Thank you very much :)
I've trained a few horses to jump so I do know where I'm going in that respect [and yes, have made the very mistake you're warning against... first one I trained to jump, I ended up training NOT to jump - oops!], she just won't be doing any of it for quite a while yet as she IS only 3!! So it's dressage only for at least the next year and a half, and I'm definitely not a dressage person. And I promise she isn't leaning, she's actually very light in the hand [without being too light]. My other horse leans like no tomorrow though so I do know the feeling - and HATE it.
The thing I love most about her is her adjustable stride! I can get about 6 different stride lengths in both her trot and her canter. At this stage she's just lengthening and shortening, not extending and collecting [see I have enough dressage knowledge to know what I'm going for haha just not how to get it], but she's 3. Plenty of time.
I took her on as a [very] long yearling. She was foaled 27 Sept 2010 and I got her 28 July 2012. She was given to me because, and I quote, "her sire hasn't thrown anything fast" - she's a TB. She never even saw the breaker before she was thrown out. I broke her myself in early February this year [thanks very much for that lovely compliment - she was my first!!]. After discovering the real reason she was given away [looooong story, I base my opinions of her past on what she has 'told' me] I had been planning to send her away for 35 days breaking/training once I'd gotten the groundwork done, but then one day I was doing groundwork with the tack on [not the first time, she'd had it on many times beforehand] and one thing followed another and I found myself on her back. And it all sort of went from there.
She can buck occasionally when she gets a fright [it's her form of forward spook I think, she never goes to run forward when she's scared - it's buck once, skitter sideways, or stop dead in her tracks], but she's been a really easy horse under saddle, by and large. Horses by her sire have a reputation for being easy to break and she's no exception. She can be a little hot at times, but I like her energy, her sensitivity, and her willingness to please. It's yet to be seen if her spookiness will hold her back on cross country, but with any luck she'll grow a brain in the next couple of years and stop freaking out over dumb things.
The mosquitos here are REALLY bad at the moment, lots of standing water [it's winter in Australia], and she has really thin skin. She sort of scored the triple whammy for that. Red TB filly. Hence the tail. If bug repellent stayed on for more than 10 minutes at a time... -sigh-
Anyway. Hope I addressed all your questions :)
I still think I'm completely mad to be attempting to put a good dressage foundation on any horse without a trainer. I'm solid when it comes to jumping, really only need to work on height and refining my eye so I can see my stride from farther out [but I can't do either now my jumping horse is retired], but when it comes to dressage I'm a novice at best.
A CLEAN SLATE FOR THE FUTURE