Thank you all so much for the encouraging/supportive words! It really is fun to work with Lily because she is very smart and a pleaser at heart. I forget how smart she is! We did a few exercises with her to see where she was at after the winter and she really is not too far off base, just getting a little pushy. I do realize that it would be helpful to have some concrete goals for the day, for example one calm pass in the "scary end of the arena", or one stop without "whoa" or lead line pressure. She definitely knows the word "whoa" already so we'll use that until she responds to her leader with ease. I also want to keep each exercise short so that she doesn't get too bored. One good thing about working with a 7 year old girl - when she gets bored doing the same ol' thing you know the horse must be getting bored also!
Dumas, sounds like you've met my MIL - you nailed her to a tee! Yes, she really does mean well at heart and she is a truly good person, but she is so controlling and sharp tongued that she is very difficult to work with. If you don't agree and do as she says she can be rather, um, "unpleasant" and she absolutely cannot see things any other way but her own!
I really appreciate all of the wonderful advice and opinions here on this forum. Other than my MIL I really don't know any knowledgeable horsey people near me that I can ask advice from (or vent for that matter
Thanks again and I'll be updating on our progress!!