Originally Posted by BreakableRider
How bumbproof is your horse?
One thing i've done with young students is take a nice soft squishy ball and play catch. The 'problem' with younger children is the attention span and simply giving them a spoon and ball, well it gets boring quick. I put my mare on the lunge line with no bridle and play with the child. It works on their balance and how to move independently. They will twist to the side and need to isolate their hips and legs from their torso. They'll be focusing on something that isn't still. You can't space out of much if you're constantly doing something. This will get their coordination better to. Then you can say, 'keep on hand on the mane and only catch in one hand". This will start getting them to isolate their hands from each other too. I do this going both directions at a walk. Once the child can start focusing a little more and is thinking about their hands I move on. Your horse does need to be a saint though and you need a squishy ball just in case one of you has a total fail in playing catch. You'll want to start out in a smaller circle and slowly move out.
I've done games similar. I have played more games and I keep her very busy. But she has to be able at some point to stop games and ride? 15 lessons in. I think she's nervous and she has the reins high like a security blanket. I've done obstacle courses...honestly I don't think another game is the answer.
I'm repeating myself now.
I spoke to the previous owner of my horse and he has been ridden in an english hackamore so today I went and got him a side pull and roping reins. I'm going to try it on him but I would expect he will do fine in it. This will give my boy the kindness he deserves while this little girls works on her riding some more.
I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm very grateful for every reply here. You are all great! Thanks so much. I have new tack and a long list of great ideas to try.