A little background (if you don't already know) so this will make sense: when I first got Lacey last year you couldn't get on her without risking your life pretty much. She would immediately start backing up/rearing/bucking, anything to get you to decide to get off. She wouldn't stand still for mounting and someone holding her made it totally worse. She was very difficult to steer and stop because if you tried to tell her what to do she'd immediately start jumping around and freaking out again.
Well today I officially rode her bareback with a halter and lead rope instead of a bridle!
She was a little iffy about how much control I had up there but she wasn't too bad. She quickly walked over to her bff before I got settled on her back but I just made her stop and stand there (to let her be by her friend but be doing what I said) then after we stood there for a moment I asked her to walk away from her friend and she actually did with a minimum of fuss. Then we walked around a bit and did a few circles, some neck reining and we trotted a stride or two! Her trot is really big so it's super hard to sit even with a saddle, so I was trusting her to jog instead of go all dressage horse, and she came through for me.
We even did a little backing up which is another one of her issues and she was actually suprisingly responsive about it. I think maybe the pressure on her nose instead of mouth helped her understand what I was asking better because she was really flexing at the poll to back up all pretty, which she's NEVER done.
I'm so proud of her! I feel like that's the sort of trust that I've been working for all this past year and we've finally gotten there. It's super rewarding to see that I've pretty much, somehow, turned her life around.
And, to top it all off, I hadn't even worked with her/seen her in 3 weeks.
Go Lacey! Haha