Thanks for the replies. I needed that feedback. Never having been in this position before I had a feeling that I needed to go much much slower. The previous owners said they would go trail riding on her and advertised her as a "easy going family horse". I see them periodically because they also have a few horses at the new barn my horse is at. Every time I see them I get a few more comments that elude to her not actually really being ridden all that much.
Typical.....I suspect they greatly inflated her training and experience.
On the other hand, I really don't know much about her history at all so I worry that she must have behavior issues that have keeping her bouncing from owner to owner. I have learned that what I was told when I saw her the first time isn't all that accurate.
Welcome to the world of horse trading. Don't give up, though. If she had behavioral issues, her time off may be the best thing. It may have given her time to diffuse bad previous handling. I would start her completely from scratch and forget that she has had any previous training.
I tried to see how she lunges the other day. She goes counterclockwise okay...doesn't hardly listen to voice commands and either she just doesn't know what a lunge whip is or doesn't care. Going clockwise was impossible. Every time I would try to get her going she would just stop, turn and look at me. She must have been lunged at some point in her life because she can do it okay in one direction.
This behavior on the lunge is common. Horses, like humans, are either "right handed" or "left handed"...meaning they are prone to prefer moving balanced on one side over the other. Usually, like us, they prefer the right side. That means that they will balance by leaning heavily on their right shoulder making it herd to bend going clockwise. When they are going counterclockwise, putting weight on the right shoulder (now on the outside) actually helps the horse bend. Clockwise, they will tend to counterbend throwing even MORE weight on the inside shoulder. They will often collapse in making the circle smaller and smaller. All very common. Lunge circles are very small when a horse is so unbalanced and they will often not want to do it at all. Be petient and ask very little on the lunge until they start learning to balance going in that small circle.
I don't know how effective I am going to be with reconditioning her. I can only get to the barn about twice a week.
Just make the time you have with her quality time. It would really help to have a professional give you a hand with her. Not only will that give her knowledgable and systematic work, you can watch and learn how to approach her training, too. It is often money WELL spent if you find a patient trainer.
Good luck and don't give up. BTW, keep her in that snaffle. Don't succomb to the desire to gain more control by putting a tougher bit on her. What she is doing is common to an untrained horse. She will learn to accept and use the bit with good training.
Hope this helps.