Grace, congratulations! She is just beautiful. I'm sorry about the trailer mishap and hope she will be on her way to fully recovering very quickly.
Country Woman, I'm so very excited for you! Belle looks like the twin sister of the gelding Appy I have been riding in lessons for the last few months. I was never partial to Appys, and was always a draft horse person, but now Apps may be my breed of choice. The stables I ride at have several of them and I am in love with the breed. My appy lesson horse Nuggles has lots of spunk but is also the most sweetest and gentle soul. He is 21 years old. Belle has that same exact look in her eye that I see in Nuggles. When I first saw the pictures you posted of her with her ears pinned, my first thought was "I'd walk the other way so quickly and not turn back." But in the later pictures you posted, what a difference! She loves you. Can totally see it. I hope you are able to ride her soon. Too bad it is dragging on for them to get a saddle. Are you confident to try bareback maybe, just to finally ride her?
Maybe someone will have a suggestion for me. I have come so far in the last three months being back to riding (after nearly 30 years being away from it), had gained confidence, and lost my feelings of fear. I have been doing lessons once a week, and riding independently two days a week (I help at the stables in exchange for being able to ride this much). I was riding a few different horses for a while, but in the last month have used the same horse, Nuggles, because we developed such a strong bond, which borders and the instructors even noticed and made numerous mentions of this. He is always be so happy to see me show up. I groom him each time before riding him. I have learned how to do ground work with him. But the last few times I rode him were disappointing. He spooked one day when I was on him, and never having experience on handling a spooked horse before, I was a huge FAIL. I froze and didn't put in place anything I learned in case of an emergency/spook. I didn't fall off when he bolted with me, but as soon as he calmed down I was done and just had to remove myself from the situation. The anxiety was more than I could handle at the time. The next day that I went back, still feeling terrified, I didn't get the same vibe from Nuggles as I approached him. When I mounted him, he was uneasy, and I could not get him to do anything. The same thing happened the third time. I know it was me, and not him. He knew I was uneasy. I tried breathing and meditating before getting there.
So, this is a long post already, but to make a long story short, I'm back to square #1, feeling like that intimidated woman that I was when starting up a few months ago, and I can't seem to get my mojo back. I want to just delve back into it, but the fright of him bolting with me is always on my mind. I feel I should take a breather for a while, but don't want to be away from it too long either, and end up losing what I have gained.