We haven't even reached the level in riding that you all are trying to help me with.....I have only just introduced her to the big flag. I use the little flag when I lunge her or and schooling her on the ground in place of a lunge whip or whatever. I descencitize her to everything, though she really doesn't seem to need it. I only brought out the 'big' flag the other day to do the same thing basically...descencitize her and see what her reaction would be with a big one....with the thought of one day carrying a flag under saddle. She did so well with it on the ground, so the next time I brought the flags out under saddle to see how she would react. Nothing substancial again, just descecitizing, but under saddle.
She is a goofy, playful horse. And even on the ground she will try to gently take the end of the flapping flags in her mouth. I do not feel in any way that she is being sassy and trying to bite the flag out of irritation etc. She does it with lead ropes and other things as well....just playing.
So, under saddle, I thought it may be different....but it wasn't. If the flag was blowing by her face, as I moved it around her head, she would just try to take her mouth and play with it. I obviously want to continue to encourage this behavior of not being scared and being playful. The one thing I was going to try and do though is use the small training flag like some trainers do to ride bridleless and have the horse move off of the pressure. I realize that it also takes my seat and legs too. Maybe I just can't try this with this type of horse? She moves off of pressure beautifully otherwise. It just seems when I am using flags by her face she thinks it is a toy and wants to play with it. She yields fine at her face when I pump the air with my hands and just with my body language....I never really have to use anything else.
So, do I just not try this stuff with her since it isn't necessary?