My 7.5 year old daughter has ridden for two years (spring, summer, fall) with an experienced and fabulous coach. At the present time she is riding a 22 year old QH cross approx. 14 hands with lots of pep!
The coach says that my daughter, Rowan, will get better balance as she gets taller. Rowan struggles to keep her feet in position, but that is another post
Rowan has extremely mobile hand and shoulder joints~ she is hyper-flexible, meaning the ligaments are very loose. We do therapy at home for strengthening shoulders, core and hands (this impacts her handwriting)... but even with great muscle, she is still very loose in the joints...
The result is that she really struggles with:
a) keeping her hands up (she tends to drop them on the saddle) and
b) staying balanced/ using the reins... in order to get enough strength she compensates by using her core... so if she pulls back on the reins, she does so with her entire body as she doesn't have the ability to hold her shoulders in place... so she pulls the reins into her chest and lays back...
and there goes her seat, her feet and everything else!
It is becoming frustrating for Rowan as she cannot move ahead in other skills because she can't keep her seat.
Does anyone have suggestions? exercises?
We want her to have a solid hunt seat foundation before switching disciplines (she wants to ride Western) but it is feeling endless!
We are doing a part board with the pony and so we have lots of opportunities to drill down on specific skills this season and the coach is open to ideas, too.