Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
Having worked quite a bit at dude/guest ranches and horse camps over the years, it will take some work to get him soft and obedient at all gaits. Most 'dude horses' are trained simply to follow the one in front of them, and ignore a rider who pulls, kicks, etc. Some of our best dude horses that were trustworthy with tiny kids on a trail were downright dangerous in an arena where they might have to go work alone, so the fact that he will ride alone, even if he wants to set the pace himself, is a good thing. It will be good for your daughter to learn how to 'sharpen up' a dead-sided horse, asking softly, then increasing her aids until he responds. Eventually he will respond to the soft aid.
Squeeze 1,2,3, nudge 1,2,3, kick 1,2,3 kick harder 1,2,3 stick 1,2,3 finally a canter. If she's consistent about asking and then asking harder without taking the pressure off until he DOES respond, it won't take him long to start listening to aids again, and he'll get nice and light in her hands and to her legs.