First official day on the property, and she is doing so, so well. We turned her out with the other three horses this morning and there was some dominance-placing chasing before everything settled right down. April got a nice roll in the grass too. The barn owner was prepared for an all-out fight because another border's horse is very aggressive about her dominance and my horse is also typically a lead mare. However, April was too fast doing her Arabian prance for the fat lead mare (built like a halter horse but she's a registered Morgan?) to get any kicks or bites in and the lead mare eventually gave up the chase.
In my down time, I cleaned up the tack the rescue gave me - a fitting saddle, girth, saddle pad, bridle, bit, and hackamore! I could have easily spent over a grand buying that for myself if they hadn't given it to me. Apparently they get so much tack donated that they end up trying to give a lot of it away to adopters, and it's usually in good shape (see photo).
After she had a few hours of settling into the herd, I took her out just to do some quick groundwork since she can be a very pushy horse when she feels like it, including this morning at turn-out. However, she did everything I asked of her on a looped lead: follow and turn, stop when I stop, back when I back, yield the front and hind end, switch directions on a mini lunge with just a hand lift, the whole nine yards. I brought a makeshift flag (plastic bag tied to a stick, lol) with me just in case she decided to be pushy, but I only ever waved it as a reminder to back up and then I didn't need it again. She definitely knew her job but if I hadn't been serious about it, I'm sure she would have run right through me. This was just a reminder to me that she demands you earn her respect, but once you do, she's absolutely perfect! It's one of the many things I love about her, since it makes me be a better horsewoman. After that, I unhooked her lead and asked for all the same with out it, and she followed, stopped, backed, but when I asked for front end yield, she yielded too much then was like "Oh, grass!"
Keeping her attention without a lead is what I'll be working on next. I'm just happy she ignored the grass the whole rest of the time we were practicing. I'm working 12+ hours tomorrow, but on Wednesday I plan on doing some light ring riding - she hasn't been ridden since I visited the rescue, which was almost a month ago.
The herd, with April far right and lead mare far left: