I asked, Rebecca, my trainer, to come over on Thursday and watch me with Beautiful Girl and then give me some suggestions about how to proceed.
This is my plan:
1. Continue putting my weight on her back--first laying over, then kicking leg partially over, sit on top of her & pet her, let her move where she pleases while I'm on her. Rebecca also suggested placing things along the fence line that she can meander over to and explore--so that she doesn't get too bored with the whole process. Do this from BOTH sides.
2. As soon as the roads are clear, practice hauling her in the trailer to the next door farm, and back and forth--unloading and loading.
3. Pony her at home and on the trail, preferably with the horse she most looks to and respects--Cowgirl.
4. Never proceed to the next step until she is confident and bored with the step she's on. We're trying to avoid her emotional side and strengthen her ability to console herself and build courage away from the herd.
Today was my 13th day of blessings, and working with Beautiful Girl lends itself well to these small training sessions. My goal was to throw a leg over and sit on her back today.
Her back. I've been seeing a lot of this from the mounting trough. She has become really good at standing there and letting me jump on.
That is what she thought of me laying over her back--zzzzzzz-, so I proceeded to throw the leg partially over--and eventually, fully over.
It went well and it was so warm. (More incentive to be on your horse, rather than leading it.) I did it from both sides and then put her back with the other horses.
Here are some more photos from the last few days.
More bareback riding. The snow actually was hard on Cowboy's shins--rubbed them a little raw. So, I'm slowing it down until the snow softens up.
Out our front door last night.
Out our front door this morning.
Beautiful Girl stands, or comes to me now, when I approach her with the halter and lead. This next picture was not one of those times, but this is how she usually looks.
A sign of relaxation and comfort. Same look she had today when I was on her back.