.

    I've never liked or respected a teacher more.

    Posted by C April 1, 10 12:23 PM
  1. My expertise is in both horses and relationships. The first red flag that was raised as I read this question was about the fact that the uncle is short of patience and acts-out by yelling. While this is a concern for the 12-year old, it is a matter of safety when you introduce a horse. Horses do not think like humans, and do not react well to people who cannot control themselves. I would be afraid that not only would the horse be ill-served by this man, but your niece could be injured.
    Do your niece a favor - suggest riding lessons from a reputable trainer. Many times the first bad experience ends what could have been a lifetime of blessing with a horse.

    Posted by Lynn Baber April 6, 10 02:10 PM
add your comment
Required
Required (will not be published)

This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it.

About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

Submit a question for Barbara's Mailbag


Ask Barbara a question

Barbara answers questions on a wide range of topics, including autism, breastfeeding, bullying, discipline, divorce, kindergarten, potty training, sleep, tantrums, and much, much more.

Send your questions to her at:
meltzbarbara (at) gmail.com.
Please include your name and hometown.

Child in Mind

Moms
All parenting discussions
Discussions

High needs/fussy baby

memes98 writes "My 10.5 month old DS has been fussy ever since he was born, but I am getting very frustrated because I thought he would be much better by now...has anyone else been through this?"

More community voices

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street

RSS feed


click here to subscribe to
Child Caring

archives