That is FANTASTIC news Blue Eyed Pony!!!!!! So happy for you and for her!!!
As for the leg aids, did you do any groundwork with moving away from pressure on the barrel? Just a suggestion, although I'm pretty sure you know what you're doing with the looks of things! Congrats!!!
Thank you :) I'm over the moon right now!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have done a TON of ground work, she really needed it [troubled red TB mare lol... not the sort of horse you can just hop on and go with!]. Yes we have done moving off pressure on the barrel, she understands the concept just doesn't really "get" this whole riding gig yet.
I ask lightly with my leg, then I ask with voice [she is very familiar with voice commands due to all the groundwork we have done], then just touch her with the whip. I have never had to go any farther than that. She's very soft into walk already, still reluctant/unsure about the trot, and I haven't cantered her because she's not balanced enough in walk and trot yet.
Today's ride was very nervous on both parts. I was expecting her to be a bit of a brat, given that IME the third day of anything new for ANY horse is the day they act up, and that I think was making her very very nervous. She almost went catatonic on me because of it, so we kept it very simple and basic with loads of praise. I need to be VERY careful not to overload her and frighten her, but she's very clever and tries so hard, I don't doubt she'll progress just nicely over the next couple of years before she's old enough to compete.
She's going to have 2 or 3 days off now to let it sink in, then I'll hop on again and see what she remembers and go from there. She seems to like her bit, but isn't such a fan of the taste of it [sweet iron], so I've ordered another D-ring single jointed snaffle for her in a stainless steel mouth.
She broke out this morning and got into the feed again... into Monty's very high protein feed, which she can't have because it sends her lame... so she was a little sore, but she seems to warm out of it. We'll see how we go I guess... meanwhile I need to make my feed more secure so it can't happen again.