I had been a little unhappy for a while with Izzy’s previous riding instructor. She was nice, but tended to not pay close attention to Izzy as she was riding, and Izzy was getting frustrated with the basics. The last time she went for lessons, she was in tears for the last half of the lesson. The instructor would have her ride the horse around the arena on her own, and Izzy would do okay for a little bit, but then would get frustrated and eventually the instructor would put the horse on the lunge line and work with Izzy. But, by that time she was in tears and it was too late.
So we picked a new farm to go to and try a different teacher. These lessons are shorter (45 minutes vice an hour), and the new instructor is much more involved. She started last weekend, and has been on a lunge line the entire time. She is starting with just being comfortable in the saddle and slowly working on controlling the horse. It makes a big difference for Izzy, but will probably take a few lessons to get over the anxiety and stress from the previous lessons.
I’m sure it is a balance between letting her figure things out and holding her hand the whole way, but I think she is responding better with a more gentle approach. And this is supposed to be fun for her, not a chore.