I''m glad you got the bill of sale straightened out. I've found that it is better if money changes hands instead of being free. That gives "consideration" to the sale. When I've been given a free horse, I make a bill of sale for $1.00. An attorney friend of mine taught me that years ago.
As for the way you are bringing her along, it sounds like you are doing it the right way, nice and slow. What are you feeding her and what quantity? Have you had her teeth checked? If she was neglected for as long as you suggest, I'm thinking no dental work or worming was done. You will be surprised how much she will improve with her teeth floated - and reduce her pain. It will also curtail any problems that may develop with being bitted.
Thank you for the info on $1 on the bill of sale. That actually makes sense to me.
I had a complete vet check done and they said her teeth were fine. Plus, she lets me pull her mouth open and lets me feel around in there and I haven't felt/seen anything and she doesn't wince or pull back like anything is painful. However, I do plan on having another vet check done at the six month mark to see if I need to adjust anything (including some blood work). I have wormed her since I brought her home and her poop looks and smells normal. She is being fed grass hay 3 times a day, vitamins correct for her weight, grain, and some rice bran. Before I started feeding the rice bran, she wasn't having any spunk. After I started feeding the rice bran, she started having spunk when I lunged her. She doesn't play at all when I lunge her and it really makes me sad. I don't want her to be wild and crazy or hot but I want her to have fun and not think it is all boring. She is starting to now. At least now she holds her tail up and is more alert. She definitely loves when I come out. When she is out to pasture and sees my car, she comes running up to the gate and waits or if she is in the stall, she whines if I don't greet her. I love it! She takes the bit wonderfully. Doesn't fight at all. Eventually I will put her in a side pull/bitless bridle but I want both of us to lean the technical stuff first. We both have a lot of learning to do.
She loves her treats though. She holds up her right front leg as if saying "Please" and tucks her head in, batting her eyes. It is so adorable. On Tuesday, I had set her apple on the can next to the tack room door and I was going to take her for a walk after lunging. Barn rules are that we close the tack room door before we go for walks. So, I led her over there to close the door, forgetting the apple was there. Well, she sure saw it and took a bite of the apple. The way she did it was so cute that I couldn't scold her. She took the huge bite (I buy the big, tasty ones for her-yeah, she's spoiled already) but had the bit in her mouth, so the piece of apple wouldn't fit and she had to "spit" it out. I heald out my hand to help her with it and she puts it in my hand and takes a smaller bite. I put the rest of it on the can again, since it wasn't time for her to have it anyway, and let her have the smaller piece. It was so cute. Maybe won't be next time but I sure laughed this time. She has personnality and I want her to show it in all aspects of training and riding. I hope she does.
Wow! Can you tell I love talking about her. I'll quit now. lol