I give lessons to kids and I guess my kids usually end up riding for about 15 minutes. It's not really intentional but that's generally the way it works out. Here's a break down of what a typical lesson from me looks like:
On the hour, the kid arrives (some of my kids generally arrive 5-10 minutes late which I include in the lesson "time")
We catch the horse
We groom+tack up said horse and USUALLY by 20 after, the kid is on and riding. Some kids do take longer to tack up so they have shorter ride times (some kids are more chatty, etc, and I want to take the time to answer their questions/chat with them if that's what they want to do vs jut shoving them at the horse because it's "time").
Then, from about 20 after to 35-45 after (that depends on how the lesson is going and how experienced the kid is with untacking), the child rides.
The average "stop time" is 40 after at which time I have the child dismount, we walk down the barn, untack the horse, etc. Post-ride things (feeding/blanketing/cursory brushing/locking up/putting everything away/etc) generally go right up to the hour, then we walk up from the barn to where ever the parents has parked or is waiting which generally takes us about 5 minutes into the next hour.
Some instructors focus a lot more on the riding side of things which I would love to do but at the same time, I grew up taking those sorts of lessons and when I got my own horse, I had ZERO idea of how to take care of a horse pre/post ride, how to feed a horse, etc. Since most of my kids are taking lessons because they want to own a horse someday, I'm trying to make the transition into ownership a bit easier by making it so they already know what "the right thing" is.
I do hang out with my kids while they take care of the horse pre+post (great time to answer questions and find out how the kid is feeling that week!) but I can understand why it might be hard for an instructor to do that, especially if the child in question is competent. I've sometimes found myself "mother-hen"-ing and not allowing the child to take care of something on their own that they know how to handle . So that's something I have to watch myself for - not taking over when something little goes "wrong". And depending on how social the instructor is, she might feel awkward talking to a child on a 1:1 basis without a horse in the way. I know I did at first but then I powered through the awkward. But it took a conscience decision on my part to NOT "give up" once I wasn't really vitally needed during tacking up.
Bottom line, as long as your daughter is enjoying herself and looking forward to her lesson, I wouldn't worry about it. It's probably not the absolute best way of teaching a lesson but it's not uncommon - that's how every instructor I've ever had has been. One I actually had to call, on my cell phone, to get her out of her house for my lesson AFTER I had tacked the horse up! THAT was silly. hahaha
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding
Rest peacefully, Lacey.