Ivy is getting better! Softer in the mouth and we have advanced to being able to walk and jog with the french link AND REINS
. She still roots occasionally, and mouths it, but is much more consistently packing the bit and allowing those reins to flap around. Over the next month we will slowly, slowly tighten those reins up to bit her up.
I am ground driving her quite a bit now, and working on our showmanship as well. I am working her twice a day a couple days a week, but at least once a day a week- just keeping my energy really, really low with lots of encouragement.
When ground driving I run the long lines from her nylon halter side rings, but then put the snaffle on as well, and I find when she is stressed or really thinking she'll mouth it more, so I just work her through it and when she quiets it means she is getting it... and we quit there. I can guide her all over the arena, stop and back, then move on.
I had a conversation with a lady who has a gelding by R Big Time Fancy, and she told me her gelding was very tough minded, had to be started VERY, VERY SLOWLY. He won quite a bit for her, but she had to respect that he was very sensitive, and a battles were best avoided... she said he was the slowest progressing colt she has ever had. Confirmed for me that she is just ultra sensitive, and needs that extra time.