A Breakthrough!

I started out by ground driving Shae again today.  He was fairly responsive - only taking a few slaps of the lines to get him moving - and was turning with very little pressure.  But then I suddenly knew I needed to work with his brain more than his brain and his body, and I put his halter over his bridle and lunged him.  I took a short, thin, "whippy" whip with me and prepared for battle.

He started out at a nice walk but not really paying attention to me.  When I asked for the trot the first time and he predictably ignored me, I popped him - hard - with the whippy whip, just below his tail head.  He didn't freak out and run forward, but there was an immediate change in his behavior.  His head came up, his ear and eye flicked over to me and he immediately moved forward.  And kept moving.  And it didn't take any "nagging" to keep him going.  I let him go like that for a few circles, and then brought him down to the walk.  Then I asked him to trot again and the reaction was immediate.  He trotted off like a man that knew his job, his focus on me the entire time.  Success!  I even made him canter on the lunge line, though he was a little confused about the whole circle concept.

The plan is to give him a day of rest and play tomorrow, more ground driving and lunging on Sunday, fine tuning my controls on Monday and mounting on Tuesday. 

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