If the other girls are there to work, and your daughter does not have assigned chores, the girls may be trying to show responsibility for their assignments. Especially the 13 yo. She should be hitting the age where she learns the downside of not doing what is expected of her.
If the girls are there to work off their board or lessons, then your daughter should not be "hanging" around while they work. IF that is true, you could even the playing field by asking the BO to have your daughter assigned work. Now, the three of them can work together equally.
It's a tough call, because your daughter is friends with the one girl. But when the other girl is added to the triangle, it becomes circle and your daughter is on the outside of the ring of acceptance.
The 11 yo could be trying to gain approval of the 13 yo and the 13 yo is establishing her dominance. Don't forget, the 13yo and 11yo were together and worked as a team for some time. Your daughter is the new member of the group dynamics. For all you know, the 13yo is afraid of being left out.
I would speak with the BO. I wouldn't use the phrase bullying, per se, but I would say that your daughter is often excluded and one benefit to this barn is your daughter is able to ride with girls in her age group; opposed to nothing but grownups hanging around. Focus on if the BO has any insights to the exclusionary behavior and what can be done to gently bring your daughter into the group's dynamics, without it being adult forced behavior.
Maybe you host the other two girls to a pizza party? Get them out of the barn where territory has been established and in an environment where they can interact together, like a pool, beach, etc.
As an adult, I can say that this is a behavior that is not specific to children. I have a very good friend and while I try my hardest to bring new people into our friendship, it is different when it is not just the two of us. The first couple encounters with a new person is odd. The dynamics change. Now, remove decades of professional expectations in the workforce in dealing with others and it is like jr. High school all over.
Talking to the other girls parents' or them directly will come off much more differently than talking to the BO about the girl's work schedule and whether there are suggestions for bringing them together as a team.
My two cents. Good luck. If your daughter is insecure enough to start saying that she doesn't want to ride, I would find a new barn.
Just saw where the BO / Trainer is a 20 something. Well, heeheeeheee, 20 something is not all that ahem, experienced. She is just a kid herself. With that information, I would still approach her. I guess I would expect a different reaction from her rather than a 40 yo woman who has had enough kids come through her barn to have "done that seen that."
Last edited by AQHSam; 09-15-2013 at 03:18 PM.