Hello, dear horse people! I'm following my daughter's passion for horseback riding, and I'm not quite sure where we are going. She is almost 10. She took some Western lessons on and off when she was 8 and 9 (only walk / leisure, not trotting), and then she started weekly English lessons in October of 2011 at Place #1 (some group, some private).
In January 2012 we switched to Place #2--a very different approach, lots of initial time on a lunge line, and she is loving it.
I'm not a horse person, and it is very difficult (okay, impossible) for me to determine how well she is doing. All I can see is that her heels are mostly down, and that her hands are low. Since the lessons are private, I don't even see other children her age and level.
Also, this instructor teaches very differently that the others we've seen. For example, there's no emphasis on the correct diagonal at this point (she said this will be done later), and she started cantering from the 2-point position.
After 7 lessons of cantering on the lunge-line (weekly lessons), she had her first independent cantering lesson last week, and it was also her first "jumping" lesson. I'm worried she's moving too fast, without having developed a good seat, but my knowledge on this is sketchy, no matter how much I read about this stuff, I remain very visually ignorant--everyone on a horse looks gorgeous to me.
Her instructor seems to be pleased, but I also wonder whether she just wants us to lease a horse sooner, rather than later.
I would appreciate honest feedback. My daughter is very self aware for her age, and said she wants me to learn the truth, but that she will read only positive comments (in other words, she doesn't want to hear too much negativity right now.)
Her instructor seems to be pleased, but I also wonder whether she just wants us to lease a horse sooner, rather than later. We are not exactly rich, and even a half lease is a big stretch on our budget.
I entertain myself during her lessons by videotaping.
Trotting (posting trot) progression since November 2011 to April 2012:
First independent canter, April 2012 (lesson 8 at Place #2):
Trotting over cross poles, April 2012 (lesson 8 at Place #2):