Check her out! (More pics added in post #5!)
Behold, my 36" mini dressed up in her harness for the first time! It got dark in a hurry on us (curse you, Daylight "Savings"!), so this was the only decent pic I got of her--I'm hoping to go back and do more today. My friend with the driving Clydesdale helped show me what everything is and how it all goes, and did a little preliminary ground driving with her. The harness itself was no issue--she very much as a "don't give a crap" attitude. The bit was annoying to her, but all she did was mouth it (as you see here). I'm thinking of just putting the bridle on with the bit and letting her graze on the property or turn her out in it--just let her get used to it. Any other suggestions?
She had a few pissy moments as my friend ground drove her, but as Firefly's motto is "avoid giving a crap if at all possible," they were mild. She did some pivoting and backing up, but my friend got her straightened out and within 5-10min, Fly was going forward and turning with little protest. She also has an excellent whoa--BIG bonus!
My friend helped me practice a little itsy bitty bit driving her to get the feel, and I was pleasantly surprised how responsive Fly was. Of course, I had just ridden my hard-mouthed boy (who had worn me out, WHEW), so it was quite the contrast feeling her respond to a squeezed finger to turn. After the initial pissiness, all the ground driving training she'd had before I bought her (8 years ago!!) started to show itself. It's like a light bulb went off and she said, "Oooh, oh, this thing."
There's a driving clinic I aim to go to and a show I'd like to attend (as much for contacts as anything)--I definitely want a professional involved, but for now, I can practice putting the harness on her and having my driving-skilled-enabling friends help out.