We're continuing to progress with our groundwork! O has worn the full harness three times, and the blinders twice. The first time in harness, she just walked and trotted on the lunge, and the second time I lunged her in an open bridle so I could canter her and let her get used to the crupper at the canter. She was not bothered by it - she did a few good-natured dolphin leaps in the canter, but nothing beyond feel-good crowhops. She put her ear on the crupper, came to terms with it, and moved on.
It still had one hole that needed to be tightened, and I did that today - it was at normal length for her long line session today.
I'm going to be doing a lot of work in an open bridle, so I want to make sure she also knows how to work in the blinders for stuff she always knows. I made some adjustments to the bridle, including raising the blinders and removing the decorative drop. The drop flaps on her face a little and causes some concern on her part - she can be pretty headshy about things popping in her face, understandably. As I understand it, there is discussion about it being kind of a major faux pas for driving a single horse, but I really don't have any idea. I've read up on the history of the vanity of drops to try and make pairs with stars match completely, so it makes sense, but it does look pretty... so I don't know.
Anyway. I opted to lunge her first, which she did fine with, and then we moved on to some basic w-t long lining stuff, all stuff we had done before. She did pretty well! She did lift and move her head around a little, which I think she was doing because of her limited vision. She also stumbled on several rocks, which I think she didn't notice in time. Other than that, she did great.
I'd like to do more long lining stuff with one of the lines around her butt, but unfortunately my lines are way too short for that. I can drive her like this, with the lines through the turrets, and I can drive her with the lines low on my surcingle if I am walking behind her, but I can't drive from the side like that. I don't think she'd care either way, but I really do need longer lines if I am going to try it.
And my old hound seems to be hanging in there... eating well, taking her meds, and getting around with pretty good energy and spirits. Here's hoping she continues to hang in there!