Today was the day that Imogen's training for under saddle work began in earnest. Since she literally knows nothing as far as I know, we are starting at square one, like I would do with a youngster fresh out of the field. Im knows all of the little basics that I have taught her (grooming, standing still, crossties, etc.), but that's it. She leads decently, but this needs refining. We started our session with some rudimentary groundwork, like walk on, whoa, back up, and turning left and right. She knows the word "whoa" pretty well by, and stops on command for the most part. She did very well with the groundwork, save for a moment when I touched her lightly with the short lunge whip I was carrying. When doing groundwork, I use a halter, lead, gloves, occasionally a chain over the nose if I need it, and a short whip, and use it to carefully cue for sideways, forwards, or backwards moment from my position at the horse's shoulder. We have done plenty of desensitization to the actual whip itself (she tried to eat it, mostly), but having it actually touch her when she wasn't expecting it surprised her a bit. She didn't do anything per se, but she jumped a little, and responded much quicker to my cues after that... a very GOOD response from my skittery little girl.
After that, I released her, and asked her to move off. Her response was perfect, and just that - she moved off! With a little finessing, we got a smart trot in both directions, complete with the commands "walk" and "whoa." It's hard to say whether or not she has been lunged before - she was completely confused about turning around, for one, and she didn't response to any other commands that I tested out - so we'll just keep treating her as a total noob greenie. It only took her a few moments to figure out the logistics of the thing, and it wasn't long before I had her moving back and forth with ease.
HOLY CRAP, this girl can move.
I especially love that last picture. Look at that LIFT when she really gets to pushing!