Every time Izzy acts like a Junior Idiot (that's what my BFF calls him), I wonder why my horse is the only one that can't walk and chew gum. After hearing from so many other owners, I feel comforted knowing that we're not idiots (at least not all of the time) and neither are our youngsters.
Trail riding has really helped. I've started more than a couple of young horses out on the trail, so I know what I don't wanna looks like. I also know when to encourage them past the scary thing and when to let them be pulled along by a companion.
In the arena, I'm not always sure what is just baby theatrics and what is you're pushing me too fast. The trail rides are helping me to recognize the difference between I don't wanna and this is too much. As a result, I am feeling more and more confident about telling Izzy that yes, yes you can when he fusses at me in the arena.
We've started some trotting in the arena again, and he's being much more relaxed. I am learning to just sit there when he starts to throw a big fit, but I now know I can keep riding and asking through the smaller tantrums.
Izzy is starting to stretch over his back and swing again. Riding him twice a day has also helped because I can do a little and then put him away. When I take him back out, he's looser and more willing to work.
When I rode the other day, I was annoyed after round one, but then I got to thinking about how frustrated many of you get, and I realized that his shenanigans aren't personal or signs that he's basket case - he's just acting out like a kid would do. It really softened my attitude and helped make ride number two all about saying no, no, no ... YES, good boy!