Thank you to all who have responded so far to my post. I had only ridden this horse on three consecutive days to get a feel for her and expose her to different situations and see how she goes. I had been told she had been out on the trail before which is why I headed out for the trails right away. But I think I will start fresh tomorrow and begin in the field, working on giving to the bit, changes of direction, guiding her around small obstacles (a few small bushes that are growing in the field), things like that. She has a lot of potential and she is so good to work with on the ground, that I know she can learn. She is not even scared of things on her flanks when she is being groomed or being saddled, it is only when being ridden. She is definitely not a mean horse. Just young and scared.
Someone mentioned this and I think it is a great idea - moving around in the saddle, swinging legs, things to accustom her to being touched all over. I began doing this with her and will continue to do so, it seems to be the only solution to get her used to being touched behind the girth. Very important in trail riding, when you sometimes have to duck for a branch or shift in the saddle to grab something.
The ride we are planning to go to is a 25 mile ctr with mostly flat sandy trails and few hills, so it shouldn't be difficult on her physically. Its her training that needs to show improvement more than anything.
I'll let you know how things go.
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