It wasn't entirely her fault--because of her shedding, she got some cinch sores, and was probably experiencing pain. She needs rest to heal up, so I decided to bring her back and do some other stuff.
After two weeks she wasn't settling down and since she's being trained 2.5 hours away, it was difficult for me to assess why.
One way of looking at it: A lot was thrown at her. As my sweet-never-failing-hard-working-willing-to-drive-six-hours-to-get-my-sweet-horse--husband and I were driving to pick her up today, we ran into a cattle drive right along the rode. Yep, a full-fledged cattle drive--people on horseback, 4-wheelers, trucks--herding hundreds of a cattle down the road where we were driving. (These were Cia's new friends from the ranch where she stays) We had to stop and let all the calves and their mamas pass by us.
Maybe Cia is more of a city horse than a country horse and all those cows were just a little disconcerting. Add to that a couple of stallions stalled near her, spring fever, and some of the rockiest, steepest terrain you've ever seen, and you can see why, maybe, she was a bit frazzled.
The question now is whether Cia will ever be a "trail horse".
The negatives: When she was scared, she was really scared. She didn't care where she placed her feet. She didn't care who was in front of her. She was dangerous.
I have never seen any of this out of her, but then again, I've never pushed her outside of her comfort zone.
Where do I go from here?
I'm going to let her heal up, and I'm going to think about it. I will probably attend some clinics with her and continue to ride her here at home. I'll also trailer her with me whenever I go on outings so she can get used to leaving home and herd. And, I'll wait to fully assess all of this until spring fever is over.
My gut instinct is that she's a better horse than that. I've been riding her for three years and never seen any of this. Maybe she's a sensitive horse who needs to be trained by her owner. Maybe with enough exposure she can desensitize.
On the other hand, I know what all those signs mean, and I don't want to get hurt on a horse. I want a horse who will be my partner out on the trail and not put me in danger when a herd of elk come crashing across our path.
So, one step at a time. She'll have to prove herself to become a "trail horse."