This is from her second horse ridding lesson, she's on a pony in the small corral on a lead line. Which means Melissa, the instructor, is there holding a rope attached to the halter, basically spotting Heidi while she rides. After a little bit of warming up she was riding on her own. She's had to use the lead line a few times since her second lesson, mainly when she's learning something new and is uncertain of herself.
I love Melissa's way of teaching. She has all of her students brush down the horse before and after saddling it. Next, for the little kids like Heidi Anne, Melissa saddles the horse while explaining the process and the reasoning for it. As soon as the student is ready, they lead the horse into / out of the corral by themselves. I think it's great how (more often then not) Melissa lets her students determine how the ridding lesson will go.
Currently, she's riding bareback and loves it. It's to help correct an issue of her ridding tilted making the western style saddle slowly shift to the left. Then Melissa has to re-saddle the horse and Heidi Anne had to resume her lessons. Heidi Anne can resume the western style saddle any time she wants, however, for now she's enjoying it. She really wants to race barrels (but that will have to wait until next spring). So we have lots of time left for her to adapt to western ridding.
Furthermore, there are some signs that she is embracing Wyoming life. For example, she is trying to learn to climb trees. When I asked why, she gave me a puzzled look, then replied, "Because we're out in the country now Mom, kids out here climb trees. It's just what we do." A few days later, we were at a store in Utah where a girl about Heidi Anne's age was having a fit about almost scrapping her knees. That's when Heidi Anne looked up at me and said, "Mom, that girl just needs to Cowgirl up."
If you were curious, yes Rory and I attend every lesson for the whole lesson. Heidi Anne really wants to ride during the Wyoming winter, as long as it's safe to drive and we're properly bundled up, I think we can pull through it. Heidi can't wait until Rory can sit up on his own, then she wants to have him ride in-front of her while she warms up. She's really getting into ridding, in fact she wrote an note to Santa last night asking for a saddle and a horse halter for Christmas.