Amanda riding Thuy
My neice had recently been asking about riding.
She's 8. We tried it a few years back, but it didn't hold
her interest enough. This time she followed directions, and
once she'd figured out go, whoa and turn, there was no stopping her.
I kept her at a walk this first time, but a couple of days later she
was happily trotting Thuy around.
He's too big for her, but they're working well together.

Explaining how to lead.

Thuy isn't always the best at leading (grass is very tempting), but he was good for Amanda.
Thuy likes kids, but doesn't like his face touched. 
He can be tolerant when he has to be.
Using the mounting block, Amanda could just reach to get on by herself.
Thuy and Amanda were very comfortable with each other.
Explaining how to hold the reins. 
We spent some time in the yard with her learning whoa and go.
She was happy when she learned she was in control.
I must say that Thuy carries himself nicely, no matter the size of his rider.
A nice whoa and posing for the camera.
Heading off onto the trails.
They stays close to the person on the ground, unless he's made to leave them.
When we'd stop out in the field, Thuy'd push his head down and pull the reins out of Amanda's hands. After the first time losing them, she learned to let them slip, but not let go, so she could gather them back up again quickly. We both agreed that if she didn't let them slip, he could pull her over his head.
He's not trying to eat grass, but has gotten a bit forceful about having his head when he's standing still.
It's tough to not keep looking back. But watching her ride away from me by herself wasn't any easier.
Watching for her head in the trees. She was great about steering around obstacles and going around branches. That's something the horse can't do for you.
A few circles to be sure he was listening.
I found some breeches (too big, but better than nothing) and we'll work on getting some proper boots. She swims in the saddle, but no rub marks and she said she was comfortable.
Riding around by herself with a proud grandfather watching.
And posing with Aunt Jennifer and the grandmother.
By her second ride, she and Thuy were trotting around the hay bales.
Heading off with Thuy.
And coming back.
Hosing him off.
Seeing if he wants a drink.