My almost 10 year old daughter is a beginner rider ("advanced beginner")
. She took Western lessons for two summers, walk only, and has been taking English lessons since October, where she progressed to trotting and cantering. I have no experience with horses and even if I'm trying to learn, my knowledge is not enough to help her out.
She volunteers at her old Western barn, and gets to ride occasionally, but doesn't take lessons there. The instructor there is not very skilled / experienced--she is a wonderful person, but prefers not to teach trot and canter, and her instructions even for walking are the most basic ones. I Haven't heard anything other than "heels down, loosen the reins", ever. In contrast, her current English trainer gives lots of very detailed feedback on her position.
There's a horse at the Western barn that my daughter has bonded with, a 25 (?) year old mare. My daughter wants to do a fun show on her next weekend, and she had two lessons today--for free, in exchange of her volunteering there. She came home in tears that Jessie just doesn't halt for her. The point of the show is to do frequent halts, picking up things, putting them down, walking through a gate (opening and closing).
The instructor is not telling her much rather than maybe riding a different horse.
This is what my daughter says she's doing. Several strides before she needs to halt she focuses on the horse halting (sends her will to it, she says
). Then tightens her body, and pulls gently on the reins. When this has no effect, she pulls harder, but Jessie lowers her head, and is basically stronger than my daughter. This is also hard on my daughter, because she is interested in natural horsemanship, and is very aware of the bit hurting the horse. If Jessie stops, it is only for an instant, and then keeps on walking.
Is there something she can try? She will have one more lesson with Jessie, the day before the show. Or should she take another horse to the show, someone who will halt easier?
Also, any words of widsom to her? She is worried that it is her fault that Jessie is not listening, and that she must be doing something wrong. On the other hand, she is not getting any proper feedback on this issue from the istructor. She plans to aks her English instructor for any feedback this Friday, but the show is on Sunday, with just one more lesson on Saturday. I'm not sure this is an issue that can be solved "long distance", but I thought I'd try, just in case. She's asking me questions, and I have no clue what to say to her about the riding part of it.