When I went out today to take her into the backyard, Snickers seemed a little big for her britches, walking away from me when I walked over to catch her so I sent her away from me and made her trot around me (her pen is pretty small) so when I asked again for the whoa she decided that was easier.
Let her into the backyard to eat and she trotted across the yard with her head up and tail flagged - obviously feeling pretty good about herself.
After an hour I went back out to get her and she came to me easily. I am really impressed with how she walks past the bikes, the dogs, the cars without a care.
So I took her to the barn, tied her up and brought over a brush to start grooming her. She got very wide eyed, threw up her head and did a baby rear
- I was like, really? Told her to knock it off, showed her the brush, then softly brushed her. She relaxed and we pressed on, I cleaned out her feet then took her into the sand area in the barn (30 by 50 feet so kind of a teeny baby indoor) as it was threatening to rain outside.
I had her walk and trot, letting her stop as soon as she responded correctly to the WHOA. I'd come to her, pet her, then send her off the other direction and repeat.
After a few minutes, Wren came into the barn and wanted to help, so I had her get her helmet, then had her send Snickers off and let her ask for the Whoa. Snickers listened and then Wren went to her, attached her lead, and worked on leading again - Walk and Whoa, both directions. Snickers was very relaxed, actually more relaxed with Wren than with me.
Wren asked if she could sit on her, and I thought - well, why not? I know from the sores on her withers she had been ridden quite a bit, so decided we might as well see what she does ... so I took an english fleece pad and set it on her back. No reaction. Put a bareback pad on over that, carefully and lightly buckled it and walked her off - no reaction
I set Wren on her, and let Wren pet her all over. I was matter of fact about it but I'll admit I had a hold of her hips in case I needed to pull her back off, but it wasn't necessary. Snickers had soft eyes, very relaxed, no big deal. Looped some reins for Wren attached the rope halter, then had my own lead, and we walked once around the area - again, no tension at all. Let Wren ask for a turn and a whoa with her reins and seat - Snickers listened really well. Wren was beyond pleased and very excited that she was riding her pony.
And that was it. Had Wren slide off (no worries from Snickers) and had her tie her, then together we brushed her - showing her the soft brush first - and picked out her feet. Wren took her back to her pen and then gave her dinner. Snickers seemed completely at ease with the whole lesson.
Now we will just continue on this course for the next month or so while she gets healthy - really low intensity, short respect building sessions.