I used to have one lesson kid that was a hugggge talker. She, like your daughter, loved to tell stories and jokes the whole time during her lesson and it was definitely an experience!
The two thing I did with her were:
1. Let her talk on the ground. If it took her longer to tack up (which it always did), she got less time on the horse, etc. Of course, as the one paying for a lesson, this might not work so well for you. Eventually though this girl did figure it out that if she talked less, she got to ride more.
I'd keep track of the time and make sure I let her know that she could choose to keep yammering and ride less, or we could buckle down, get that tack on, and get to ride more. Sometimes she would choose to talk and I'd decide to play a game with her (like pointing out where all the horse's body parts are by name or braiding the horse's mane and tail) instead of letting her ride. That way she got to connect with me AND we were still doing horse-learning stuff.
I also found that asking leading questions like "ok, the saddle is on her back, now what?" etc, got a better response than "ok, tack her up." If I stayed involved and present, and just kept being like "step one, step two, step three," we got more accomplished.
2. On horseback, we would play "I Spy." I found that, even though the things we were spying were totally unrelated to horses, the fact that we were taking turns talking and looking really seemed to keep her attention on the horse matters at hand. She couldn't as easily get caught up in her story-land or telling a long involved joke because it took away from "I Spy"!!
I liked to try to end a little early with her (hour long lesson, she usually got 20-25 minutes to tack up and talk, 20 minutes to ride, then the remainder of the time was talking/untacking/feeding/bonding time) and make sure we got to chat about whatever she wanted to chat about.
I guess this is maybe a bit different than "usual" riding instruction but I'd like to be a "grown-up" that is foremost a friend, then the instructor.
I know when I was growing up, my riding instructors had a HUGE impact on my life and I still remember them to this day, solely because they took the time to hang out with me and make me feel like I was worth something. I had a really hard time growing up and if it weren't for the instructors that just listened, I can guarantee you that I would not be in such a good place now.
I want "my" kids to know that they are worth something and not just worth something because they learned so so much from me[not saying this is your or the intructor's goal, just that it's a mindset I have seen from parents when I tell them I teach a bit "differently" haha] .
Heck, I have one kid that's been taking lessons from me for 3 whole years...and she still can't ride more than a fast walk, and even then. But, in her case, he mom and I have decided that I'm her "horse friend" and we really just hang out. Learning to ride is secondary to the relationship that tells this little girl that she's gonna be fine.
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
Last edited by Wallaby; 06-11-2013 at 08:40 PM.