Thank you for the comments!
Kiwi - I completely agree that this should all be about fun. Well, actually fun and hard work!
I feel pretty strongly that a work ethic should be involved and fortunately my daughter readily grabs a shovel or broom at the barn without being asked and without a complaint (at 7-years old mind you)! She actually enjoys it. I just think it makes you appreciate your horse more and gives a stronger sense of responsibility. She loves anything to do with horses - and that includes mucking (really!)!
The main reason we have a horse is because, although I love horses also, she is crazy about them and we have a free place to board. I feel so lucky to be able to support her passion. My MIL keeps our horse, feeds our horse and cleans her stall for us (on the days we're not there). The down side to that is that when we go to the neighbors arena my MIL will give my daughter lessons and it is not all about fun for my MIL (MIL had big-time show career with HER daughter). It gets very stressful and I don't think it's much fun for my daughter. My daughter once had gotten to the point of sobbing because my MIL was yelling at her. It got pretty ugly, but my daughter will not give up riding and the horses even if it means getting yelled at. I now babysit the lessons my daughter gets because I won't allow my MIL to treat her like that again. We want to have fun. We want to learn it right and safe, but we do not have to have perfection.
Oops - sorry I got a bit on a tangent. That happens when I speak of my MIL!
We may do some 4-h type showing later down the road but right now we are just enjoying and learning, learning, learning. The horse we have loves my daughter and my daughter is in love with this horse.