So, today apparently was Sora's day to desensitize me.
I put the cordeo on her and my helmet on and walked over and climbed up on the mounting block. For some reason right at the moment I had an adrenalin rush/panic attack thing I still have no idea why, there is still no reason that I can think of.
Sora walked over and as usual stood happily next to the block and took treats from me while my heart raced. I decided to try to get on and just as I got ready to Sora turned slowly and asked me to scratch her butt. I was, at the moment, disappointed because she has never done that before but I scratched her and then asked her to line up again. My heart was still beating so hard that I was shaking and once again Sora calmly walked away from the block just as I got ready to mount. This time I realized what was going on, Sora didn't think I should get on, so I climbed off the mounting block and went and sat in the grass for a while trying to calm down and Sora came and grazed around me. I think she was protecting me
I decided to leave and get myself in a better place. I left the pen and headed into the house but I heard hoof beats behind me and turned around to see what was happening. Sora was racing back and forth along the fence line and when I turned Sora stopped and screamed at me. Sora's not vocal at all so this was really strange for her. At any rate I took her advice and headed back. This time I put her halter on and not the Cordeo. I decided that in case I HAD to stop her I could that way and yet I would very little control of turning etc. I went back the mounting block and climbed on with my back turned to her, leaving it completely up to her whether she wanted to continue with this. I was truly terrified by the time she got there and after feeding her some treats I climbed up quickly and sat there shaking.
Sora proceeded to desensitize me at the walk. She would walk forward a few steps and then as my heart rate mounted she'd stop and stand with her head low, licking and chewing and even resting a hoof sometimes. After a while I was doing better so she marched up to the fence. I got tense and scared when she started to nose the fly spray bottle, sure she'd knock it off and then shy. She nosed it a few times completely ignoring my request that we back up and then picked it up and threw it at the fence, she stood with happy ears clearly saying "see mom? Fly spray bottles aren't scary at all"
After that I relaxed and calmed down a lot. It's amazing what laughter can do. We worked on moving off my aids a little and she was still somewhat sluggish but far better than she has been. Mostly after that amazing demonstration of her trust I was unwilling to try to teach HER anything so she got lots of treats during and after and we cuddled a little after.