I guess I see things a bit differently. She is 8 years old and enjoying herself - I see nothing wrong with that. Riding is supposed to be fun, not work, and the dang instructor is getting paid for her time - not for your daughter's progress. IMO we need to stop putting pressure on our children and just let them be kids...
I do agree with this also. H actually has asthma, so many weekly activities that are open for her friends and siblings, are not open to her. Her sister takes dance classes and we tried with H, but she gets too winded. She is very excited to finally have her own thing. I put off putting any of my children on a horse for more than a lead around the pasture. H has been waiting a while for me to be comfortable with her taking lessons.
I think that this lies with the instructor not being firm enough.
I am all for them chatting but if I say "Quiet and listen' they do.
Another thing, if I was instructing and parent had to lay threats then I would not be at all happy.
Kid needs to be taken out of the arena and led from another horse for a ride, then she would concentrate more.
Her instructor really is a nice girl, I really do think she's worried about offending me, since I watch all of the lessons. I just need to tell her I won't be offended.
She should be enjoying herself but at the same time having a riding lesson is no different to having a lesson in school and if she doesn't concentrate she wont learn
Over talking can be a sign of nerves. She might seem confident but could be a good cover
Does the trainer do things with her to make the lesson more interesting - going round and round in circles is a bit mind numbing for an 8 year old?
Maybe weaving in and out of cones and maneuvering around poles laid on the ground would make her concentrate more?
I had some western lessons this winter (I'm an English rider) and none of the horses were ridden in anything but snaffles - plain or jointed - many were really experienced riders and no one rode in a shanked bit at all.
She does occasionally try to do different things with her. She's put down ground poles before and brought out the large Jolly balls the horses kick around. H loves that.
When I first bought our mare she came with a Thom thumb. I quickly changed her out of that to a shorter shanked dog bone bit. I have no problem getting her attention when she starts to veer off, but H is so small. She listens to H's cues most of the time, but when she gets a different idea in her head, plus the talking. I hate to see H have to put her entire body into stopping her.
I think I've decided to try a Billy Allen bit, as suggested to me on my other thread. After A LOT of reading, I think it sounds like it could work. A lot of people said it really helps to relax the horse. Not that Sky needs a ton of relaxing, but anything to take her mind off her baby would be nice. I'm not worried about H yanking on the reins, but it's still a mild bit just in case.