Originally Posted by Saskia
I'd start off just getting him to feel confident and to respect the horse.
You said he still feels a little nervous - so just get him doing little fun things while building his confidence. Constantly correcting his position won't make him feel good. I'd practice doing little games with the horse that incorporate steering and change of pace. Teach him that the horse is an animal and has feelings and doesn't want to have its mouth yanked on or sides kicked. Try bending up at the walk, then trotting back.
Mention something to work on for the lesson - like it might be heels down, or hands up, or sit back. Tell him at the beginning what its going to be so he only has to focus on that. I find a lot of young kids can't remember to check their hands, leg position and control the horse.
In my experience kids don't really like lots of "flatwork" or lunge sessions. It might be the best thing for them, but above all they want to have fun. Once he's safe on his own if you have another horse ride with him and play little games, or go on trails.
Riding bareback could be good, but not always. I know lots of kids who feel uncomfortable or unsafe bareback. If he's confident doing it give it a go - but if he isn't don't push him.
Also, it sounds like you live away from home. Maybe your brother wants to ride so he can spend some time with you? Try and make it fun and enjoyable for both of you.
AGREED! I my self am a nervous rider and I've recently found under my current instructor, my confidence and concentration can go down, and I can actually stop "listening" to her because my mind is fried and I'm all over the place trying to fix my position/speed/whatever else she wants from me. She tries to get me to check and fix everything at once instead of just working on something small, like on a new horse if I'm having trouble picking up his posting diagonal, she would get mad at me for that, then I'd get in trouble for not using enough leg or steering him onto the pole course when I was supposed to because I'm making sure my diagonal is right.
So start small with fun games, only work on one thing at a time. He'll progress faster while still having fun. The main thing is to push and challange, while not breaking any confidence he has built.