It's been a while, but I felt compelled to drop in and let whoever's here know that training is going well! We've had a few days where she's shown her temper, but I expected as much from an untrained horse as spirited as she is.
I took much of the advice I was given, and it's served me really well! For the past few weeks, I've been focusing on reinforcing what we've already accomplished, and doing a lot of general stuff. I do a lot of things off-lead, since many of my exercises don't require a rope. She seems genuinely curious and happy to play with me, even when I ask her to do silly things like step over poles.
She's never run off, and always sticks around until it's obvious we're not gonna do anything else. (I typically rub her down & sit with her until she wanders off to visit with the neighbor horses.)
As for saddle-training, we had two small hiccups, but that's all. I've only gotten on her back a few times since the last update, and most of our lessons have been groundwork/getting used to saddling & mounting.
Here's a photo to break up the text before I start talking, haha.
The first hiccup was somewhat inevitable, in retrospect. It was kinda hot (it's summer/fall here in Uruguay), and she had been a little less enthusiastic since I came out. I just wanted to get in the saddle, sit for a moment, and dismount. We did warm-up stuff, I saddled her, and we walked down to the lower pasture.
She was being fussy about standing still during mounting, so I corrected her a few times and she stood still. I got on, sat for a moment, and slipped my toes into the stirrups like usual. Then she turned towards me and went to nip my shin. I lifted my toe so she snubbed her nose against it, and this seemed to incense her. She turned back around, took a few steps, and threw a fit.
Ladybird usually gives up hopping & bucking pretty fast, and I'd stayed on both times before. I've even stopped a few bucks before they happened by just talking gently to her. But she caught me off guard and she was obviously in a bad mood. I barely had my butt in the saddle for more than a few seconds before she managed to throw me backwards. I hit the ground (hard) a few feet away. No aggression beyond that, though. She took a few steps forward (away from me) and stopped.
I immediately got up, shook the stars from my eyes, and walked towards her. She seemed determined to have her fit, so I said "fine, have your fit" and followed her as she ran around the pasture. Didn't try to catch her or run after her, just walked. Eventually she got tuckered out and approached me, so I took her lead rope, lined her back up to the block, and tried again.
No problems this time. She stood still while I got on, sat up, and put my toe in the stirrup. I patted her neck and praised her, and got back off after a minute. Right there, I unsaddled her, let her have a drink, and rinsed her off with some cool water. Then I scraped the water off and took a walk around the pasture. She followed diligently, so I patted her some more and left.
The second fit was exactly the same. She kept hopping around & getting started while I was leaning across her back, and got an attitude with me (throwing her head, refusing to back up) when I corrected her. So, I walked after her while she galloped about, until she finally circled back and did as I asked.
That's really all that's happened. I've only ridden her once since then, and she walked very nicely & I got off.
I think it's going quite well! Here's a little gif before I go, and I'll try to update this thread as we make progress.