Could not get very good pictures of Julia's first horse back riding lesson. Damn! But still wanted to post what I did get.
The riding school is called 3 Gaits and they do different levels of therapeutic riding for kids and adults. Julia is in a class with 3 other kids -- one younger boy, and an older girl and boy. All of the kids have some disability but this is not riding as therapy, just riding with support. She is the one who needs the most discipline and reminders to pay attending, listen, and do what she is told. And she is not that bad. She did chatter on a bit which I think was due to anxiety more than anything. She was pretty good, however, about taking commands. She never refused to do what she was told and she accepted the help that was offered.
There was an instructor in the middle of the ring and then 2-4 aides who are by the child and horse. The hands in different positions were part of the exercises. Julia also was told once again about "ho" (stop) and "walk on" (go). The horse trotted towards the end of the lesson.
Julia did make a big deal about horse poop and smelly horses. Later, after she got off the horse, she also made a big deal about another child -- a girl her own age -- who has weakened legs and walks with crutches. Julia kept asking if she was hurt and was she going to get better. The girl explained that she was born that way and her legs were not going to get better. Julia kept staring and asking rather rude questions. I know that she doesn't mean anything cruel but I am struggling to find a way for her to understand that her questions can be hurtful.