I was going to call this post "day 2 of my 30 day challenge" But since I was never actually challenged to do 30 in 30 it didn't quite seem appropriate. It was, however, suggested by BEC that I do just that. Ride him for 30 days and then make a decision on where he goes from there.
So I am calling yesterday "Day 1" Today is "Day 2"
I agree with what a few people said about getting him out of the arena and too the desert more. I will definitely do that.
However, today I had to work Sassy too, so today it was all arena.
Here is the short recap on Trax today.....
He is bi-polar.
Not really, he actually was just more like his normal self. He was responsive, and willing, and even actually trying really hard to figure out what it is I want from him.
I, on the other hand, was smarter about what I was asking him to do, how I was asking, how long I asked him, and rewarding immediately for the slightest try.
We went back to the round pen for a minute, just to do some liberty work, and the minute he quit moving with his brain outside of the pen, and locked on to me, I stopped him, drew him into me, and he followed me around the pen with no halter on. I moved his body parts around from the ground, without touching him, and then we rode.
We did not do any rope work today. No, I am not scared...I'm just recuperating, and plus I need more time for rope work.
Riding was lots of long trotting and collection, and stretchy trots, and shoulder pushing serpentines. We did a ton of stopping, and a tiny bit of loping. Not once did we make a full circle without changing something. It was either, half a circle, then stop. A full circle then lead change. A full circle and then a small circle at a slower speed, then a lead change, and go the other direction.
He is actually starting to get the lead changes. In fact from left to right he breaks down to a trot for one step, changes his leads and then goes. It is pretty darn smooth and easy, almost effortless. For some reason he has more trouble changing from right to left. But we got some really good ones.
He is still wanting to back out of his side passes from left to right, but after we had been riding for a while and he gave me a beautiful lead change in both directions, we were just walking and I asked for the side pass in both directions and he was smooth and easy both ways, so that was when I called it quits and walked him out the drive and down the road and then back.
It was a nice ride, I enjoyed it, and I hope that he did too. A couple of times he was trying so hard to get things right, that when I was asking for him to break down his lope to the trot to change leads, he thought I wanted him to stop and literally stopped dead in his tracks. It was cool, and made me laugh.
I think there was only one time where he really wanted to go out of control with me, but I shut him down so quick, he never had time to really grab a hold of that mentality. I have learned some valuable lessons in our last few rides. Number one being that lots of loping will never be a good warm up for him. Lots of mental work is the best, and lots of stopping. I should have known that. After all, going forward has never been the issue. Stopping always has, so I should have been doing this all along.
Well life is trial and error, and you can't learn without errors.
Now time has run out for me, and my stupid J-O-B is calling my name.