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Parenting Tips at the Horse Show (Waite)


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Being a horse show parent can be challenging but at the same time there are so many rewards – such as seeing children learn new skills, facing challenges together and also having fun. This webcast will offer tips for parents on areas such as listening, handling competition, being a positive influence and how to support a child’s learning.

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Parenting Tips at the Horse Show (Waite)

  1. 1. My Horse University and eXtension’s HorseQuest welcome you to this live Webcast. Tips for Horse Show Parents Karen L. Waite, M.S. Michigan State University
  2. 2. Meet our presenter: <ul><li>Karen L. Waite, M.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Michigan State University </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Why discuss this topic? </li></ul><ul><li>Why youth participate in showing horses </li></ul><ul><li>What parents can do to help </li></ul><ul><li>How 4-H leaders, coaches and trainers can help </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Discuss This Topic?
  5. 5. Why Youth Show Horses <ul><li>Young people get involved in sports because they are fun…and stop participating when they stop being fun. (Weiss, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Parents are a critical piece of the “horse show team.” </li></ul><ul><li>Parents play an important role in whether showing horses is fun. (or not) </li></ul>
  6. 6. How Can Parents Help? <ul><li>Keep fun a factor! </li></ul><ul><li>“ When it stops being fun, we stop showing horses.” </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for “fun.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Dealing With Anger <ul><li>Take deep breaths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inhale 4 seconds, exhale 8 seconds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suck on a lollipop </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat a calm word or phrase or visualize relaxation </li></ul><ul><li>Replace angry thoughts with rational ones </li></ul><ul><li>Count to 10 before speaking </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the child how they felt they did, rather than asking about mistakes or why they didn’t win </li></ul><ul><li>Praise effort first, then consider commenting on results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goldstein, 2008 </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Provide Support for the Child <ul><li>Unconditional encouragement and support </li></ul><ul><li>Physical presence at horse shows </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in child’s efforts regardless of outcome </li></ul><ul><li>Talking up the child’s efforts to others. (notice: efforts, not outcomes!) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Don’t Push TOO Much… <ul><li>Pressures on parents can be great </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Excessive pushing to practice, take lessons and win can detract from fun for some children </li></ul>
  10. 10. But Learn Optimal Push! <ul><li>For some youth, a slight push may actually enhance enjoyment and may be needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Fine line between positive and negative push for child AND horse! </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing how much is enough for horse and rider can be a delicate balancing act. </li></ul>
  11. 11. BE the Parent. <ul><li>Not the coach or horse trainer </li></ul><ul><li>Even when the parent has credibility as a coach or trainer, the child needs unconditional support from someone. </li></ul><ul><li>Should be agreed to by parent and child, or assistance from someone else may be helpful. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Respect Officials and Show Management <ul><li>Judges are typically well trained and competent in multiple events </li></ul><ul><li>Judges must look at every exhibitor in the pen, parents typically do not </li></ul><ul><li>Disrespect for officials and show management models poor sportsmanship </li></ul>
  13. 13. Recognize Signs of Burnout in Children <ul><li>Avoidance of training sessions and the barn </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of effort at lessons or shows </li></ul><ul><li>Lackadaisical attitude </li></ul><ul><li>irritability around barn </li></ul><ul><li>crying spells </li></ul><ul><li>impatience with horse </li></ul><ul><li>Battles of will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sasson-Edgette, 1996 </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Recognize Signs of Burnout in the Horse <ul><li>Tail wringing, ear pinning </li></ul><ul><li>Back or leg soreness </li></ul><ul><li>Refusals </li></ul><ul><li>Depression or general appearance of overall tiredness, rough hair coat etc. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Recognize Signs of Stress in Family <ul><li>Everyone is irritable and no one is talking </li></ul><ul><li>Child does not want family members at shows </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of dread around horse shows </li></ul><ul><li>Worries about time and money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sasson-Edgette, 1996 </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. What to Do? <ul><li>Be observant </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Insist on good manners no matter what </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the horse </li></ul><ul><li>Do something different for horse, rider and family as needed. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Keeping the Competitors Mentally and Physically Ready <ul><li>Drinking plenty of water </li></ul><ul><li>Eating appropriately </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pack healthy lunches and snacks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sleeping </li></ul><ul><li>Practicing at regular and appropriate intervals </li></ul>
  18. 18. Keeping the Competitors Mentally and Physically Ready <ul><li>Time to play with friends/socialize </li></ul><ul><li>Clothing and equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of humor!!! </li></ul>
  19. 19. Goal Setting <ul><li>Help children set realistic goals </li></ul><ul><li>Use the SMART Goal setting system </li></ul><ul><li>Review goals periodically at an appropriate time. </li></ul><ul><li>Set new goals if old ones are met. </li></ul>
  20. 20. SMART Goal Setting <ul><li>Specific </li></ul><ul><li>Measurable </li></ul><ul><li>Attainable </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic and Relevant to the child </li></ul><ul><li>Time Sensitive </li></ul>
  21. 21. Other Ideas <ul><li>Developing and using a “riding resource room” Sasson-Edgette, 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>Lucky dance (or song) </li></ul><ul><li>Rituals or symbols </li></ul>
  22. 22. Give us your feedback! <ul><li>You will receive a survey by email in 1-2 days. Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback on this webcast. It will help us to better serve you! </li></ul>
  23. 23. Upcoming Webcasts <ul><li>Our FREE monthly webcasts will return in September! Check back with us for our fall lineup! </li></ul><ul><li>Use the summer to catch up on any webcasts you may have missed - recorded webcasts are available on our website! </li></ul>
  24. 24. Thank you for attending this live web presentation! For more information about My Horse University please visit us at: | | 517-353-3123