Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Victoria, Australia
what a terrific little rider!! And good on you for taking her on!!
Sorry if I sound very fussy and pedantic about it, but I also teach and like to get things right from the beggining..
First off, she needs to tuck her bottom underneath her more, not necesarily lean back. This can be acheived by telling her to "open" her hips. If she's not sure how to do it, get her to hop off her horse and stand with her legs apart and push her hips forward, but trying to keep her buttocks relaxed. This is quite hard to acheive without showing you how to teach her to do this, so ask somebody who does know.
The second thing is she needs to keep her heels down alot more, elbows bent more and thumbs on top (as mentioned). Her legs need to be forward more, but they could be back more than needed because her stirrups appear to be too short. She could also roll her shoulders back a bit more, but that could be to do with nerves. When she does upwards transitions, she tends to put her hands on the front of the saddle. In the jumping photo, she anticipating which is making her lean forward far too much, she also needs to keep her legs on as they're slipping back which in return can make her fall much easily if her horse doesn't do a clean jump. Also remember, just toes in the stirrups!!
Now onto the gear.
The saddle looks much to big for her, and is it a jumping saddle? It looks to forward to be a general purpose. You could try her in a dressage saddle if you have access to one? And please try to get one that fits her and the horse or I will put her in a strange position and may hurt the horses back. Also loose the kimblewick and spurs until she is more experienced or she wont have very good natural aids and will always need atrificial aids, which will be quite hard if she wants to compete as she wont be able to use spurs or harsh bits. Snaffles are only allowed in most competitions.
Hope this helps!!
live for the good times,, forget all the bad,, love him forever and you'll be always glad!! So hug like you mean it,, and kiss in the night,, smile when they cant see and never ever fight!!