Tonight Bella and I did some very basic work. I moved her at all gaits in the round pen, naked. i was wondering if the saddle causes her to move differently but I guess it's just how she's moving. She has an odd lope, with her but popping up in the air a bit, but I think it's because she's not relaxed and her conformation is downhill. It's not a buck, just a weirdness. Although she will throw a little attitude in there at times.
Eventually what we worked on the most was her giving her head to the side. She has this habit of snatching her head back to her shoulder without looking at me (her eyeball is cranked forward with white of her eye showing) and then quickly popping her head back out front. What I want is for her to gently move her head and look at me and have a friendly interaction. I don't need it all the way around, and I don't need her to touch anything, there is no target, and I will release but she can't have her head back right away - not until she looks at me with a soft thought in her head rather than a jerky panicked avoidance reaction. I just want her to realize this is a friendly game of give and release - not something she has to be afraid of and do quickly. I think there is a little attitude hidden in her jerky give as well, and by not accepting that as an answer, I think it will go away.
I took the mounting block into the round pen and had her stand next to it while I rubbed her all over and played the friendly lateral flexion game. I laid over her back too but didn't mount. She didn't line up very well to the mounting block from the off side. So we kept trying until we got it done, with much thought and a lot of try, then we had to call it quits.
Why did we have to call it quits? Tonka was romping around, running, half-rearing, spinning, stopping. Dummy. I'd put him in a different small pen and there was a flash of lightning and a cold breeze and he just felt too charged up to act like an invalid. So I had to go catch him and tie him up for a while. I don't think he hurt himself any worse.
While I was catching Tonka, Bella got her leg over her rein (no bit - her lead rope was looped like reins and attached to the halter) in the round pen. She stood there giving to the pressure, looking kind of confused, but she patiently waited for me to release her from her predicament. So she's sensible, even if she is a bit of a worry wort.