Sangria and I are slowly but surely continuing our saddle training. She hasn't exhibited her bucking and bolting behavior since the beach ride 3 weeks ago, though I am still extremely nervous working with her under saddle. When I feel comfortable in my surroundings and with her mentality during a certain session, I will ride her in the saddle. However, when I am not so sure of her on a certain day, I will ride her bareback.
She has completely succeeded at all of her groundwork exercises, but seems to need them each session as a prelude to riding. Last night, I hauled her to the Tacoma Unit and rode her bareback. She had been jumpy and snorty during our typical groundwork, and I was not in my usual kind, quiet mood. Instead, I pushed her harder than before, demanding responses immediately. I think this had her on edge.
With a few other riders in the arena, I climbed on Sangria bareback and again headed towards our ball. While the ball is still something that I feel like I need, it doesn't seem to be as much of a crutch as before. It keeps us focused on something, but after pushing it around the arena once or twice, I was comfortable riding her away from it.
I suppose at this point, baby steps for both of us is the best I can ask for - to keep us safe and moving forward :)